2017-2018 Teachers


Jenna Bland


Mrs. Bland was born and raised in Panama City. She has worked with pre-k aged children for 4 years and is excited for her second year at University Academy. She believes the best part of pre-k is watching the children grow academically and socially. She believes that the 4K program at University Academy focuses on these skills in a fun and engaging environment. Outside of school, Jenna loves spending time with her family and three children, Lincoln (8), Haylen (7) and Paisley (4), relaxing at the beach, and all things Disney. She is looking forward to a fantastic school year!


Alexandra Rhodes


Mrs. Rhodes is a graduate of Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Mrs. Rhodes believes that the primary objective of the University Academy 4-K program is to help prepare your children for kindergarten emotionally, socially, and academically through a positive and nurturing environment. Outside of school, Mrs. Rhodes enjoys being with her family, reading, going to Florida State football games, and spending time in the outdoors!



Vanessa Maulden


Ms. Maulden is excited to start her 5th year at UA, but has been teaching a total of 14 years. She has two wonderful boys that come with her everyday. Greyson is going into 5th grade and Gavin is going into 2nd grade! When They are not at school, they love to go to the beach!


Heather Cantwell


This is Heather Cantwell’s eleventh year teaching and her second year at University Academy. She graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She is very excited to be teaching Kindergarten this year! Heather was born and raised in Panama City. Her family is so happy to be apart of University Academy. McKinley is in 3rd grade and her son, Paxton, is joining our UA family this year in 4K! Heather is looking forward to an amazing year! Go Eagles!


Jamie Stephens


Mrs. Stephens was born and raised in Panama City, FL. She graduated from Florida State University Panama City Campus in 2007 with a degree in Elementary Education. This will be her second year teaching at University Academy. She is looking forward to a wonderful year in Kindergarten! Jamie loves to spend time with her husband and two daughters, read, and go to the beach. Her oldest daughter will be in third grade and her youngest will be in first grade. They are proud to be a UA family!


First Grade

Elen Crow


Mrs. Crow was born and raised in Great Britain, but has made Panama City her home for the past 11 years. She graduated from Swansea University in Wales and the University of Southern Mississippi. Mrs. Crow is very excited to return to UA this year, teaching First Grade. She has experience in Kindergarten, First, and Second Grade classrooms.


Alex Hall


Ms. Hall is a recent graduate of Florida State University Panama City with her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an ESOL and Reading Endorsement. she was born and raised in Panama City, FL. In her spare time, she loves traveling, spending time at the beach, and cheering on the Seminoles. Ms. Hall completed her internship at University Academy in first grade during the fall of 2016  and is excited for another year as an Eagle!


Kelly Forehand


Ms. Forehand’s role at University Academy has been extremely diverse. Beginning in 2010, she was part of the team to make University Academy a new educational reality in our community. Prior to the UA, Kelly taught for 6 years at Patronis Elementary as both a Kindergarten and First Grade teacher.  She was a University Supervisor of student teachers for 4 years, as well as, an Adjunct Professor in the College of Education at Florida State University-Panama City Campus for 5 years. She has served in several capacities around the UA campus. One important role was as a Board of Director from the school’s inception until July 2014, when she resigned, deciding it was time to return to her passion of teaching children! In this 2017-2018 school year, Ms. Forehand returns back as a first grade teacher (looping up with some awesome Kindergarteners) and is once again thrilled to be a part of such an amazing team of educators. Kelly lives in Lynn Haven with her two children, Cason and Conolly (proud UA Eagles and Seminole fans) and their not-so-little Schnauzer, Lulu Bug. They all love to travel and play outside, mainly at the beach, in the bay or the pool. 


Nicole Gill





Second Grade

Amanda Addison


This is Amanda Addison’s 4th year at University Academy, but her 16th year teaching in Bay County.  She was born in Panama City and graduated from FSU.  She has two daughters, Annalese (11th grade) and Arabella (6th grade).  In her spare time, she likes to spend time with family and enjoy our beautiful beaches.


Margaret Hitchcock


Mrs. Hitchcock grew up in Panama City and attended Bay High School. In 2002, she graduated from the University of Florida, Go Gators!   In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their two boys, especially in the water. She taught for seven years at Holy Nativity Episcopal School.  Mrs. Hitchcock is thrilled to be joining University Academy this year!


