Staff Directory

Kay F. Johnson

Chief Executive Officer, Founder, Co-Owner, Superintendent, Elementary Principal, 1st Grade Homeroom Teacher, Band/Ukuleles/Guitars Instructor; Elementary and Secondary Art Teacher

kay.johnson@lawtonacademy.com

Mrs. 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.

Accomplishments:

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

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

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

  • She 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.

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

  • She was a member of the State Test Selection Committee.

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

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

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

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

  • She 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

President of Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences and A.B.R.A.I.N., Inc.; Co-owner; Business Manager; Teacher of Secondary Histories, Social Sciences, and HS Sciences, Robotics Mentor

jkjohnson4411@gmail.com

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 was a diplomat in clinical social work and was in private practice for over 30 years. He has since fully retired to focus on LAAS.

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.

Accomplishments:

  • Oklahoma Excellence in Education Leadership Award from AdvancED.

Michelle Smith

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

michelle.smith@lawtonacademy.com

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 Experience Officer; Co-Owner; 4th/5th Grade Teacher; Athletic Director; PE Teacher; Cross-Country, Wrestling Club, Volleyball Coach and Tennis Co-Coach

jt.smith@lawtonacademy.com

Mr. Smith officially joined our faculty in July 2016, even though he has been a part-owner of Lawton Academy for nine years. Mr. Smith is the homeroom teacher for 4th and 5th graders and will teach social studies and physical education throughout the elementary, intermediate, and secondary.

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 sports 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.

Bria Saintcross

Chief Marketing Officer; Business Communications Teacher; Economics Teacher; Speech Co-Coach; Student Council Sponsor

bria.saintcross@lawtonacademy.com

Mrs. Saintcross is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and a Lawton Academy alumnus. She has lived in Chicago for the past six years before moving home to join Lawton Academy as the Chief Marketing Officer. During her time in Chicago, Mrs. Saintcross received a BA as well as her Master’s in Public Relations and Advertising at DePaul University. While in school, Mrs. Saintcross was the executive director of a Chicago area startup company. This company gamified the experience of giving back to nonprofit organizations by partnering with local businesses to provide people rewards for  volunteering and donating to Chicago area nonprofits. During her time in this position, she managed the marketing team, created content, pitched to investors and venture capitalists, and oversaw the day-to-day actions of maintaining a business. She was also part of the marketing team at The Chicago Community Trust, a community foundation, where she planned events, created marketing collateral and managed social media channels. Most recently, Bria was a founding team member of mHUB, a business incubator for startup companies that make physical products. She was a member of the marketing team and built the events program from the ground up. In this role, Mrs. Saintcross worked with former Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel, as well as former Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner and Illinois’ current Governor J.B. Pritzker on events and initiatives that benefited the innovation community. She is passionate about STEM education and excited to start working with the students on speech and debate, business communications, and college acceptance.

 

Accomplishments:

  • Bria is the recipient of the 2017 Arthur W. Page Society Case Study Competition Grand Prize
  • She is published in the book, A Practical Guide to Ethics in Public Relations.  

 

Tony Saintcross

Chief Financial Officer; 1st Grade Team Teacher; Chess Co-Coach;

tony.saintcross@lawtonacademy.com

Mr. Saintcross was born and raised in Chicago, IL. He attended Elmhurst College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Over the past few years, he has worked as a manager for a popular Chicago-area restaurant, where he gained experience in business management. Additionally, he has served in a branch of Americorps called Legacy Corps working with Veterans and their family members.  

This year Mr. Saintcross will be team teaching the 1st grade with Mrs. Johnson. This will allow Mrs. Johnson to take on a role as a Master Teacher, working with other grade levels. He will continue his responsibilities with our financial management and human resources.

He moved to Lawton in 2019 with his wife, Bria, to continue the legacy that her family started with Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Saintcross is an avid reader and looks forward to connecting with the students over board games, video games, and music.

 

Stacy Slough

PreK/JrK Teacher

stacy.slough@lawtonacademy.com

Mrs. Slough holds a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and attends Western Oklahoma State College where she is finishing her degree in Early Childhood Education.  Mrs. Slough helps coach volleyball, teaches engineering, and aids in classrooms at all elementary levels. She is married to Kevin Slough, Children’s Minister at First Baptist East, and is very involved with the children in this ministry.  She and Kevin have two boys, Caleb and Caden, who both attend Lawton Academy.

Tierra Brockington-Martin

Kindergarten Teacher

tierra.martin@lawtonacademy.com

Mrs. Martin is originally from Baltimore,  Maryland.  She is married to an active duty service member and is the proud mother of three.

She has a Masters of Education with a Literacy concentration and has taught for ten years with certifications in early childhood, elementary, and secondary education.

Mrs. Martin has traveled across the United States of America and abroad and has a wealth of experiences. She has a passion to serve humankind as represented by her care and concern for the health and well-being of children and families. To this end, she has worked as a flight attendant, a nurse, a post-natal counselor, and as the owner of T’s Treasures Childcare Services.

