We have a rockstar team of teachers and administrators.

Sandee Blankenship, Principal and Director of School-Based Programs

Sandee Blankenship is Principal of the Youth Leadership Academy and current Director of School-Based Programs. She has served on the school leadership team since the school opened in 2012. As a TAP Master Teacher, Mrs. Blankenship led weekly professional development sessions, evaluated teachers and developed the school academic plan for each year. Mrs. Blankenship was also integral in writing the Zest Quest health and wellness curriculum which was approved by the USDA as a SNAP Ed curriculum.

Mrs. Blankenship holds a master’s degree from Clemson University in Youth Development Leadership. Mrs. Blankenship is a CrossFit Level I Instructor, holds a CrossFit Kids certificate and is the founder of CrossFit YLA. She started in education in January 2005.

Mrs. Blankenship and her husband Tommy have three daughters: Charlee, Sami and Joey. Together they serve as part-time youth ministers at their church. They enjoy family activities including CrossFit, soccer, and tennis.

Our Staff

Bo Aartun
Josh Christopher
7th Grade Math
Johnna Connolly
Special Education
Hannah Dennis
6th Grade Math
Susan Finley
Special Education Coordinator
Lisa Freeman
6th Grade ELA
Hilery Hennessee
7th Grade Social Studies
Lauren Hodge
8th Grade Math & Algebra 1
Ben Hyder
Related Arts
Dr. Steve Jackson
6th Grade Science
Jill Jacobs
6th Grade Social Studies
Melissa Kennedy
Assistant Principal
Andrea Kutilek
8th Grade Social Studies
Dottie LaMance
8th Grade ELA & English 1
Alex Levy
Student Services
Dr. Shasta Looper
Instructional Coach & Homebound Coordinator
Kevin Loudermilk
Physical Education
Adrienne Nix
Student Services
Amanda Owens
Amanda Powell
Bridget Sitterle
8th Grade Science
Nathan Swords
Special Projects Coordinator
Jennifer Whitworth
504 Coordinator
Tonya Wilson
Related Arts
John Yongue
Dr. April Christopher
7th Grade Science
Mindy Dill
7th Grade ELA
Laura Dalton
Special Education
Lydia Trotter
Guidance Counselor