Upper Division

American football suits former Academy at the Lakes player from Russia

Posted on: July 25th, 2015

LAND O’ LAKES — The American Dream is what most immigrants are looking for when they move to the United States.

A chance at a better life.

For former Academy at the Lakes defensive end Max Stepanets, who graduated this past spring, a move from Russia to America was just the opportunity he needed to escape from living in poverty and create opportunities for himself and his family.

In the fall of 2007, Eric Wilson, who is currently Stepanets’ guardian, met Max — along with six other boys from Russia — after he was hired as part of a charity group from South Florida to be their house parent. Taking them in, Wilson grew close with each of them, but budget cuts in 2008 shut down the program, leaving Wilson with the task of having to return the boys to Russia while breaking the bad news to their respective families.

Wilson set out to find a solution for bringing the boys back to the U.S., and with the help of a few friends, he founded the RenProject. Stepanets was one of three students offered the opportunity to return to America, and Wilson and the charity identified Academy at the Lakes as the home school for the boys.

Upon their return, Wilson noticed almost immediately was the interest Stepanets for the game of American football. From the moment he picked up a football, it seemed Stepanets and the game were a perfect match.

“I don’t know what it was,” Wilson said. “Besides maybe watching my Colts play, I don’t know what gravitated him to football. He was just determined to really play football. He works really hard at it every day. The first thing I did was I put him in the i-9 type leagues so he could get used to the rules of football.”


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Best Of The Best: Top Pasco Prep Athletes, Coaches

Posted on: June 7th, 2015

This article was originally published on TBO.com

With the school year over, here the Tribune’s list of the top prep players and coaches of the year for 2014-15 season.

Players and coaches of the year were selected by correspondents Mike Camunas, Andy Villamarzo, Tony Castro and Steve Campbell.

***

BASKETBALL

Ethan Haslam, Sr., Academy at the Lakes

BOYS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Like his brother, Jake, and his father, Tom, the shooting guard made an unexpected trip to states, and the long lasting memory may well have been the game prior to the Wildcats’ state semifinal at the Lakeland Center. In the region final, Haslam scored 35 points in a win against 2014 Class 2A state champion Orlando Christian Prep, a team that had blown out AATL the previous two postseasons.

Tom Haslam, Academy at the Lakes

BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR

No season can be as memorable as the one Haslam had guiding the Wildcats this year. Haslam was able to share the experience during his son’s final high school season, plus the team became the first Pasco County boys basketball team to reach states since Wesley Chapel in 2002-03. Academy finished 20-10, and despite losing to Orlando Agape Christian 57-36 in the state semifinals, Haslam believes, win or lose, his team had a season to remember.

Audra Leipold, Fr., Academy at the Lakes

GIRLS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Leipold was impressive last season as an eighth-grader, but she was able to follow that with an improved freshman season. The shooting guard passed 1,000 career points and posted season averages of 19.9 points and 5.0 assists while leading the Wildcats back to the Class 2A state semifinals. Leipold is on a torrid pace that could see her surpass 3,000 career points before she graduates.

Karim Nohra, Academy at the Lakes

GIRLS COACH OF THE YEAR

Through 23 years of coaching girls basketball, the 2014-15 season might have been one of Nohra’s best coaching jobs to date. Using a six-player rotation during the regular season and playoffs, Nohra led the Wildcats to a 27-2 record and reached the state tournament for the fourth straight season. Nohra also passed the 500-win mark during the regular season, and one of the area’s best coaches will take aim at winning his first state title next season.

Read more on TBO.com


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Teacher Feature: Dr. Gary Compton

Posted on: May 21st, 2015

teacherfeaturecompton

With his credentials and experience, there are many things Dr. Gary Compton could be doing every day, but Academy at the Lakes is where he chooses to spend his time.

Why?

It’s simple: Because of our community – something that has drawn families and faculty alike to Academy.


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Honors Chemistry Class Brings Periodic Elements to Life

Posted on: May 18th, 2015

Academy’s honors chemistry classes recently conducted an in-depth study of the periodic table. As part of this project, students chose specific elements to research, either independently or through collaboration with a peer, and then presented their findings to their classmates. As students researched their elements, they also made a square for the chemistry/biology classroom periodic […]


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The Advantages of Advanced Placement

Posted on: May 4th, 2015

Theadvantagesofadvancedplacement

Recently, one of my students said to me, “It’s like a bubble, our own little world in this classroom; I don’t even recognize some of my classmates because everyone’s inner geek surfaces in our discussions.”

The bubble exists in room 32 seventh period – Advanced Placement Language and Composition.

Academy at the Lakes’ Upper Division offers Advanced Placement courses that run the gamut from language courses such as Chinese Language and Culture to technology courses such as Computer Science A.

Depending on one’s interest and aptitude, there’s likely an AP course that captures any Wildcat’s passion.


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State tennis: Academy at the Lakes duo nets first title

Posted on: April 15th, 2015

Anna Waller will be attending Steinbrenner next year, and Daniella Moreno is graduating. But before they departed Academy at the Lakes, they wanted to leave the school with a little something.

Its first state championship.

Mixing outstanding net play with a strong baseline and service game, the Waller-Moreno tandem won the Class A overall doubles championship by topping American Heritage 6-3, 6-1 Wednesday morning at Red Bug Park.

“We’re the first to win one,” said a smiling Moreno, who didn’t play high school tennis the past two seasons but came out this year because she “wanted to go out with a bang.”

Read more on tampabay.com


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$92,000 in Scholarships Awarded to Academy Students in State Science Fair

Posted on: April 10th, 2015

  Academy at the Lakes was well represented at the State Science Fair on Tuesday, March 31 through Thursday, April 2 in Lakeland. Raj Warman ’16 placed 1st in Senior Mathematics and received a four year scholarship to New College of Florida totaling $8,000. Regan McCormick ’17 received Honorable Mention in Senior Health and Medicine […]


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Musicals Spanning the Ages

Posted on: April 2nd, 2015

Themusicman2015

The Academy at the Lakes’ all-school musical is an amazing tradition.

The production of a fully-staged musical involving over 250 students, faculty and staff – with all rehearsals during the regular school day – is not only an incredible example of collaboration on all levels, but a unique and wonderful experience.

This tradition truly incorporates all of Academy’s “6 C’s” and allows our students – the scholars, the athletes, the artists, the musicians, the STEM teams – and faculty and staff to participate and shine.


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Student Showcase: Kite Runner Presentation

Posted on: February 28th, 2015

AATL Student Showcase

Teaching seniors can be challenging, because they seem to have one foot in the door and one foot out. Indeed, most of them feel that they are more than ready to move on and begin college.

To keep her students engaged, Mrs. Susan Zalac turned the tables and had her seniors do the teaching.  Zalac’s students, in both English IV Honors and AP Literature and Composition, read the novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.  Once they completed the novel, students chose a theme to research and present in an informative and creative fashion.


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The Academy Difference: College Counseling Program

Posted on: February 27th, 2015

The Academy Difference

If you take a look at this map, it is easy to see that the diversity of the colleges our alumni attend is just as well-rounded as our students themselves.

“It is our goal to help each student find the best ‘fit’ for college, academically, socially, and financially,” College Counseling Director Mrs. Deborah Pitcairn explained.


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