Michael Phillips, Headmaster
Headmaster Phillips earned his B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Biblical Studies and Theology from Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky. He has also studied religion and philosophy at Carson-Newman College and theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to his work at Smith Prep, Mr. Phillips is the Director of Veritas Academy, a non-traditional private school serving the state of Florida. He is the Executive Director of Legislative Affairs for the FCCPSA and a member of the Association of Christian Classical Schools and the Society of Classical Learning. Mr. Phillips is working on his Master’s in Liberal Studies from Rollins College.
Michael Sacasas, Academic Dean
Michael Sacasas received his Bachelor’s in Education from Clearwater Christian College and his Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. He also studied the relationship between technology and culture in the University of Central Florida’s Text and Technology doctoral program. Mr. Sacasas has been teaching middle school and high school students in Central Florida since 1999 and has also taught as an adjunct professor at Belhaven University and Reformation Bible College. His writing has appeared in numerous publications including The American, Second Nature Journal, and The New Inquiry. Since 2015, he has been the Director of the Center for the Study of Ethics and Technology.
Mrs. Traci DeBoer, Administrator
Our administrator and her husband of 20 years are the parents of four children. Their family joined Smith Prep in the fall of 2014. Traci graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University in 1996 and immediately joined her husband in full time ministry for the next six years. They began their homeschooling journey in 2004. Traci loves serving the families and staff of Smith Prep by providing the information and support they need for progress and success.
Mrs. Sarah Sacasas, Director of Guidance
Mrs. Sacasas is a graduate of Geneva College in western Pennsylvania. At Geneva, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with a Minor in Christian Ministries. After moving to Central Florida, she worked as a Financial Aid Officer at Universal Technical Institute and Concorde Career College. In this capacity, she met regularly with students and parents to provide financial counseling while ensuring that they were in compliance with federal and state laws. Mrs. Sacasas enjoys reading, cooking, and going on adventures with her daughter and husband.
Upper School Faculty
Brent Edwards (Middle and Upper School Math, Upper School Science)
Mr. Edwards is a firm believer in Classical Christian education and a math enthusiast. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Math Education from Florida State University, he served as Director of Student Ministries at Piedmont Park Alliance Church in Tallahassee for five years. He has taught math at Tallahassee Community College and Daytona State College, and he is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Central Florida. Mr. Edwards’s interests include distance running, blues guitar, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
William Eggleston (Upper School Latin)
William Eggleston has been teaching in Classical schools for 15 years, mostly in Latin and the humanities. He has a BA in philosophy from the University of Wyoming and a MA in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. He is married to the wonderful Jessica, who teaches at the International Community School in the upper school. They homeschool their two children, Edward and Chloe.
Michael Phillips (Middle & Upper School Bible, History, Rhetoric, Logic)
Laura Roberts (Middle School Science)
Mrs. Roberts has been teaching science in the Central Florida area for over a decade. She studied Animal Science at the University of Florida and earned a BS in Cardiopulmonary Science from the University of Central Florida. She is nearing the completion of a MA in Christian Education from Whitefield Theological Seminary. While homeschooling her own children, Mrs. Roberts (the Zoo Mom) discovered a true love for teaching and developed a wildlife education business to inspire students to a love of God’s creation.
Michael Sacasas (Middle & Upper School Language Arts)
Lower School Faculty
Christine Brown (Lower School Art)
Mrs. Brown received her Bachelors in Studio Art from Towson University, with a concentration in metalworking, jewelry, and sculpture. She set up her first studio in Boulder Colorado twenty years ago and has been creating and teaching art ever since. She believes everyone is made in the image of an incredibly creative God and creativity should be intentionally nurtured by everyone.
Niki Hutchings (Kindergarten)
Mrs. Hutchings is a committed educator, loving wife, and mother of three children. Before coming to Smith Prep, she worked for seven years teaching blind students enrolled in the Orange County school system. She is an enthusiastic proponent of classical Christian education and is currently homeschooling her own children. Mrs. Hutchings enjoys good food, good conversation, and cultivating a passion for the Lord in her students.
Mary Kuckuck (Lower School Music)
Sarah Gill (3rd and 4th Grade)
Mrs. Gill earned a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She has taught in many different capacities over the past eight years. She has been a preschool classroom teacher, art and music teacher to preschool and kindergarten, and a fifth grade teacher. She is passionate about the gospel, her family, and Christian education.
Paula Risler (1st and 2nd Grade)
Paula Risler has been involved in some form of education for almost 30 years. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s of Nursing in 1986 and began her nursing career working with troubled children and adolescents as a program director on a research grant. She taught health and nutrition for Child Development Services for the US Army, homeschooled her own children in the classical tradition, works part-time as a home health nurse, and, most recently, started a company providing education to caregivers in all aspects of care for the elderly. She loves children and believes every child is a blessing from the Lord!
Laura Roberts (5th & 6th Grade)