Dean of Middle School – Debbi Whitaker

Mrs. Whitaker has eleven years teaching experience, this being her fourth year at University Academy. Throughout her teaching career she has taught on the preschool, elementary, and middle school levels. She is certified in Elementary Education, Preschool Education, Middle Grades English, Music, and has earned her ESOL endorsement. Mrs. Whitaker has been selected as Teacher of the Year on two different occasions, one of those being here at University Academy, where she was also a top five finalist as Bay County’s Teacher of the Year.

Debbi is blessed to be the mom of two teenagers – Ben and Abby Earnest. Ben is attending Gulf Coast State College, majoring in Music. Abby is a junior in North Bay Haven Charter Academy’s SAIL program. Mrs. Whitaker and her husband, Keith, enjoy spending time with family, participating in the various ministries of their church, and being near, on, or in the water.

Dean of Elementary School/Student Services – Karen Bruckschen


Mrs. Bruckschen continues her twenty-year career in the education field as the Dean of Elementary Students and Student Services. She taught for eighteen years prior to her administrative position. She holds a B.S.Ed in Elementary Education, M.Ed in Instructional Technology, and ESOL endorsement certificate.

Karen loves living here in Panama City, where the weather is warm and people even warmer. She enjoys spending time doing anything on the water with her husband Chad, watching Steelers football, and taking care of her dogs Chili and Crosby.