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
Jessica Ashe
6th Grade Social Studies
Josh Christopher
7th/8th Grade Math
Johnna Connolly
Special Education Coordinator
Leigh Fine
7th/8th Grade Social Studies
Susan Finley
Instructional Coach
Lisa Freeman
6th Grade ELA
Lauren Hodge
7th Grade Math/Science
Ben Hyder
Related Arts
Steve Jackson
6th Grade Science
Jill Jacobs
6th Grade Math
Melissa Kennedy
7th/8th Grade Science
Andrea Kutelik
Student Services
Dottie LaMance
7th/8th Grade ELA
Shasta Looper
7th Grade ELA/Social Studies
Kevin Loudermilk
Physical Education
Kevin Maxey
Building and Grounds Specialist
Kaley McJunkin
Office Manager
Amanda Powell
Laura Sheriff
Nathan Swords
Special Projects Coordinator
Tonya Wilson
Related Arts