Our Staff

Sandee Blankenship, Principal

Sandee Blankenship is Principal of the Youth Leadership Academy and has served on the school leadership team since the school opened in 2012. As a TAP Master Teacher, Mrs. Blankenship led weekly professional development sessions, evaluated teachers and developed the school academic plan for each year. Mrs. Blankenship was also integral in writing the Zest Quest health and wellness curriculum which was approved by the USDA as a SNAP Ed curriculum.

Mrs. Blankenship holds a Masters Degree from Clemson University in Youth Development Leadership. Mrs. Blankenship is a CrossFit Level I Instructor, holds a CrossFit kids certificate and is the founder of CrossFit YLA. She has 11 years of experience in education.

Mrs. Blankenship is married to her husband Tommy and has three daughters: Charlee, Sami and Joey. Together they serve as part-time youth ministers at their church. They enjoy family activities including CrossFit, soccer, and tennis.


Leigh Fine
7th & 8th Grade Social Studies
Susan Finley
Instructional Coach & Homebound Coordinator
Cindy Gravely
6th Math, Science, Gifted & Talented
Ben Hyder
Community Leadership Director and Related Arts
Melissa Kennedy
7th & 8th Grade Science
Dottie LaMance
7th & 8th Grade ELA, Gifted & Talented, Honors English I
Jennifer Whitworth
7th & 8th Grade Math, Algebra I
Angela Riddle
Special Education Coordinator, 504 Coordinator
Nathan Swords
Physical Education