Alee Academy is marking a milestone this year as it begins its twenty first year of serving at-risk high school students in Lake County. The past twenty years have been quite memorable as have each of the students who have successfully graduated from high school each year. Some of the high lights have been the recipient of the 2003 Crystal Star Award of Excellence in Dropout Prevention and in 2008, 2013, and again in 2018 being recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools–Counsel on Accreditation and School Improvement as an “Accredited School.” Accreditation means the Alee Academy meets the AdvancED standards, engages in continuous improvement, and demonstrates quality assurance through internal and external review. The standards are based in the research on the factors that impact student achievement. The accreditation process helps schools and districts bring together all the parts of the school or district to improve student and organizational performance.

We are pleased to welcome you and your students back for another school year. We also look forward to a very successful and rewarding year working in concert with you–the parents–to assure your students continued learning and academic success. We are Fam-Alee.

Meet the 2019 – 2020 Instructional Team

The Alee Academy staff is comprised of a group of competent, caring, and committed individuals who are truly a team. Each and every staff member brings his or her own special gifts and talents to fulfill the vision of Alee Academy.

Ms. Barnhart is excited to start her 6th year with Alee Academy, teaching biology, environmental science, and for the first time, journalism, and will act as Yearbook Sponsor. With her experience as a newspaper reporter and radio news broadcaster at the university level she looks forward to taking on the role of Editor-in-Chief of the journalism’s class’ school newspaper, “The Alee Academy Eagle.” Ms. Barnhart graduated magna cum laude from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia in 2007. She holds an Associate of Science degree in Middle Grades Education, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Middle Grades Education, specializing in Science and Language Arts. This is Ms. Barnhart’s 11th year of teaching in Lake and surrounding counties in central Florida. She maintains certifications in Middle Grades Science (5-9), English (6-12), Elementary Education (K-6), Exceptional Student Education, and is fully ESOL endorsed. In addition to being a highly qualified teacher, Ms. Barnhart also serves as the ESE School Specialist for our Students With Disabilities.

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Mr. Boulais is in his 4th year at Alee Academy. He has a Bachelor Degree in Accounting and Math Education from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He is a highly qualified teacher who has taught math for 23 years. His teaching experience includes Virginia, Florida, Nicaragua, The Canary Islands, and Jamaica.

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Mr. Freeman returns Alee Academy this year as our Physical Science and Earth/Space Science teacher.

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Ms. Jenkins is starting her 5th year at Alee. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education (K-6) with a minor in Middle School Literature and Language Arts from Bemidji State University in Minnesota. She graduated from Grand Canyon University in Arizona with a Master Degree in Teaching Reading (K-12), and a Master Degree in Teaching English to Second Language Learners (K-12). As a highly qualified teacher Ms. Jenkins is certified in English (K-12), Elementary Education (K-6), Middle Grades Integrated (5-9), Reading (K-12), and ESOL (K-12). This year, Ms. Jenkins will be teaching English III, English IV, and Service Learning. She also will continue to be the Prom Advisor. Ms. Jenkins is very excited to share these learning experiences with her students as they grow and expand their knowledge.

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Mr. Ortiz served in the United States Marine Corps, then graduated from Strayer University with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and a Master Degree in Public Administration. This is his 2nd year teaching in Lake County and we are fortunate to say his 2nd year teaching at Alee. He is highly qualified teacher, certified in Social Sciences (6-12) and Business Education (6-12). Mr. Ortiz will teach U.S. History, American Government and Economics, and Digital Information Technology. He believes knowledge is one of the few things that cannot be taken from you.

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Mr. Price is entering his 6th year at Alee Academy as a highly qualified Lake County teacher. This year Mr. Price will be teaching Algebra 1A, Algebra1B, and Math for College Readiness. He is certified in Mathematics (6-12) and Physics (6-12) and is passionate about teaching math and science. Mr. Price earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Physics along with a minor in Mathematics from Richard Stockton College in New Jersey. He completed his senior year with an internship at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where he spent a summer studying the X-ray data from Eta Carinae, which is one of the largest known stars in the universe. His goal for this year is to give his students the confidence they need to be successful in whatever choices they make in life.