Kelly Preston


This is Mrs. Preston’s fourth year teaching Second Grade at University Academy.  She previously taught Pre-K, and Fourth Grade before coming to UA and she is certified in Elementary Education, Preschool Education, Exceptional Student Education. Mrs. Preston has three children who are all UA Eagles.  Cole, her oldest child,  will be in Eighth Grade this year.  Gideon is going into Fourth Grade and Emmy will be in Second Grade. Mrs. Preston enjoys spending time with her husband and children while camping, or heading south to Walt Disney World!



Margaret Shamblin


This is Mrs. Shamblin’s 12th year in the classroom helping students achieve their potential. It is her desire to create an environment that promotes teamwork, support, and a love of learning each day. She grew up on these beautiful beaches and is thankful to call them home. Family is the center of her world. Mrs. Shamblin is married to a wonderful man and is blessed with 12 year old twins. She is a beach girl! When it’s family time, she and her family can always be found with their toes in the sand.


Third Grade

Whitney Gillman


Mrs. Gillman was born and raised in Panama City, Florida. She graduated from Troy University with a bachelor’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. After graduating, she had a change in heart about her career path and obtained her teaching certification. Mrs. Gillman is beginning her seventh year of teaching. She strongly believes in a hands-on approach to learning, ensuring that students are engaged and exposed to relevant and real-world experiences. Her approach to teaching is one that involves a nurturing environment with high expectations. In her free time, Mrs. Gillman enjoys spending time with family and being outdoors.


Jana Walker


Mrs. Walker is a graduate of Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. This will be her second year teaching at University Academy and her fourth year as a teacher. Prior to becoming a teacher, Mrs. Walker had a career in finance. It wasn’t until her daughter entered Kindergarten and she began volunteering at her daughter’s school that she realized her true passion was for working with children. Mrs. Walker and her husband were married in 2002, and they have two children, Keesley and Jacob. Outside of school, Mrs. Walker enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, painting, and outdoor activities! She is excited to begin another wonderful year at University Academy!


Stephanie Fischer


Mrs. Fischer grew up in South Dakota and graduated from Northern State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She has called Panama City home for the past four years, and this her second year teaching third grade at University Academy. Mrs. Fischer has had the opportunity to live and teach in various places due to her husband’s military career, but she is looking forward to putting down roots and raising her two boys close to the water.


Kristen Winterman


Mrs. Winterman was born and raised in Panama City, graduating from FSU-PC with a master’s in Elementary Education.  Mrs. Winterman has been a teacher at University Academy since the doors opened and is thrilled to be part of the Eagles family!  Mrs. Winterman, her husband Tommy, and her children, Cole (also a UA Eagle), and Rebecca enjoy family fun days at the beach, lake, or pool.



Fourth Grade

Yvonne Rule


Born and raised in upstate New York, Mrs. Rule joined the United States Coast Guard. While in the Coast Guard, she met her husband and they had three children.  After moving to Panama City, FL, Mrs. Rule attended Florida State University where she attained her degree in Elementary Education.  For the last four years, she has been teaching third grade in Weston, FL.  When she is not at work, Mrs. Rule enjoys spending time with her family at the beach, cooking or baking up something new, and being active outside in the beautiful and warm Florida sunshine. Mrs. Rule is looking forward to an exciting year of learning with the University Academy family!


Shelly Webb


Although this will be her first year at University Academy, it will be Mrs. Webb’s seventh year teaching in Bay County. She is certified in Elementary Education, ESE, and currently working towards completing her reading and ESOL endorsements. Prior to teaching she worked in the social work field as a child protective investigator, case manager, and family advocate.  She is excited to be joining the University Academy team this year!


Hope Bizzaco


Mrs. Bizzaco has worked within the school district for the past two years, but she is honored to begin her first year as a fourth grade teacher at University Academy. As a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University, Mrs. Bizzaco holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature, but has always had a passion for teaching. Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, she and her husband relocated to Panama City in 2015. Together, they love spending weekends on the water with their black lab.


Fifth Grade

Amy Cunningham


A West Virginia native, Mrs. Cunningham is a 1991 Graduate of Marshall University. Her husband Rick is a retired Naval Officer and together they have three beautiful children,  Cassidy 22, Kyle 20, and Kaleb 16. Mrs. Cunningham has lived across the country and world throughout her married life, teaching in many different schools from California to Maryland, and even in the country of Bahrain. She credits her many experiences as a military wife and mothering her 3 incredible children for much of the knowledge and experience she brings to the classroom.  Mrs.Cunningham enjoys traveling, especially to visit her two older children who live in Washington, D.C. and Long Island, New York. She also loves home decorating, crafting, and of course, pedicures.