Robin Hamilton

2nd Grade Teacher

robin.hamilton@lawtonacademy.com

Mrs. Hamilton is a native Oklahoman. She has worked with children in many capacities, from substituting in Ada and Lawton Public Schools to being the nursery and children’s directors in Oklahoma and Texas to teaching at St. Mary’s Catholic School here in Lawton. Robin is a special education volunteer for learning disabled, physically handicapped, mentally handicapped, emotionally disabled, and medically fragile people.

Robin has three children, two in college and one still in high school. She stays busy with volunteering at church, watching her son show his FFA projects, going to speech and debate competitions, and teaching missions at her church.

Laura Price

3rd Grade Teacher; 4-H Leader; Master Speller Coordinator, Recorders Instructor, STEM Teacher

laura.price@lawtonacademy.com

Mrs. Price was first involved with Lawton Academy in 2012 as a parent of then kindergartner, Gavin.  Through involvement with classroom activities, she became a substitute teacher for our school.  Her daughter Vivian began attending in 2014, and Laura’s involvement increased.  By 2018, she had such knowledge of our particular style of teaching that we asked Laura to permanently join our staff as an elementary teacher.  She began with a combined 3rd/4th grade and then settled into 4th grade only in 2018.

Mrs. Price has degrees in Computer Sciences and Computer-Aided Drafting.  Her husband Jim is a Business Develop for Safari Land out of California, and Vivian and Gavin are still attending and excelling at LAAS.

Shannon Smith

4th/5th Grade Teacher

shannon.smith@lawtonacademy.com

Ms. Smith is joining our team of intermediate level teachers working with the upper elementary. She was born and raised in southwest Oklahoma. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Cameron University, she served as the education coordinator for an international trade association in Dallas, Texas, where she was able to travel and meet people from around the world. In 1994, she returned to school to get her law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Upon graduation from law school, she passed the Oklahoma and California bar exams and worked for firms in Oklahoma City and Los Angeles where she practiced in the areas of insurance defense, class action litigation, medical malpractice defense, and employment law. While living in southern California during the internet boom, she began working with LeadersOnline, a subsidiary of Heidrick & Struggles, an international, retained executive search firm, going on to work in their offices in Aliso Viejo, California, and Dallas, Texas. Upon marrying and starting a family, Shannon decided to stay home with her children. As her children grew older, she began substitute teaching and found she loved it. She went on to become certified in several areas, most recently teaching AP Computer Science, Computer 1, and Speech and Debate at Navajo High School near Altus, Oklahoma. She is excited about joining the team at Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences, meeting all of her new students and fellow staff members, and working with the school’s specialized curriculum.

Her twin daughters Zoe and Kaia will be sophomores attending Lawton Academy this fall and are looking forward to starting the school year here as well. The three of them enjoy cooking, crafting, and painting together. Shannon especially enjoys photography and has won several awards for her work.

Jennifer Atkinson

4th/5th Grade Teacher

jennifer.atkinson@lawtonacademy.com

Ms. Atkinson is excited to join the 4th and 5th grade team this year.  Mrs. Atkinson brings a wealth of educational experience from the elementary and higher education arenas.  She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Masters in Business Administration from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. Currently, Mrs. Atkinson resides on Fort Sill with her husband, Jason, and their four children-Riley, Abigail, Andrew, and Luke.

Joanna Slough

Teacher’s Aide in Pre-K/JrK Class

Ms. Slough has been a teacher’s aide for over twenty-five years. She has worked with children of all ages. Ms. Slough recently moved back to Lawton to be closer to her grandchildren. This is her second year working with her daughter-in-law, Stacy Slough. She is excited to work with our Pre-K/JrK class this year!

Cora Benner

Teacher’s Aide in Kindergarten Class

Cora Benner is from Rochester, NY. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Science from James Madison University with a major in Anthropology. There she met her husband who is active duty Army. They have lived in Alaska, Arizona, Washington, Maryland, and New York. The Benners are currently stationed at Fort Sill. Throughout her 15 years as a military wife, she has volunteered in many positions throughout the Soldier and Family Readiness Groups. She most recently was the U10 Soccer Coach for LAAS in the Fall, and the U6 Coach for the Spring. She also volunteers on the post as her daughter’s Cub Scout Den Leader in Pack 183. She has 2 children who attend LAAS. On her off time, she likes to cook, craft, and garden.

Aimee Mack

Middle School Science Teacher, MathCounts Co-Coach

aimee.mack@lawtonacademy.com

Aimee Mack was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham on a full academic scholarship. She studied music with a focus on flute performance, later adding accounting to her studies. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in accounting and a minor in music.

