What Do Teachers Do Over the Summer?

What do teachers do over the summer?


It is summer time! We are hitting the beach, having fun at Summer Camp, and going on family vacations, but have you ever wondered what your teachers are up to during these sunny days?

Well, we asked 10 Academy teachers what their plans for the summer are, and this is what they had to say:


Ms. Sheri Mahoney, Upper Division Science Instructor

Ms. Mahoney’s summer will be all about water! She will be researching hydroponic farms, traveling to the Amazon River basin in Peru, playing at the beach, and on the lookout for manatees.


Ms. Sarah Gates, Middle and Upper Division Art Instructor

Ms. Gates will spend a week camping at the beach at Fort Desoto state park. She will also be rocking out to Shinedown at the Mahaffey Theatre as well as Seether at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Finally, she will be teaching summer camp here at Academy and completing all the items around the house on her lengthy to do list.


Ms. Rachel Klaeren, Upper Division Science Instructor

Ms. Klaeren plans to work at the Summer at the Lakes where she will be building model rockets, exploring wild and wacky science, and taking day trips to exciting places all over Tampa Bay. She will also be attending a family reunion up in South Carolina.


Mrs. Gale Sheaffer, Upper Division English Instructor and Middle and Upper Division Theatre Instructor

Mrs. Sheaffer will be working at Summer at the Lakes during the month of July. She loves working with the younger students. The students will be presenting the musical, “Annie” in July at summer camp. Mrs. Sheaffer will also be headed to Georgia. Because she lives on Davis Island, she feels as though she is on vacation all the time!


Mrs. Mona Chiles, Speech Language Pathologist and Middle and Upper Division E.S.O.L.

Mrs. Chiles is going to spend the whole summer relaxing on the beach in Ponte Vedra, Fla.


Mr. Steven Burnley, Director of Technology, STEM Club Sponsor, and JrFLL, FLL, FTC, and FRC Robotics Coach

Mr. Burnley is planning to learn a new programming language called Ruby on Rails.

He is also going to work on his 3D design skills to make better use out of Academy’s 3D printer. He plans to use both of these new skills to enhance his Computer Science courses next year.


Mrs. Kelly Rodowsky, Upper Division and AP History Instructor

This summer Mrs. Rodowsky is adopting a rescue greyhound dog! They have named him “Guapo” (handsome in Spanish). He is currently participating in a training program facilitated by the Greyhound Advancement Center, “Hardee Hero Hounds” which is designed to take race track greyhounds and put them through an 8-10 week course that will acclimate them to people and situations, and give them obedience training, allowing each of these dogs the greatest opportunity to be adopted. Guapo will graduate on June 26th and Mrs. Rodowsky will be able to welcome him home at that time. She is looking forward to giving him a good “retirement home” here in Florida.


Mrs. Christine O’Laughlin, Upper Division Mathematics Instructor

This summer Mrs. O’Laughlin will spend time working with students preparing for SAT/ACT. She is working with four students from Academy who are getting a jumpstart on AP Calculus BC. She will also be doing a lot of planning for next year. She is also enjoying getting to spend time with her husband as he begins a new business. She hopes to take a week to visit her children and grandchildren in Pennsylvania.


Mrs. Susan Zalac, Upper Division English Instructor, English Department Chair, and Upper Division Dean of Students

In June, Mrs. Zalac will go to North Conway, N.H. While in the area, she will visit her sister and her family in Connecticut. Mrs. Zalac enjoys her annual trip to New England because she grew up in Connecticut, she never runs out of fun things to do, she enjoys the brief respite away from the hot Florida weather, and she thinks family traditions are very important.


Mrs. Kerstin Upmeyer, Middle and Upper Division Technology and Fine Arts Instructor

This summer Mrs. Upmeyer will be having a “mini-reunion” with some old friends from her alma mater, Ringling College of Art, in Orlando for a week in June. Other than that, she plans to take lots of naps, bike rides, and spend time with friends and family.



Now that we know what our teachers are up to, why don’t you answer the same question! What are YOU doing this summer? Academy families – comment with your response and send an email to the Academy Yearbook for a chance to see your summer break picture in next year’s book!


A big thank you to our marketing intern, Niki Yang ’15, for gathering these responses!


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