who we are + what we do
Jennifer Canady, M.A.
As Director of the RISE Institute, my job is to connect students and our RISE faculty to interesting opportunities for real-world learning. I make connections and help develop community partnerships, providing leadership and hands-on support for projects ranging from robotics to law, to medicine, to the Urban Farm. I can most often be found working with student researchers, leading field trips, speaking to a community group, or pulling weeds at the Urban Farm.
Matthew Croxton, M.S.
My responsibilities include leading project-based learning in both science research and visual communication. These areas complement one another. Research in science is about coming up with questions that challenge us to better understand the world, and then convincing others that we’ve actually attained the best explanation; visual media can promote interest and comprehension, and require a combination of creative and technical skills to solve problems in service of the message.
Chasity Branham, J.D.
I instruct the formal coursework offered through the Center for Law and Public Policy at LCS. These classes include dual-enrollment Business Law and dual-enrollment Constitutional Law. As head coach of the Mock Trial Team, I have the privilege of directing our student attorneys in courtroom parlance and procedure. I also serve as a professor of Criminal Justice at Polk State College.
Elizabeth Holcomb, B.S.
I am an administrative assistant for the RISE Institute programs, helping with financial and project management tasks. In addition to facilitating student project work, I also instruct courses in culinary arts and coach weightlifting for girls. My background in finance helps RISE utilize its resources well, maximizing the impact of fundraising on student opportunities.
Lydia Kinney, R.N., B.S.N.
While most students and parents know me as the School Nurse, I also teach Introduction to Healthcare Professions for high school students as a RISE elective. Why a RISE class? Well, the project-based focus of this class is designed to give students authentic engagement in many facets of these diverse professions; both the day-to-day experiences, as well as encountering the ethical landscape from a Christian perspective. We learn about caring for others compassionately, and how creation in the image of God is just as transformative in a neonatal unit as it is in hospice.
Jordan Allen, M.S.
For RISE, I instruct high school students in research-based exercise science, enabling them to regularly apply their knowledge with their peer student athletes. As athletic trainer, I help our athletes maintain peak performance for their sports by working with them on planning, training, and accountability for preventative and rehabilitative therapies.
Paul Teleweck, B.S.
A recent Florida Polytechnic University graduate in computer engineering with a concentration in digital logic design, I have had passions for engineering and robotics since high school. I’m employed in the marine engineering industry, and my responsibilities as an adjunct faculty member include coaching Team RISE 7719, assisting with engineering tasks in the workshop, leading many Team practices, and coordinating a robotics partnership between Teams RISE and Ascend at LCS and Florida Poly's Purple Fire robotics team.