Staff Directory

Kay F. Johnson

Chief Executive Officer, Founder, Co-Owner, Superintendent, Elementary Teacher:  Primary Reading, Advanced Math and Science, Band/Guitars; Elementary and Secondary Art Teacher

Kay Johnson was the superintendent, principal, and a teacher (all at the same time!) at Flower Mound Elementary for 30 years.  She holds degrees in Art, Music, and Elementary Administration with a concentration in Curriculum, and has many hours of post graduate work in curriculum from the University of Oklahoma.  She is certified in K-8 education with special endorsements in music, art, language arts, and social sciences.  Mrs. Johnson also holds an Oklahoma Elementary Principal’s certificate and an Oklahoma Elementary Superintendent’s Certificate.

A few of the things she has done:

  • was selected for the first Gifted & Talented program in the St. Louis, MO, school system in 1955.

  • served as president of the Oklahoma Association of Gifted, Creative, and Talented.

  • worked with Senator Penny Williams for passage of the Oklahoma Law on Gifted/Talented.

  • presented workshops entitled A.B.R.A.I.N. (Applied Brain Research Alters Instructional Needs) in over 300 schools in Oklahoma and for the Nebraska Education Association.

  • was appointed by the governor to the Legislative Commission on Education.

  • was a member of the State Test Selection Committee.

  • was a Math Advisor for Teacher Certification Tests of Oklahoma.

  • served as Coordinator and a presenter for the Reading Improvement State Demonstration Site.

  • was Science Advisor for the 8th grade state criterion-referenced tests and P.A.S.S. skills.

  • is listed in Who’s Who in American Education.

  • received the Governor’s Commendation, the Representatives’ Commendation, and the State Superintendents’ Commendation in May of 1998.

(The list continues – these are just some of the highlights!)

 Mrs. Johnson has co-written (along with her daughter) the math program AMI that we currently use with 3rd- 5th graders. She has led many LAAS teams to victory in various competitions, with her most distinguished being the eCybermission team who won the Southwest Regional Award for Innovation and Creativity, netting the students over $8000 in savings bonds.

All who meet her know that her heart is invested heavily in the education of gifted students.

Jim Johnson

Chief Financial Officer; Co-owner; Teacher of Secondary Histories, Social Sciences, and HS Sciences, Archery & Robotics Mentor

Mr. Johnson is a native of Lawton, president of A.B.R.A.I.N., Inc., (the parent company of Lawton Academy), and is married to the founder of the school. He has undergraduate degrees in biology, chemistry, and history. He completed coursework for a master’s degree in history at Midwestern State University and received the Master of Social Work degree from the University of Oklahoma. He is a diplomat in clinical social work and has been in private practice for over 30 years.
At the school, he teaches biology, chemistry, and geography each year and United States and World history in alternate years. He also teaches government, psychology, Oklahoma History, and economics as the schedule permits. Beginning in 2011, Mr. Johnson took on the extra-curricular roles of robotics coach and archery coach. He also plays the cello and has been active in the Oklahoma Baptist Symphony and the Lawton Civic Orchestra.

Michelle Smith

Chief Operations Officer; Co-Owner;  Teacher of Secondary Literature and English, JK-12th Speech and Musical Theater, and Secondary Physical Education; Robotics Coach,  Honor Society Sponsor, Secondary Activities Director; Chess Coach; MathCounts Coach

Mrs. Smith has a degree in Elementary Education with a special endorsement in music, and she currently holds an Oklahoma Teaching Certificate.  She has taught school in California, Texas, and Oklahoma, in private and public schools over the last twenty- three years. She even home schooled for three years.  Mrs. Smith is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson.  She co-authored the math program mentioned above on her mother’s bio.  She is listed in Who’s Who in American Education and has helped lead our LAAS robotics team to seven state victories. She is married to COL(R) JT Smith and has a son, Justin, first valedictorian at Lawton Academy, and a daughter, Bria, also valedictorian of her class.

JT Smith

Chief Marketing Officer; Co-Owner; 4/5 Homeroom Teacher; Athletic Director; PE Teacher; Running Club and Wrestling Club Coach; Groundskeeper

JT Smith officially joined our faculty in July 2016, even though he has been a part owner of Lawton Academy for four years. Mr. Smith is the homeroom teacher for 4th and 5th graders, and will teach social studies and physical education throughout the elementary. As CMO, Mr. Smith will remain responsible for marketing the Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Smith retired as a colonel from the U.S. Army in 2014 after 30 years of military service and is committed to being a positive role model for young children here at LAAS. Encouraging a love of learning and a lifetime of critical thinking is JT’s primary goal.