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Mr. Provencher joins Alee Academy this year as a highly qualified educator, teaching World History, World Geography, and Psychology/Sociology. Mr. Provencher earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Journalism from Lake Sumter Community College after which he worked for 3 years as a Sports Correspondent. After spending the next 8 years in retail management and banking, he pursued a career in law enforcement. Mr. Provencher obtained a Law Enforcement Certification form Central Florida Community College, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology from Saint Leo College, and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida. He is a Certified Instructor for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which instruction included Agency instruction as well as Field Training. Mr. Provencher’s law enforcement career provided him valuable experience in everything from personnel supervision and budget management to S.W.A.T. Command, as well as both Major Crime Scene investigation and White-collar/Fraud Crime investigation. Mr. Provencher was named Eustis Police Officer of the Year in 2010 and 2017. We are proud to welcome him to the Alee Fam-Alee.

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Ms. Rhoads joins Alee Academy this year as our new Physical Science and Earth/Space Science teacher, in place of Mr. Price, who has moved to the math department. She will also teach Reading and Writing for College Readiness. She is a highly qualified teacher holding a certification in English (6-12), Exceptional Student Education, ESOL, and Elementary Education. Ms. Rhoads graduated from Valencia Community College with an Associate of Science degree in Special Education. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Special Education, specializing in Behavioral/Emotional Disorders and Specific Learning Disabilities at the University of South Florida. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Ms. Rhoads has taught for the past 17 years in schools from elementary through high school. Her passion is working with teenagers and she believes she learns as much from them as she teaches them!

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Ms. Zakaluk is beginning her 4th year at Alee Academy. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the University of Iowa, and a Master Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix. Prior to teaching, Ms. Zakaluk worked as a Copywriter in Advertising and owned and operated a coffee shop. She has taught in both middle and high schools. A highly qualified teacher, Ms. Zakaluk is certified in English (6-12) and ESOL (K-12). She will be teaching English I and English II, and Speech. Ms. Zakaluk is extremely excited about sharing her passion for reading, writing, and public speaking with our students here at Alee.

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Meet the Alee Academy Instructional Support Team

Ms. Daniel began as Alee’s school counselor in February, 2012. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice, and went on to earn a Master Degree from Troy University in Counseling and Psychology, with a concentration in Community Counseling. She has a Professional Certificate in Behavioral Analysis and a Professional Educator’s Certificate in Guidance and Counseling (K-12). Ms. Daniel is highly qualified, and her experience includes extensive work with at-risk and developmentally delayed youth.

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Mr. Valentino is a highly qualified paraprofessional at Alee Academy. A certified Food Manager, he most recently managed the Alee-affiliated Southside Eatery subshop in Umatilla where many of our interns were trained. Prior to that Mr. Valentino worked in Corrections at several institutions including Marion County Juvenile Detention Center and Northeast Ohio Corrections Center. Mr. V. is a certified paraprofessional providing additional instructional support for Alee Academy students and teachers.

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Ms. Eiserman is also a highly qualified paraprofessional providing additional instructional support for Alee Academy. She is a future English major at Lake Sumter/UCF with a passion for writing, and she has three cats who love to sit on anything she writes (especially her computer keyboard). She’d like everyone to know that this is her first job and she is so excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with education. We are so glad to have Ana in the Fam-Alee!

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Meet the Alee Academy Administrative Team

Ms. Valentino (“Ms. V.”), Director/Principal of Alee Academy is entering her 5th year in this position, prior to which she served for 6 years as the Assistant Principal, which followed an 8-year teaching career as a math teacher. Ms. V. graduated from Ohio Northern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She is a graduate of Walsh University, where she obtained a Master of Education Degree. She also graduated from Regis University where she earned a Master Degree in Educational Leadership. She has been in education for 19 years experience in education, Ms. V. is a highly qualified teacher/administrator and is certified in Elementary Education (K-6) and Middle Grades Mathematics (5-9) as well as Educational Leadership. Her goal is to continue to learn and grow as a director, support the staff as much as possible, and influence our students to become productive, contributing members of society.

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Mr. Brown has worked in the Lake County, Florida education system for 11 years. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, after which he completed his Master of Science Degree in Education from Walden University. Mr. Brown is a proud graduate of the Lake County School System. He served as an assistant football coach at Eustis High School from (2006-2013) and enjoys mentoring youth. He is highly qualified and has a professional educator’s certificate in Elementary Education Grades (K-6), (PK-3). This will be his 5th year serving as Assistant Director at Alee Academy. Mr. Brown looks forward to serving each student, parent, and community stakeholder of this school.

