Vimbo Zvandasara-Zhou, Principal
I am originally from the wonderful country of Zimbabwe, on the other side of the world. My family moved to the Midwest of the United States when I was two months old. I am a proud graduate of Andrews University in Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and an emphasis in Language Arts. In addition, I am currently getting my Masters in K-12 Administration and Educational Leadership.
I have spent many years involved in ministry work from small group training and music ministry to short-term mission work primarily in Zimbabwe. My heart is committed to providing a quality education for each and every one of our students. I truly believe that each student is a leader in their own way, and I am honored to lead our school as our principal. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my fiancé and loved ones, reading a great book, and time by the beach.
Mrs. Wendy Smiley, Pre-K Teacher and VPK Director
I was born and raised on the beautiful island of Jamaica. My wonderful husband and I have two amazing boys who attend LifePoint Academy (LPA). I have had the privilege of being a part of the LPA family since 2011. I have always had a passion for developing young minds and I get to do that every day as VPK Director and Pre-K Teacher. I realize how important the early years are to the growth and development of each child. I am committed to providing a positive, nurturing, and loving environment where children can explore, create and learn with Christ at the center. In my spare time, I love to spend time with family, sew and decorate. I look forward to helping your children make new discoveries this year.
Mrs. Calina Tejada, Kindergarten-1st Grade Teacher
Since God called me to the ministry of teaching, I’ve worked for public schools, Adventist schools, colleges and for corporations in Japan. I have a true
passion for molding young minds for Christ. It still amazes me that I have the privilege to be able to teach my students how to read, pray and worship God. I am originally from Washington State, and I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences/Special Education from the University of WA in Seattle. Being a native of the Pacific Northwest, I enjoy being out in nature where I feel God’s presence the most. In my leisure time, I absolutely love spending a day at the beach and I enjoy biking, hiking, playing tennis, baking, and spending quality time at home with my husband and two teenage children. I made Jacksonville my home in 2018 and I am excited to be a part of LifePoint Academy’s team!
Ms. Alexis Vince, 2nd-3rd Grade Teacher
I grew up in Saint Cloud, Florida, and I graduated from Southern Adventist University with my B.A. in Elementary Education. During the summers in college, I worked at Camp Kulaqua for four summers and then Nosoca Pines Ranch for one summer. In 2015-2016, I served as a student missionary on the island of Palau. While I was there, I taught second grade. I also taught Sabbath school and was a Pathfinders leader. My passion and love for teaching was confirmed that year. After that, I worked as an aftercare teacher at an elementary school. My goal is to give each child the tools they need to succeed and to develop a love for learning.
Amy Meadows, 4th-5th Grade Homeroom/Bible Teacher and 4th-8th Grade Mathematics and Science Teacher
I have always had a passion for learning, and this passion was a driving factor in my pursuit of a career in elementary education. I graduated from Southern Adventist University in 2019 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts Education with an emphasis in mathematics. I absolutely love teaching, and I strive to make my classroom a place where my students and I can grow together through the knowledge of the subject matter, the joy of discovery, and a deep and abiding relationship with Christ.
Marcus Keenan, 6th-8th Grade Homeroom/Bible Teacher, 4th-8th Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher
I was born and raised in Canada, where I attended a local Adventist academy for the majority of my grade school education. I then headed south to Southern Adventist University and studied Business Management. After a few years, I traded my cubicle for a classroom and have been enjoying the profession ever since. I have taught in Taiwan, public schools in Florida, and through Florida Virtual School. I believe that everyone truly does enjoy learning and I work hard to spark that joy.
Mrs. Tricia Hercules, Music Teacher and Aftercare Director
I’m originally from Trinidad and Tobago south of all the Caribbean Islands. I returned to the United States in 1993 and in 2004 my husband and I moved to Jacksonville after our first child was born. I’m a mom of three wonderful children and I have been blessed to have all of our children enrolled in Adventist education. I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of LifePoint Academy for the past 8 years working in different roles from VPK-3 Instructor, VPK substitute teacher, Aftercare Director and Music Teacher. With each role, I have witnessed God’s purpose in my life and how He uses me to prepare souls for His kingdom. One of those ways is through music. It is an honor to share music on a spiritual level at LifePoint Academy with students, not just as a subject but as a ministry to touch lives wherever life takes them.
Mrs. Zaidilie Guitterez, Teacher Assistant/Spanish
I am a native of the United States territory island of Puerto Rico where I received my Bachelor’s in Computer Programing. My husband and I had the privilege of homeschooling our children from kindergarten through the 12th grade. I have been part of the LPA family since 2013, working as a
substitute teacher, as a teacher’s aide, and teaching Spanish to VPK through 8th grades. I look forward to interacting and instructing all the students of LPA every day.
Briana Crespo, VPK Aide
I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and I was homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th grade. I received my Associate of Arts degree at FSCJ, and I have been involved with LPA since 2016 as a volunteer art teacher and as an aide since the Spring of 2021. Children’s ministry has been my life since I was in high school, as a Pathfinder teaching different levels and honors to past graduation as staff, and teaching beginners sabbath school for two years. The relish children take in learning new things and being creative is what draws me to this occupation.
Chloe Khan, Administrative Assistant
I grew up in Jacksonville, and spent the last 12 years in Collegedale, TN where I attended A.W. Spalding, Collegedale Academy, and graduated from Southern Adventist University with my Associates Degree in General Studies. I’ve been singing since a very young age, and I played the string bass in orchestra throughout my schooling. I love to cook and watch the show Chopped on the Food Network, paint with oils or do some sketching, travel, and explore new places. I am excited to be a part of the LPA team!
Ruben Ramos, Pastor
Ruben grew up in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan and Maryland before attending River Plate University (Argentina) to study Theology. There he met his lovely wife, Silvana. He later went on to receive a MDiv (Masters in Divinity) from Andrews University. Ruben and Silvana have two wonderful boys, Lio and Mateo. Ruben loves spending time with his family, cooking, playing sports, running obstacle races, reading, and traveling. A passion for God and service
has led Ruben in his journey. He feels strongly about patterning with God to lead the church to become a place of refuge, acceptance, and restoration.
William “Mr. Bill” Lackey, Grounds and Maintenance Manager
I was born in Jacksonville Florida, and grew up in Molino, Florida. I served six years in the US Air Force and retired as a federal employee with over 42 years working and inspecting military aircraft and helicopters. Then, I started volunteering at church and this school over 25 years ago. I love having the kids call me Mr. Bill. My hobbies include RVing and Pickle Ball.