Mr. Smith earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a M.A. degree from the School of Advanced Military Studies at Command and General Staff College, a M.S. degree from Central Michigan University School in Business Management, and a M.A. degree from the U.S. Army War College. He is a teacher at church and has taught many military courses.  His first teaching experiences were with children, though, through the YMCA and elementary sport programs.

Mr. Smith is married to Michelle Smith, and both are very proud of the impact that LAAS has had on their children Justin and Bria. The two are committed to helping others’ children achieve the success their two children have enjoyed.

Amanda Puccino

PK3/JK Teacher; Boomwhackers Director

Mrs. Puccino graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a minor in Psychology.  She also attended Cameron University where she earned 31 graduate hours in Early Childhood Education.  She holds an Oklahoma Teaching Certificate in Speech Therapy and alternative certification in the areas of Early Childhood and Special Education.

Before coming to LAAS, Mrs. Puccino worked in public schools for seven years.  There she provided language instruction and speech therapy services to students ages 3 to 12.

Mrs. Puccino is married to Robert Puccino, and they have three daughters:  Kylee and Makenna, who attend Lawton Academy, and Liliana.


Monica Austin

JK/K Teacher, Xylophones Director, Secondary Accompanist, Piano Teacher

Mrs. Austin graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Social Work and a Bachelor in Communications. While in college, she taught piano lessons for as many as 20 students per week, ages 4 to adult.

Mrs. Austin spent seven years with the Department of Human Services in Child Protective Services. As an avocation, she accompanied multiple musicals at the Southwest Playhouse in Clinton.

Mrs. Austin is married to Billy Austin, manager of Aaron’s Sales and Lease, and has three children:  Jace and Maci who attend Lawton Academy, and Violet.

Amy Jump

2nd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Jump is originally from Springfield, MO. She graduated from Drury University in Springfield with a Bachelor in Communication and Bachelor in Psychology.

The Jumps are an active duty military family. They have lived in Kentucky, Texas, Virginia, and Japan. While they were in Kentucky she worked for a small local bank. She worked for USAA in consumer lending while in Texas. While living in Virginia Beach, she started her own business, Little Jumps Boutique, making personalized embroidered gifts. In Japan she taught English as a second language. In 2015 she inherited a farm in Kansas. She is the co-owner of the corn and soy bean farm with her sister. Mrs. Jump plans to start working on her masters degree in the fall of 2017.

Laurie Calton

Elementary Language Arts Teacher; 2/3 Reading Teacher; 1st Grade Math Teacher; Recorders Teacher

Mrs. Calton attended the University of Maine and Cameron University, and she is currently pursuing her alternative teacher certification.  She became a certified Drug and Alcohol counselor in the state of Oklahoma and was one of the first to receive national certification in the state of Oklahoma. She worked with Comanche County Memorial Hospital’s adolescent inpatient drug/alcohol unit for the duration of that program. She has worked with the county’s juvenile services, and then was director of an adolescent halfway house before coming to LAAS.

We tease Mrs. Calton that all of her previous experience gave her the “patience of Job” she possesses that makes her such a great 3rd/4th grade teacher, as they can become quite fun while expressing their independence! Mrs. Calton is married to Perry Calton, and they have one daughter, Allison, who graduated from Lawton Academy’s high school.

Heather Ellwanger

6th Grade English & History Teacher, Middle School Science Teacher; Co-Speech Teacher,  Oklahoma Engineering Fair Competition Coach, LAAS Cleaning Team

Mrs. Ellwanger graduated from Cameron University with a degree in English Literature and is currently pursuing her Master of Education in Reading. Mrs. Ellwanger spent many years volunteering both at the Lawton Public Library during the Summer Reading Program and in her elementary alma mater where she assisted with story and library time. She was also an assistant in her high school library in lieu of an elective.

Mrs. Ellwanger has lived in Lawton since early childhood, and she was lucky enough to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris. She loves to cook and bake. (Her friends say her cooking rivals Betty Crocker!) She also enjoys arts and craft and sewing projects, such as quilting and crocheting. Her favorite activity, though, is spending time with Chris, their son, Wyatt, and their dog, Bagel.


