Highland Academy Staff
Highland Academy Staff
When asked about her school Ms. Phyllis replied, “We feel it is very important to foster a family atmosphere in all that we do. We give children responsibility, respect and unconditional compassion. Not only do we care about our students and their families as extensions of our own, but they too include us in their personal lives. This lends even more legitimacy to the term “family”. In the classroom, we teach on a very individual basis and try to accommodate family needs and wants in the same manner. Our open door policy allows daily communication regarding each student”.
With a background in child care development and elementary education, being certified in Choice Theory/Reality Therapy is one of her greatest personal accomplishments. This is the method used within the classrooms at Highland Academy as a management tool, building relationships, and understanding individual needs.
Ms. Phyllis believes wholeheartedly in her approach to education because her own children have benefited from it. Both of her children have graduated from Highland Academy and her daughter, Ms. Tori, has come back to teach.
Ms. Phyllis finds community service and giving back to be so important she added service to the Highland curriculum. Students are often surprised to find out Ms. Phyllis continues her own service work within the local community as an active member of the Absecon-Galloway Rotary.
Language Arts , Computer Technology Teacher & Business Administrator
Teaching Language Arts has its rewards. Tammy has had the pleasure of teaching her students to appreciate reading as well as growing into budding authors. She values watching a student go from messy printing to beautiful cursive. Teaching is a gift that Tammy cherishes and is thankful that she can educate the future every day.
Tammy additionally has taken on the role of Business Administrator in 2016. She appreciates seeing how both sides of Highland Academy runs. Working as the stage manager in Highland’s annual school plays has also been a fulfilling role for Tammy. During the summer months, Tammy also enjoys her position as the Highland Academy Summer Camp Director at Stockton University. Additionally, Tammy serves on Highland Academy’s PTO Executive Board as the Treasurer. Raising funds for Highland Academy has been a challenging and rewarding position for her.
Some of Tammy’s highlights of her career are:
1. Teaching a class of 4th-8th graders to knit which was featured in the AC Press.
2. Placing 1st in the SIFMA 2008 NJ Southern Middle School Division as well as the NJ Grand Champions in the Stock Market Game, especially proud because Highland Academy had never played before. And again winning 1st place in the SIFMA 2018 NJ Southern Middle School Division Stock Market Game.
Tammy enjoys life with her husband and kids. She has 4 dogs, 3 cats, 1 parrot, 2 fish tanks, as well as all the wildlife that shows up in her backyard.
Art and History Teacher
Miss Lea has been teaching at Highland Academy since 2001. She has taught pre-school, and Kindergarten through first grade until 2018. In addition she specializes in teaching art and social studies kindergarten through eighth grade. She is currently teaching her second through fourth grade homeroom math, and has added spelling to art and social studies. Lea is the creative set designer for all of our school plays and is the current president of the PTO. Miss Lea has a bachelor of science in interior design from Drexel University and attended the teacher’s education program at Stockton University where she studied elementary education.
Lea is certified to teach the Wilson Reading program and has taken training in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.
Lea has two children who have both graduated eighth grade from Highland Academy. Her daughter Meg is a graduate of Holy Spirit High School and the Shore Beauty School esthetician program. Her son PJ attended Stockton University and studied art education. He now resides in Bridgeton with his wife Rachel, they own and operate The Shirt Shop, a custom design apparel company. When not working at Highland Academy’s Summer Camp you will most likely find Lea on the Sea Isle City Beach, her favorite place, or spending time with her granddaughter Mia. Lea resides in Egg Harbor Township with her husband Keith.
Kindergarten & First Grade Teacher
Tori graduated from Atlantic Cape Community College where she earned an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Development. Tori graduated last May from Rutgers University and is working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a concentration in Education.
Pre School Teacher
Rachel studied Musical Theater at Cumberland County College and performs in productions all over the South Jersey/Philadelphia area. In 2014, she was nominated for a Perry Award for her performance in Les’ Miserables. Rachel learns something new from every performance experience she has and always tries to share this knowledge with her students in a way that will help them enrich their own lives.
Both of her children attend Highland Academy. When they were diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, she learned the true value that music and theater can have in a child’s life. Music and theater have been invaluable tools that help her children, and many others, with focus, non-verbal communication, self- expression, social skills and confidence. Rachel is very thankful to be able to share her passion of music with her students and watch her children grow up in a loving, nurturing environment that encourages compassion and acceptance despite one another’s differences.
Pre School Aid
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