LJPS is governed by Liza Jackson Preparatory School, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation organized in the State of Florida. Liza Jackson Preparatory School, Inc. is an Internal Revenue Service approved 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Board meetings are publicized at least a week in advance and are open to the public. The school operates under the Corporate Board in all matters pertaining to the operation and management of the school.
Joan (Jo) Henderson, Chairperson - Founder
Ms. Henderson is one of the original founders of LJPS. Her experience as an educator ranges from the classroom to the courtroom. Here are some of her career highlights:
- Co-founder, Liza Jackson Preparatory School
- Former Director, Exceptional Education, Okaloosa School District, Florida
- Former Chairperson, Florida Correctional Education School Authority
- President of a consulting firm specializing in the areas of Special Education, Contract Negotiations, and Labor Relations
- Certified mediator (Justice Center of Atlanta, Inc.), trained to resolve conflicts between parents of exceptional education students and school districts
- Professional Reviewer and Expert Witness--Certified by the Florida Professional Practices Bureau
- Appointed to numerous professional committees at the state, regional, and national levels
- Ms. Henderson regularly consults, trains, and makes conference presentations throughout the region.
Annette Lee, Founder
Ms. Lee is another of the original founders of LJPS. She was a teacher of elementary and exceptional education students before entering administration in the Okaloosa School District, where she served as the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, the Director of Student Services, and principal. More recently she serves as Vice President for Human Resources and School Administration for the Radar Group, which provides support to charter schools throughout the U.S.
Ms. Mary Gunter, Board Member
Mary K. Gunter graduated from Auburn University with a BS in Home Economics. She went on to earn her Masters degree in Educational Leadership, from the University of West Florida. Mary has extensive experience as a teacher, principal and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum for Okaloosa County Schools. Ms. Gunter served as a Liza Jackson Board Member since the school opened in 2001 until she became the LJPS Principal from 2006 to 2015. After retiring from the Principal assignment, Ms. Gunter returned to serve as a Board member in the fall of 2015.
Ms. Donna Boles, Board Member
Ms. Julie Jenzen
Dr. Amy Semenov, Board Member
Dr. Amy Semenov began her career in education in Florida in 1995 when she began teaching in an all girls day treatment program in Pensacola, Florida. After working at PACE Center for Girls, she went to work as the Education Coordinator at a Juvenile Justice residential facility for boys in 1996. In 1997 she began working for Dr. Bill Rader as the first teacher hired to work in the first charter school in Okaloosa County: Okaloosa Academy Charter School. Since 1997, she has worked in charter school throughout the states of Florida and California. Dr. Semenov has written and developed charter documents and policy and procedure manuals to help create quality charter schools and she strongly believes in the work that Charter Schools do to serve all children. She has two children of her own ages 9 and 10 whom attend Liza Jackson Preparatory School where she has served on the Board of Directors since 2012. Presently, Dr. Semenov is the Professional Development Coordinator for three charter schools in the panhandle of Florida and enjoys being with her family, diving and skiing and travel.
Nicola T. (Terri) Roberts, CEO
Another of the founders of Liza Jackson, Terri Roberts continues to have an active role in the school as the Chief Executive Officer. Among the many accomplishments she can cite are Chief Financial Officer for the School District of Okaloosa County for six years, Chief Operating Officer of the Rader Group, Inc, which provides management services to charter schools across the nation, and consultant, trainer, and workshop leader. She sits on several state and regional committees and is respected throughout the state for her knowledge and expertise.
Kaye McKinley, Principal
Board of Directors Parent Liaison
Kaye McKinley holds a BS degree in Special Education K-12 and English K-12 from Texas Woman’s University and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from University of West Florida. Mrs. McKinley has been an educator for 37 years in the United States, Europe and Asia. Since arriving in Okaloosa County in 1993, she has been a Special Education teacher, General Education teacher, ESE staffing specialist, Director of ESE, Assistant Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent. She is married to Marv McKinley, retired USAF. They have five children who are all active duty and/or married to military members. They are the proud grandparents of 9 grandchildren. Mrs. McKinley was duly commissioned in 2010 as the Military Family Education Liaison for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children for the state of Florida.