Dr. Eric Mortensen

Secondary Math Teacher; Physics Teacher

Dr Eric Mortensen joined our faculty in November, 2013, as a mathematics instructor for the secondary school. His wife Charlotte owns the pottery and canvas painting studio, A Pigment of Your Imagination. His son Peter was a member of the first graduating class of Lawton Academy in 2007. His daughter Kirsten graduated from Lawton Academy a year later.

Dr Mortensen earned a Bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) in Zoology from Duke University in 1974, and  his M.D. degree from Emory University School of Medicine in 1978. He completed his internship at Naval Regional Medical Center, Portsmouth VA in 1979,  completed his training, and was designated a U.S. Naval Flight Surgeon at Pensacola, FL in 1980. He served as a Flight Surgeon with the Marines in Iwakuni, Japan,  and for Carrier Airwing NINE.

Upon returning stateside, Dr Mortensen became an anesthesiologist. He became a Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology in October, 1987, deployed with the Marines 1st Medical Battalion for Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and served a number of years as the Department Head of Anesthesiology, as the hospital’s Disaster Preparedness Officer, and as Assistant Director of Surgical Services. He deployed in 1997 with Fleet Hospital FIVE for 6 months to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he also served as the Anesthesia Department Head.

Dr Mortensen retired from the Navy Medical Corps as a Commander in June 1999, taking  a position as a staff anesthesiologist at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. In May, 2000 he took an appointment as an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center. In January 2002 he returned to Comanche County Memorial Hospital, where he stayed until  retirement from the practice of anesthesiology in July, 2011.

An Eagle Scout, Dr Mortensen is an active outdoorsman, counting among his achievements the 5 months he spent on the Appalachian Trail and his climb of Mt. Fuji during his tour in Japan. He is currently the Committee Chair of Troop 4144 at the First Methodist Church in Lawton, most recently serving as a Woodbadge instructor.


Alfred Clark

Immersion Spanish Teacher Grades K – 12th

Mr. Clark was born and raised in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He came to live in Lawton, Ok.,  in 1983. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Cameron University (including an endorsement in Math), and also was later certified as a Spanish teacher from Kindergarten to 12. He has been an educator for 24 years. He was a Spanish teacher at Eisenhower Junior High School-Middle School for 21 years.

LMG (Mike) Swain

Freshmen Eng/Lit; American Lit; AP English Lit. & Comp; Debate; Drama; Creative Writing

LMG (Mike) Swain is the award-winning author of 15 YA novels from Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and Grossett & Dunlap.  Mike spent 34 years teaching Language Arts, speech and drama, and writing in public education. Fifteen of those years were in Altus, OK, where he won Teacher of the Year in 2010.  He has taught in McCloud, Norman, Marlow, and Earlsboro, and his final three years in public education were spent at Lawton High School. Mike retired to free up time for writing but has kept his proverbial “foot in the door” of education by teaching part time at Lawton Academy.  His classes include freshman English/Lit, American Lit, AP English Lit. and Comp., Debate, Drama, and Creative Writing.  Mike married Lisa Bloom in 2018, and the two co-write together. Mike has four children and twelve grandchildren.

Jennifer Green

PK3/JK Aide

Mrs. Green is a German native from Kaiserslautern, Germany.  She has a wide variety of experiences ranging from early childhood care to hospitality management. She is bilingual and brings with her an added approach to managing issues from an international perspective.  Mrs. Green has a US equivalent certification in Microsoft Operations and Office.  She is pursuing education in sociology and interior design.

Mrs. Green is married to Jonah Green and they have two children, Jeremiah and Joshua.  Jeremiah attends Lawton Academy.

Chris Ellwanger

LAAS Cleaning Team Leader

Mr. Ellwanger was born and raised in Lawton, Oklahoma. After graduating from Lawton High School in 2002, he worked as part of a construction team until branching off to begin remodeling homes independently. He acquired his Real Estate license in 2006 and was a member of the Lawton Board of Realtors and worked at Colonial Realty. During this time he ‘flipped’ over 25 homes. He also sold many of these and others while he held his license. After taking classes sporadically at Cameron while working in real estate, Mr. Ellwanger began working in earnest on his Bachelor Degree in History in 2013 and is currently enrolled in his Junior year.
Mr. Ellwanger loves to cook and is also an avid marksman. He also enjoys playing disc golf when the weather permits. He spends his free time with his dog Bagel and also enjoys playing board and video games with his close-knit group of friends.

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