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Who We Are: Lesleigh Phillips, Math Teacher

Micanopy Academy math teacher, Lesleigh Phillips, poses for a photo with a turtle mascot.

It takes a special teacher to get middle school students excited about math. Our math teacher, Lesleigh Phillips, engages every student with her enthusiasm and love of math. We are fortunate to have such an inspiring teacher among our staff at our small tuition-free middle and high school and we’d love for you to get to know Lesleigh a bit better. Read more about Ms. Phillips, in her own words, in our interview below:

Who/what motivated you to become an educator?

I volunteered to teach when I was a student at the University of the Philippines. The University and the Department of Education of the Philippines collaborated to launch a program called Gurong Pahinungod. The program aims to uplift the education of the underserved and unreachable group in the country. We were dispatched to an island that didn't have electricity, good water or even a classroom. I saw the hunger and enthusiasm of my students just to go to school. Even with no proper shoes, school supplies, calculators, or food to eat in school, they were there, eager to learn from me, and never complained about what they lacked. This experience changed my heart and I pursued education.

Please share a bit about your role as math teacher at Micanopy Academy. How do you get students excited about math?

I teach middle school math to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. It is really hard to motivate and make students excited about math but every time we have a breakthrough about the lesson, my students feel that they achieve something and I am proud of them. I love math and the only way to make them excited is to show them that I am excited.

How does Micanopy Academy's mission and vision align with your personal values/goals?

Micanopy gives us the freedom to use our own teaching strategies and classroom management techniques and I love that about our school. We both want our students to succeed not only in academics but also as an individual. We both also believe in growth, accountability and independence which is important in my classroom.

What do you love most about your role?

I love to hear students change their perspective about math. I also love when they realize that hard work pays off and when they appreciate the sincerity of my heart when teaching math.

Micanopy Academy math teacher, Lesleigh Phillips, measures a baby. A person is holding the baby on a scale while Phillips uses a measuring tape.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in the Philippines in a mountainous region.I graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Polytechnic University of the Philippines and earned a Certificate in Professional Education in 2007 at the University of the Philippines. I taught Chemistry, Physics, and Math in the Philippines before immigrating to the US. My post-graduate work included helping to start a school in an underserved and remote island region and setting up a science laboratory for the school with the partnership of my university and the Department of Education (Philippines). I also worked in Singapore as an Early Childhood Educator. I traveled and did missionary work that teaches agriculture, water filtration system and nutrition with my husband as part of Seeds for Life Ministry. I also enjoy playing piano and guitar.

Thank you, Lesleigh! Your commitment to education and our students is inspiring. If you think your middle school or high school student could use a little bit of Lesleigh’s math magic in their lives, we’re still enrolling for the 2023-24 school year. Join us for tuition-free, smaller, safer learning.

About Micanopy Academy

Micanopy Academy is a 6th-12th grade tuition-free public charter school with limitless compassion for guiding students toward a bright future. With small classes, certified teachers, high standards and personalized learning, we’re growing the minds, hearts and futures of students in Micanopy, Florida. Where will a Micanopy Academy education take you? Enroll today and find out.

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