Heather Risinger


Mrs. Risinger is very excited to join the fifth grade team at University Academy and to begin her fourth year teaching.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Wayland Baptist University in Anchorage, Alaska and is working on her master’s degree from Liberty University. Mrs. Risinger was born and raised in Panama City, FL, but left when she joined the Air Force, where she met her husband Wayne.They have three wonderful kids: Jazlynn is 9, Cheyenne is 8, and Remington is 4. They all love to travel and spend most of every summer going on long road trips.


Betsy Childress


Mrs. Childress has been affiliated with UA as a para, as a volunteer, and as an associate teacher for the past few years, but is excited to join the team as a fifth grade teacher! Originally from Lilburn, GA, she attended Auburn University and received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  She has taught third, fourth, and fifth grades in Bay District.  She and her husband have been married for 17 years and have been blessed with 2 fabulous children, Katie (11) and Drew (8).  They enjoy traveling, sports, boating, and cheering on our Auburn Tigers!  


Sixth Grade

Erin Waddell (Math)


This is Mrs. Waddell’s third year at University Academy. Mrs. Waddell has taught a variety of grades including fourth, kindergarten, and fifth grade. This will be her first year in middle school teaching math, her favorite subject. Mrs. Waddell is married to her long time love and is the lucky mama of two extraordinary little boys, Aiden and Riley, with a new baby due in November! Mrs. Waddell enjoys sewing, baking, decorating and party planning. She also loves to travel whenever she can.


Amanda Walker (Science)


Mrs. Walker is a proud product of Bay District Schools, and is entering her 14th year of teaching after graduation from Florida State University. She was very honored and surprised to be chosen in 2016-2017 as the “Teacher of the Year” for University Academy. She has also served as school sponsor and Head Coach for our Odyssey of the Mind teams. Mrs. Walker has been married for twelve years to her high school sweetheart, Eddie, and has two children at University Academy. They love to go on adventures and spend most long weekends kayaking, rock climbing, building things, and road tripping.


Dianne Johnston (Social Studies)


Mrs. Johnston and her husband are returning to their hometown of Panama City after living for 25 years in Tallahassee, where they raised two sons.  She is an FSU graduate who holds both a master’s and specialist degree in Education and Library Research Instruction. In her free time, she enjoys riding her horse and competing with her Cairn Terriers at dog shows throughout the southeast. She is passionate about her students and very excited to be a member of the University Academy family for 2017-18.


Sarah Davis (ELA)


Mrs. Davis is thrilled to share her love of literature and art at University Academy.   She has taught second, third, and sixth grades, but loves sixth grade most of all.  She has been a UA Eagle since the school was established in 2012.  She has a master’s degree in Elementary Education from FSU (Go Noles!).  When she isn’t in the classroom, Mrs. Davis is with her precious little family: husband Cole, toddler Henry, and goofy mutt Pepper.  She is a Panama City native who enjoys beach days, drawing, reading, and traveling.  



Seventh Grade

Crystal Bullock (ELA)


Mrs. Bullock is beginning her second year at University Academy and her eighth year teaching Language Arts. Her passion is sharing her love of reading and writing with students of all ages. She received her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Florida and her master’s degree in corporate and public communication from Florida State University. Mrs. Bullock is married to Brian Bullock, who is the principal of Mosley High School, and they have two children – Katelyn and Braylon. In her free time, she enjoys reading and cheering on the Florida Gators! Mrs. Bullock is also the sponsor of Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS).


Kristina Malburg (Civics)


This will be Mrs. Malburg’s seventh year teaching, and fifth year at UA.  She graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with both a K-12 Reading endorsement and an ESOL endorsement. She is also certified in Social Sciences 5-9. Her love of social studies has partly fueled her love of traveling to see and experience new places and people.  Married in June of 2012, she and her husband are the proud parents of two four-legged children.  


Kelley Hodges (Science)


Mrs. Hodges was born and raised in Southern California. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of California, San Diego and a master’s degree in Science Education from Florida State University. Her passion is helping students connect with their environment so they will learn to love and appreciate the things that make Florida beautiful and unique.In her free time, Mrs. Hodges enjoys spending time with her family, coaching swim team, and running in St. Andrews State Park. She has three children, Mikayla (22), Connor (21) and Katy (9). She is excited to be a part of the UA family and looks forward to the year ahead!


