Upper Division

Student Showcase: Honoring Our Veterans through Art

Posted on: November 13th, 2015

AATL Student Showcase

Veterans’ Day Printmaking Project
Instructor: Mrs. Sarah Gates
Class: Upper Division Studio Art

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HomeTeam 25: Girls basketball players to watch

Posted on: November 12th, 2015

Original article by Kelly Parsons and Rodney Page, Times Staff Writers … Imani Thomas, Jr., F, Academy at the Lakes: There are several talented players for the Wildcats, but Thomas may be the most well-rounded. She averaged 15.1 points and 13.3 rebounds as a sophomore in 28 games. Read more

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Tampa CEO Reinforces Academy’s 6C’s Key to Future Success

Posted on: November 9th, 2015

Upper Division students had a unique opportunity on Monday, Nov. 9, to hear from one of Tampa’s most successful businessmen, Santosh Govindaraju, CEO of Convergent Capital Partners. Govindaraju discussed “soft skills for success” with students, including lessons he has learned from his own college and business experiences. Advice included being an active and aggressive listener; […]

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Academy at the Lakes reaches new highs in volleyball

Posted on: October 9th, 2015

Original Article posted on The Laker/Lutz News  Written by Michael Murillo   When Academy at the Lakes volleyball coach Brian Gonzales came to the school four years ago, he had never suffered a losing season coaching at any school or club level. The Wildcats, on the other hand, never had much success on the court. […]

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HomeTeam 25: Volleyball rankings, Week 4

Posted on: September 16th, 2015

Original Article by: Kelly Parsons and Rodney Page via Tampabay.com … 12. Academy at the Lakes (10-2) This week: Tuesday vs. Citrus Park Christian, Wednesday vs. Universal Academy, Thursday vs. Foundation Christian Scoop: The Wildcats dropped their first two matches of the season last weekend at the Bishop McLaughlin tournament, but they weren’t bad losses. […]

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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.



Ethan Haslam, Sr., Academy at the Lakes


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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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