Upon graduating and passing the Certified Public Accountant exam, she worked as a Senior Accountant at Warren, Averett, Kimbrough, and Marino, specializing in business and individual taxation. She left the profession to travel the world with her husband when he became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

An unexpected turn of events led Mrs. Mack to find her passion for education when she was offered a position teaching middle school mathematics at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Hoover, Alabama. She primarily taught Algebra I as well as lending assistance in the technology department.

Mrs. Mack is an avid archer. She assisted in running a public archery range while living in El Paso, Texas. Her duties included instructing visitors in basic archery skills and safety. Other teaching experience includes mathematics tutoring and teaching occasional classes in knitting and spinning.

Last year she returned to the classroom in our 3rd grade. She is excited to make a change, this time in a middle school school setting. She is joined at LAAS by her two daughters, Lydia and Diana. Her husband is stationed at Ft. Sill.

Dr. Eric Mortensen

Secondary Math Teacher; Physics Teacher

eric.mortensen@lawtonacademy.com

Dr. 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

Spanish Teacher Grades 7th -12th

alfred.clark@lawtonacademy.com

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

High School English/Lit Teacher;  Debate Coach; Drama & Creative Writing Teacher

mike.swain@lawtonacademy.com

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.

Gary Leroux

6th and 7th Grade History and Science Teacher; Robotics Advisor/Logistics Support Representative

gary.leroux@lawtonacademy.com

Mr. Leroux graduated from the University of Vermont in 1994 with a degree in European History and a Commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army.  Mr. Leroux received his M.S. degree in Adult and Continuing Education from Kansas State in 2007.   Mr. Leroux retired from the Army after 21 years on Active Duty in the Field Artillery in 2015.  Prior to joining Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences Mr. Leroux taught US and Ancient History at Lawton High School.  Mr. Leroux has long been active in the Boy Scouts of America and currently serves on the Troop Committee for Troop 4176 and has previously served as the Cubmaster for Lawton Area Pack 4001.

Mr. Leroux married the love of his life and Lawton area native Sheri Leroux (nee Walker) in 1999 and together they are the proud parents of their only son Ian. Mr. Leroux loves the outdoors and is a frequent camper and hiker.  Mr. Leroux also enjoys swimming and running for recreation and fitness.  Mr. Leroux is and avid reader with a particular fondness for Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Debbie Wood

Vocal Music/Choir Director

debbie.wood@lawtonacademy.com

Mrs. Wood, originally from Texas, began her teaching career in Lawton in 1983, as the music teacher at Country Club Heights Elementary. Early in her 16th year, she moved to Eisenhower Junior High School where she taught choir for 10 years. During this tenure, she was involved in the transition from junior high to middle school. Wood then moved to Eisenhower High School where she was the choral director for 10 years. Mrs. Wood retired from LPS in 2019 after 36 years. 

Wood received her Bachelors of Music Education from Oklahoma Christian College, OKC,  in 1981, a Masters of Music from Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX, in 1985, a Masters of Music Education (emphasis Kodály) from the University of OK, Norman, in 1994, and a Masters of Education (Instructional Technology) in 2001.

In 2008, Wood received National Board Certification status and was Nationally Board Certified in music for 10 years. Wood was named a LPS Champion for Children in 2001, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from her Alma Mater, Oklahoma Christian University Dept of Music in 2010, was awarded the 2012 Educator in the Arts Award by the Lawton Arts and Humanities Council, and was recognized with the Eisenhower High School Golden Eagle Award in 2015 and 2019.

Throughout her career, Mrs. Wood has had a significant number of students consistently selected for both All Region and All State Honor Choirs. Her choirs and students regularly received SUPERIOR ratings in contests; including performance, sight reading, and Solo & Ensemble.

When not busy with choir and music activities, Mrs. Wood enjoys reading and sewing, and spending time with her husband. She is involved with her church’s audio ministry and each year directs an award winning youth church choir for Leader Training for Christ at Western Hills Church of Christ. She is the proud mother of two wonderful young men and has a beautiful daughter-in-law and a fabulous grandson.

 

Guy Holland

AP Physics and Calculus Teacher, Chess Coach

guy.holland@lawtonacademy.com

Mr. Holland earned his Bachelors of Science in Anthropology (with honors) from the College of Charleston in 2002, and his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina in 2005. After working for the Supreme Court of South Carolina, he joined the ERISA litigation group at O’Melveny & Meyers in Washington D.C. Mr. Holland is an active member of the District of Columbia Bar. Upon the birth of his second child, he became a stay-at-home father and home educator.

Mr. Holland has lived in South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii, and Oklahoma. He enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures. He adores Norway. Mr. Holland’s academic interests include mathematic theory, space law, admiralty law, and human adaptation. He enjoys video games, kayaking, hiking, and stargazing.

Felistus Onyango

Cook

Felistus Onyango joins the team at Lawton Academy after several years of having grandchildren in the school. She prefers to be called Ms. Felly. She is a retired kindergarten teacher with over 20 years of experience. Ms. Felly loves working with children and spends her free time with her three grandchildren. She looks forward to working with everyone at Lawton Academy.