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

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.


  • 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

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.


  • 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

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; 5th Grade Homeroom Teacher; Athletic Director; PE Teacher; Cross-Country, Wrestling Club, Volleyball Coach and Tennis Co-Coach

Mr. 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.

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.

Bria Saintcross

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

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.



  • 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; Chess Co-Coach; Cook

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. As Chief Financial Officer, he will be assuming the financial elements of Mr. Johnson’s job to give him additional time to teach.

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; Engineering Club Director; Volleyball Coach

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.

Monica Austin

K Teacher, Xylophones Director, Boomwhackers 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 four children:  Jace, Maci, Violet, and Ace.

Amy Jump

2nd Grade Teacher, Handbells Director, Lego Club Leader

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 is currently working towards her Master in Education at Kansas State University.

Aimee Mack

3rd Grade Teacher, Recorders Instructor, MathCounts Co-Coach

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.

She is excited to return to the classroom, this time in an elementary school setting. She is joined at LAAS by her two daughters, Lydia and Diana. Her husband is stationed at Ft. Sill.

Laura Price

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

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 our of California, and Vivian and Gavin are still attending and excelling at LAAS.

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. She has been interested in getting more involved with LAAS for over a year now. With her daughter-in-law, Stacy Slough moving from 3rd grade to Pre-K this year, a position opened up as an aide in that class. She is excited to work with our Pre-K/JrK class this year!

Dr. Eric Mortensen

Secondary Math Teacher; Physics Teacher

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

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

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

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

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.