Our Staff

Our Staff

We have a rockstar team of teachers and administrators.

Sandee Blankenship, Principal

Sandee Blankenship is Principal of the Youth Leadership Academy and 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 Masters 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.


Leigh Fine
7th & 8th Grade Social Studies
Susan Finley
Instructional Coach & Homebound Coordinator
Lisa Freeman
6th grade ELA and Social Studies
Ben Hyder
Community Leadership Director and Related Arts
Steve Jackson
6th grade Math and Science
Melissa Kennedy
7th & 8th Grade Science
Dottie LaMance
7th and 8th ELA and English I
Laura Pace
Office Manager
Heidi Ravenscraft
Special Education Coordinator
Nathan Swords
Physical Education
Jennifer Whitworth
Math Coach
Josh Christopher
7th and 8th grade Math, Algebra I