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Ms. Emerick is beginning her 11th year with Alee Academy. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from Indiana University Southeast, and achieved a Master Degree in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. Ms. Emerick holds the title of Alee’s Site Administrator. She develops and maintains student and teacher schedules and enrollment procedures, provides curriculum, instruction, and support to our teachers, and is a valuable source of academic and social support to our students. Ms. Emerick will also be directing a small group of students who will serve as Teachers’ Aides throughout the day. Ms. Emerick looks forward to every opportunity to use her experience and passion to help Alee Academy students reach their potential.

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Meet the Alee Academy Support Team

Ms. Efant is the system administrator for Alee Academy. She attended Alee Academy before returning to Eustis High School where she graduated in May of 2000. She is a graduate of Daytona Beach Community College with an Associate of Science Degree with Honors in Computer Programming and Analysis. The School of Technology and Occupational Education also recognized her as the recipient of the Outstanding Student Award. She has worked at Alee Academy since her graduation from high school establishing and maintaining the school’s data network as well as building classroom computers and network servers and upgrading Alee’s digital software and hardware as technology advances. She is truly one of Alee Academy’s success stories.

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Mr. Eiserman (“Mr. Alan”) served our country in the United States Air Force, and is a locally well-renowned master meat cutter at Winn-Dixie in Eustis. He now provides an invaluable service as the caretaker and maintenance technician at Alee Academy, and has been with Alee since 2007. Besides regular maintenance of the facility, Mr. Eiserman takes care of Alee’s beautiful and expansive five acres of property, which includes a large pond. He builds, repairs, invents, or procures whatever anyone needs, and remains an integral part of the Alee Fam-Alee.

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Ms. Peters (“Ms. Debbi”) is proud to have served our country in the United States Navy. She is now in her 4th year as a bus driver for Alee Academy. She is trained to substitute for Ms. Hope at the front desk, and she works the front during 2nd Session twice a week, alternating with Ms. Hope. Ms. Debbi is very excited to work with our students for another year.

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Mr. Russell joins Alee this year as a bus driver. A U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, Mr. Russell has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ole Miss, and a Masters Degree from Emory University. He pastored the United Methodist Church for 40 years and is presently the pastor at Altoona United Methodist Church. He has 2 years experience as a bus driver with Lake County Schools.

Ms. Sceal (known as “Ms. Hope”) is the school secretary and a substitute bus driver for Alee Academy. Ms. Hope has been with Alee since 2004. Prior to working at Alee, she worked as an Activity Director for Lake Ridge Village, and worked as a Behavioral Tech at Sunrise Arc. In addition, she worked for 5 years as a bus driver, completed Road Master Truck Driving Schools with a Class A driving license, and was a Lake County School bus driver and monitor before joining our team. She can be found every day at the front desk, meeting and greeting each person as they enter the front door.

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Ms. Thornton is the Data Clerk for Alee Academy. Ms. Thornton worked with Lake County Schools for 16 years before joining the Alee Academy family. She is a vital part of our school in tracking student data, enrollment information, earned credits, grade reports, and getting us safely through Full Time Equivalent (FTE) time twice a year, not to mention the glorious but monumental task of getting our seniors safely across the stage with a diploma in their hands at graduation.

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Mr. Vaughn is in his 7th year as a bus driver with Alee Academy, and often assists Mr. Eiserman with maintenance. Mr. Vaughn is a retired minister, and he and his wife live in the Eustis Area. Mr. Vaughn always offers kindness, encouragement, and positive energy when he is around, and he is highly valued by his Alee family. In his ministerial capacity he has officiated at the wedding of at least one faculty member!

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Mr. Walton joins Alee Academy as our School Safety Guardian. He will provide safety and security services for both Session 1 and Session 2. Mr. Walton will monitor the entire Alee Academy campus at all times. Originally from Connecticut, Mr. Walton received a Certificate of Advanced Studies from Valencia Community College, and has completed 780 hours of Basic Police Academy training. Mr. Walton served as a Deputy Sheriff/Investigator with Seminole County for 6 years, then as an Armed Security Officer for 9 years. In addition to his law enforcement credentials, Mr. Walton holds a certificate in Marine Mechanics Technology. We are pleased to welcome Mr. Walton in to the Alee Fam-Alee!

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