Ashley Higgins (Math)


Mrs. Higgins is thrilled to be a part of University Academy’s community of middle school learners again this year. Since graduating from Florida State in 2004, she has taught a variety of grades at the elementary and secondary levels.  In addition to holding a degree in Elementary Education and ESOL Endorsement, Mrs. Higgins has also earned her Endorsement in Gifted Education and additional certification in Middle Grades Mathematics 5-9.  Mrs. Higgins and her husband are both natives of Panama City. They were married in 2005, and they have two daughters, Adelyn and Ava. Outside of school, Mrs. Higgins enjoys spending time with her family, traveling (especially to Disney World), singing, and dancing!



Eighth Grade

Lacey Obos (Math)


Lacey Obos is in her tenth year of being in the classroom and her third year in the University Academy Middle School.  After receiving her degree from Florida State University in Secondary Mathematics Education, Mrs. Obos has taught math at both the middle and high school level during her career.  With her two children, Harrison and Linley, happily attending University Academy, Mrs. Obos has been an active parent since the formation of the school.  Mrs. Obos is excited for the upcoming year and looking forward to this expansion of the UA Family!


Linda Yori (Science)


Ms. Yori’s education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Secondary Earth and Space Science. She has been teaching for 22 years all across the state of Florida. In the community, Ms. Yori is a Project Wild facilitator, sea turtle nest surveyor, and STEM Master Teacher. She loves the wonder and power of real science and knows that science is the inevitable outcome of innate curiosity and is excited to share her passion and knowledge with University Academy this year!


Tracy Huffstutler (ELA/Social Studies)


Ms. Huffstutler has been teaching for 11 years with experience in both Social Studies and English at the secondary level. She grew up in Hoover, Alabama and later attended Auburn University (War Eagle!).  She earned her master’s degree from the University of Montevallo and an Educational specialist degree from Columbus State University.  She is a huge football fan and loves cheering for her Auburn Tigers and Indianapolis Colts!  Ms. Huffstutler is excited to start teaching at University Academy and looks forward to exploring and getting to know the Panama City community.

Special Area

PE – Bradley Stanford


Coach Stanford is  very excited to be entering into his third year at University Academy. He brings a unique viewpoint into PE, having also been a classroom teacher at the Elementary and Middle School level.  Coach Stanford is also the Athletic Director as well as Basketball coach here at UA. He is married to his wonderful wife, Nicole and they have an amazing little 3 year old boy named Grayson.


Music – Jamie Proctor


Jamie Proctor is from Panama City graduating from Mosley HS then from Southeastern University with a B.A. in Music Education. She has taught music and art in the public school classroom and spent many years teaching private lessons. She also currently serves as pianist in the music department of a large local church. Jamie and her husband Cory have four children who all play musical instruments, love to write music and love to perform.  Mrs. Proctor’s passion is to show kids how to understand, create and love music!


Art – Kesia Milner


Mrs. Milner has taught Art for over six years with four years of experience in the K-5 classroom. She was the 2016 Bay District Teacher of the Year and a 2016 recipient of Governor Rick Scott’s Shine Award. Mrs. Milner enjoys engaging the community in art through her community-project based initiative, the Bay Mural Arts Program.  Mrs. Milner is a proud FSU Nole, earning her Master’s degree in Instructional Systems and Learning Technology in 2014 and currently enrolled in the Doctoral in Educational Leadership program, focusing research on educational equity for youth in poverty. As a family, the Milners enjoy football and have been involved in community youth sports and extracurricular programs for many years.


ESE Resource

Alicia Stahl


Mrs Stahl is a proud graduate of Emporia State University’s Teacher’s College, in her home state of Kansas. She graduated with her degree in education along with an emphasis in early childhood special education. She married her husband Brian, 16 glorious years ago and hasn’t stopped smiling since  with their 3 phenomenal kiddos: Afton 13, Wilson 11 and Emmalin 7!  Together they tackle home improvement (ok…mostly Pinterest) projects, explore the local area and root on the St Louis Cardinals, from afar ! Mrs Stahl is honored to be part of such an incredible team at UA.


Hollie Pajak


This will be Mrs. Pajak’s 8th year in education in Bay County and her second year at University Academy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of South Alabama, a master’s degree in psychology and counseling from Troy State University, has a gifted education endorsement, and is ESE certified. She believes in maximizing the potential in all learners and is beyond thrilled to be working with such a stellar program and school community.  Outside of school, she and her family love to be outdoors enjoying camping, hiking, biking, wakeboarding, and spending time at the beach of course.