Engaged Academics Team
"We believe we have the most thorough, hands-on approach to solving educational deficiencies.
While focusing on academic needs, we also address critical executive skills such as organization, planning, goal setting, and time-management, ultimately reducing academic driven anxiety. We work with parents, teachers, and administrators to find the best solution to these problems.
We are unique, in that we only accept those students and parents who desire change. If a difference is what you want, you want Engaged Academics."
Lance A Davis | Founder/CEO
Mr. Davis earned his master's degree from Florida State University in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies and his bachelor's in Education from Thomas University. He also holds an Electrical Contracting License and an A.A.S. from Bainbridge State College in Industrial Electronics. Spending seventeen years outside of the field of education has shaped Lance's approach to classroom instruction by focusing on 3 key skills every student should master: Critical Thinking, Time Management, and Teamwork.
My focus is being the best husband, father, and educator possible.
Instructional Design • Math & Science • Project-Based Learning
Karen Accursio | Early Childhood Education
Ms. Accursio earned her bachelor's degree at Florida State University. She has taught for 26 years in both the public and private school settings. Karen is certified to teach grades K-6 and has ESOL endorsement. She is currently taking online classes to add a reading endorsement to her teaching certification.
Karen has experience in writing assessment items for various educational companies, has helped develop a section of a teacher study companion for a test prep company, and has scored third grade ELA writing assessments for Pearson.
She enjoys reading, watching FSU football, spending time with her children and cats, going to the movies, volunteering at the Humane Society, and helping to prevent
animal abuse and neglect
Early Literacy, ESOL
Jen Cruse | Elementary Ed.
Ms. Cruse has been a teacher for 15 years. She graduated from Flagler College with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She also has a reading and ESOL endorsement. Recently, Jen has continued her love of reading and reading education by continuing her own education through Orton- Gillingham.
Jen enjoys playing sports, watching movies, working puzzles, reading literature, walking the beach, and spending time with her two children.
Reading • Behavior Management • Differentiated Instruction • Orton-Gillingham
Glenn A Graves | Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Glenn A. Graves, L.C.S.W. received his BA from FSU in 1986 and his Masters in Social Work in 1990. He specializes in helping children and teens problem-solve, goal set, deal with anger management, and other emotional challenges. Utilizing cognitive-behavioral therapy and play therapy, he teaches children the necessary skills to remain free of anger related problems, improve attentiveness, learn calming skills, and utilize relaxation exercises.
Glenn enjoys FSU football, working out, and traveling with his wife .
Retha Lee | Elementary, Secondary Education
Mrs. Lee graduated from Valdosta State University with a bachelor's degree in Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Social Studies and Language Arts. She continued her education at Nova Southeastern University where she earned her Master's in Educational Technology and her Ed.S in technology, curriculum, and management. She is certified in grades 6-8 and is reading and gifted certified for grades K - 12. This will be her 23rd year in education. Mrs. Lee is also an adjunct professor at Thomas University. Continuing education is important, so she is currently working on her doctoral degree in Reading and Literacy. She loves to engage students through the use of technology. Mrs. Lee is very accustomed to online classes and can tutor face to face or online.
Retha enjoys spending time with her family and reading literature. Her mission is to instill the belief in her students that they can achieve anything by empowering them to become active and life-long learners
Middle Grades Education • Technology, Reading, and Writing • Duke Tip (SAT, PSAT, and ACT preparation)
Side note: Since taking over Duke Tip at her school, she has had students qualify for state recognition each year.
Sabrina Mack | Elementary Ed.
Mrs. Mack earned her Bachelor Degrees from Florida Agricultural Mechanical University in Early childhood/ Elementary Education and Masters Emotional Behavior Disorders, Nova University. During her thirty-five years in education, she taught students in general and exceptional student education classrooms. The last twenty years were spent working successfully with students with varying exceptionally in an inclusion setting grades 3-5. My goal has always been providing academic support in reading, math, behavior, and organizational skills. So that, the student is given a fair shot at an excellent education that makes a difference in their lives.
Mrs. Mack enjoys attending plays, concerts, reading and traveling with her husband and daughter. She also serves in her church regularly.
Early Education • Reading Fluency & Comprehension
Math Fluency • Writing Mechanics
Leslie Moore | Elementary Education
Mrs. Moore earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Exceptional Student Education from Flagler College. She also holds a reading and ESOL endorsement. Mrs. Moore has taught in Leon County for 11 years at two local elementary schools. With a strong foundation in reading instruction, Mrs. Moore specializes in building reading strategies that encourage lifelong success. She also has success in developing routines and procedures in a child’s daily activities to foster ‘student behaviors’ that benefit the child as a learner.
Leslie enjoys FSU football, reading, CrossFit, spending time with family, and traveling.
Planning and Organizing • Behavior Modification
FSA Preparation • Reading Strategies
Jacob Roberts | Secondary Education
Mr. Roberts earned his bachelor's degree from Florida State University in Social Science Education and teaches 7th and 10th-grade at Florida High. Jacob specializes in social sciences, but is also certified for English, 6-12. In addition to teaching, Jacob has worked as an elementary level tutor in an after school program and four summers as a zip guide where he was also in charge of teaching outdoor and historical curriculum to students of all ages.
Jacob's interests include enjoying all sports, playing video games, and making learning fun and engaging for his students.
Historical Analysis • Differentiated Instruction
Reading Comprehension • Writing Mechanics • Test Prep
Christine Thornton | Lead Mentor
Mrs. Thornton earned her bachelor's and master's in Varying Exceptionalities from Florida State University. She has taught learners with special needs for 19 years in the public school setting. She focuses on individual behavior strategies, academic strategies, and coping strategies to increase personal and academic success. She has an extensive background working with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) students, students with cognitive delays, and underachieving students in reading and math. Her main focus is helping to enhance the "whole child."
She enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
Elementary Reading • Math Fluency & Comprehension • Organizational Strategies
Individual Behavior Modification • Social Skills and Daily Living Training
Zach Valdes | Elementary Education
Mr. Valdes earned his bachelor's degree from Florida State University in Elementary Education and teaches 5th-grade at Florida High. Zach specializes in language arts and social sciences, but is also certified for mathematics and science. In addition to teaching, Zach has worked in summer camps for the past 5 years with the Alachua County School Board.
Zach's interests include enjoying the outdoors, watching sports, and making learning fun and accessible to all students.
Opinion & Informative Essay Writing • Reading Comprehension & Fluency
Differentiated Learning & Instruction • Test-Prep
Elise Willis | Elementary & Secondary Ed.
Mrs. Willis holds a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Florida State University. She is certified to teach first through eighth grade and taught grades four through six for thirty years. While she specializes in language arts and social studies, she has worked in a multitude of subject areas. Working in a one-on-one environment, Mrs. Willis strives to enhance student skills, bolster confidence, and create a productive student/teacher partnership that will lay a lifelong learning foundation.
Elise enjoys reading, cooking, spending time with family, and crafting with the treasures she finds on the beach.
Writing Mechanics • Creative Writing • English/language arts • social studies.
Sandra Wylie | Writing
Mrs. Wylie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and education from Florida State University. She specializes in English and is certified 6-12 as well as In science, 6-9. Following over 30 years as a classroom teacher focusing on essay writing. Mrs. Wylie has turned her attention to coaching and teaching the writing process for college admission essays.
Sandra especially enjoys working with teen writers, playing with the family Boxer, Bella, and watching FSU baseball and softball. Her interests also include fitness training, arm wrestling, and Audrey Hepburn biographies and movies.
Language Arts • Essay Writing
Holly earned her Master's degree in education from Southern Utah University and her Bachelor's in elementary education from Utah Valley University. She worked in the public school system for three years, spent one year in private, and one year in charter school before deciding to take a few years off to raise her children. She specialized in fifth and sixth grade but taught second for one year as well. Holly is a mother of two boys, and the oldest of four siblings. Watching her brilliant siblings flounder and grow up resenting school and teachers in general shaped her teaching philosophy. She believes that all children should be empowered to embrace their own strengths, and take pride in their learning. She believes that all progress should be celebrated, and children should feel good about the process of learning, not grading.
Ms. Breeding earned her bachelor’s degree at Flagler College of Tallahassee in 2018. As a part of her degree, she received her reading endorsement as well as her ESOL endorsement. Jaclyn is certified to teach grades K-6, she has goals of furthering her education and receiving her master’s degree.
She enjoys spending time with friends and family, doing crafts, and watching sports.
I graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I worked for Reynolds Smith and Hills as a mechanical engineer for 5 years. Most of my projects were designing systems for rocket launch pads for the Air Force and NASA. I've been a teacher for 15 years. I taught math for 3 years and physics for 12. I currently teach AP Physics 1 (algebra-based) AP Physics C (calculus-based) and Physics Honors.
My motto: Never give up!
Hobbies: Escape rooms, board games, and logic puzzles.
Mikayla Rich graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith with a bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. Mikayla is licensed to teach students grades k- 4. She taught for three years in the public school system of Fort Smith Arkansas.
In addition to her work in public school, Mikayla has tutored students grades 5-12 for two years and enjoys working with students of all grade levels and ages.
She enjoys reading and karaoke in her spare time.
Specialty: early childhood educations and Linda Mood Bell Literacy Intervention
Florida Agricultural Mechanical University: Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Minor in Education
Western Michigan University: Master of Science in Teaching Secondary Schools with emphasis on Mathematics
I am a retired mathematics teacher. I taught 35 years in the Michigan Public Schools: Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) and Ann Arbor Publics Schools (AAPS). I have taught Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and II, Pre-Calculus, and remedial math courses. I also have experience in teaching a Washtenaw Community College as an adjunct professor.
I enjoy spending time with my family and watching/attending FAMU football games. I volunteer in the community with my sorority and enjoy attending community and area events.
Ms. Downing earned her master’s degree from Florida State University in Early Childhood Development and her bachelor’s in English from the University of New Mexico. She also holds an A.A.S. from St. Leo University. In addition, she has earned Professional Certificates in various teaching areas including English for Speakers of Other Languages, Pre-Kindergarten/Primary Education, Exceptional Student Education, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her 20-year career in the US Navy has helped to heighten her intense dedication to bringing the best educational experience to our community’s children.
Ms. Downing is a dedicated grandmother and focused on using modern educational tools to enhance learning for her students.
Reading instruction, working with Autism in children.
Elementary and Middle School Education
Mrs. Brady earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Florida State University in 1991. After college graduation, Mrs. Brady moved with her husband to the Tampa Area where she taught Elementary and Middle School for a total of 12 years. A move to Tallahassee in 2013 brought her back here and she has taught 4th grade and Middle School Math for the past 6 years.
In addition to her time as a classroom teacher, Mrs. Brady spent 8 years working for The Success For All Foundation as a Reading and Math coach. She supported teachers across the country as they implemented research-based programs designed to increase student achievement. She is an avid Florida State sports fan as well as a Buffalo Bills fan due to her upbringing in Buffalo, NY. She spends her time with family, especially her two sons.