About Us

We are driven by a mission to educate the next generation in skills they need for life.  See our Seminar and Course Offerings to get details on what kinds of sessions you can sign up for.

Vision

To bring forth the best of students, while providing them with world class tools, to be a productive member of their community.

History

Life Skills In ACTion began in 1995, in Amy Gordon’s home.  Parents were always asking her to help their children reach their potential.  She began tutoring children, a few each year and in some years, working with more than 15 children.   On April 19, 2016, Life Skills In Action became the name to represent all the years of service, working with children in her community.

Director

Thanks to Syndi, at CMA photography for the photos.  http://www.cmaphotography.net/

Thanks to Syndi, at CMA photography for the photos.  http://www.cmaphotography.net/

Amy Gordon

A proud University of Florida graduate, at the College of Education.  Amy received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education, with specializations in health science education and early childhood education.  Amy is certified as a Florida teacher in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education and has the endorsement for ESOL (English as a second language) K-12 teacher.  Amy was a classroom teacher in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties for over twenty years.  During that time, she was recognized as the Teacher of the Year and a nominee for the United States Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST)  Amy is regularly invited as a guest speaker at the University of South Florida and for teacher inservice seminars through the Tampa Bay region.  She is committed to assisting schools create a streamlined process for students to organize their materials for learning, in the most ideal atmosphere.    Through this experience, Amy has realized the root to learning lies within every child.  Helping every child realize their full potential and achieving success, are the greatest gifts.  Failure is practice for our successes.

Life Skills in ACTion has become a center for families to find the resources they need in our community.  They help families who for years have been saying, "We just knew there wasn't something right with how my child was learning."  At the center, they have been able to put together an award winning staff to provide the best resources for students. They don't take it lightly that they are changing lives for young adults. It is an honor to have a place to work everyday, where teachers are truly able to take the time to make a difference in the life of a child. 

 

Support Staff

Rachel Andrews, Intake Assessment

Rachel attended John Long Middle School and Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel before she ventured to Gainesville, Florida. She received both her Bachelor's and Master's degree in Elementary Education from the University of Florida. She is a certified Florida educator with Reading (K-12) and ESOL endorsements.   Rachel has returned to the area to give back to the community that provided her with opportunities that challenged and engaged her as a learner. She longs to light students spark for learning and encourages them to keep it lit themselves as lifelong learners. At Life Skills in ACTion, students will learn the foundational and necessary skills they need to be successful and feel motivated. Rachel is confident that each student will be inspired to become lifelong learners.


Kim Gonzalez, Business Manager

Kim can assist you with payment arrangements and billing.

Kim earned her Bachelor of Psychology/Special Education degree from St. Thomas Aquinas in New York.  As a program director and manager of Jenny Craig in south Florida for 18 years, Kim found a calling she loved, helping clients take charge of their lives and develop confidence within.  She ran a center where teamwork and the client were of the upmost importance.  Kim put her work life on hold to care for her husband, who was a disabled Gulf War veteran.  She spent many years working through the Veteran's Administrations policies and systems. Kim was a true advocate for her husband, all while raising their daughter.  As a mother of an eleven year old, Kim has personally found great value from the philosophy provided by Life Skills in ACTion.  She is excited to now be part of this team who advocates for children, helping them to be their best selves.  The environment is positive and uplifting, making her  workday a joy!


Courtney Gordon, Director of Assessment

Bio Coming soon!


Mindy Moser, Assistant to the Director and Director of Student Services  

Mindy can assist with registration, scheduling and advice on what courses best meet your child’s needs.  Ms. Moser can give great insight on Midwest college basketball too!

Mindy Moser received her degree in Computational Mathematics from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.  Prior to joining the academic world, she worked 15 years in Information Technology at Verizon.  The next 8 years of her career were spent in Pasco Schools as an Instructional Assistant working one on one with students, while supporting teachers.  This experience allowed her to see that each child learns differently.  Having a child with Dyslexia, she witnessed that a child can succeed when provided the right tools and skills.  Mindy’s experience and positive attitude will assist the staff and families of Life Skills In ACTion.  As Director of Student Services, Mindy can assist with registration, scheduling and advice on what courses best meet your child’s needs.


Sheila Woods, Receptionist

Sheila can assist your family with scheduling, teacher communication and advice on courses offered at Life Skills in ACTion.  She also has traveled extensively, ask her for advice on a "bucket list" trip.

Sheila is a certified Microsoft professional and worked for Hillsborough County School District, as a technology paraprofessional.  Sheila was responsible for all in-service training of teachers, teaching assistants and students with the use of educational software and technology equipment. She worked for more than twenty five classrooms, located at sites throughout Hillsborough County.  Ms. Woods obtained her AA degree with an emphasis in psychology, sociology, and human behavior.  As a mother and aunt, Sheila recognizes the value of tutoring and how this leads to the accomplishments of family members careers.  Ms. Woods encouraged and supported her nephew through tutoring.  She is proud to say, he is now an anesthesiologist.  Ms. Woods is extremely excited to join the Life Skills in ACTion family and looks forward to supporting every family that walks through our doors.

Communications

Amanda Clark, Digital Marketing Specialist

Amanda is a digital strategist and marketer who develops websites and advertising for clients of all sizes. In addition to her work with Life Skills in ACTion, Amanda works as a digital and content strategist for a variety of clients including Comcast, AARP, International School Services,Coldwell Banker, Green Meadow Waldorf School and GE Health. She has also spent time as a community manager, developing social media strategy for non-profits and startups. Amanda has a Bachelor of Science in communication from Boston University, where she studied advertising, visual arts and sociology. She is happy to be a part of the team and looks forward to what's next for Life Skills in ACTion!

INSTRUCTORS

Dianne Benson:  Elementary Language Arts (Reading, Writing and Public Speaking)

Dianne is a certified Florida teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida. She has worked in both private and public schools in the classroom as well as administration. She currently works with upper elementary students in the area of English/Language Arts. With over twenty years of experience, Dianne’s passion to inspire students in their educational walk remains strong. Giving students the tools they need to thrive in both reading and writing and then seeing their development is one of her greatest joys. She is excited to be a part of the team at Life Skills in Action and to continue leading students toward their successful future.


Tara Carlson: Math (6th grade through Geometry)

Tara is a certified Florida educator, in the areas of Math grades 5-9 and is ESOL endorsed.  She attended the University of South Florida, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.  Tara has been a middle school math teacher for seven years. She originally started teaching elementary school and then made the move to middle school. While teaching is her career, tutoring is her passion. She loves to see students learn a concept and the light bulb go off.  She truly believes in small-group and one-on-one instruction, as the key to  impact learning for students. She is  looking forward to helping students gain their confidence in math and believes that if a student is confident in math, they will perform better!  She can't wait to share her love of Math with the students at Life Skills in ACTion.


Ashley Coogle: Middle and High School Language Arts, Gifted Education, SAT/ACT Prep

Ashley is a certified Florida educator, currently teaching Language Arts at the middle school level.  She works with students who are gifted and has experience with intervention support teaching.   She attended the University of South Florida, where she received her Master’s degree in Secondary English Education and her Bachelor’s in English Literature. She is certified by the state of Florida to teach English grades 6-12 and is currently pursuing her certification in Gifted education and Reading. Ashley is passionate about connecting curriculum skills to her students’ interests and outside lives. Her “teaching mantra” is “I am teaching them to be good citizens, not just good students.” Ms. Coogle is very excited to be joining the Life Skills in ACTion team. She hopes to be able to inspire more students to see the connections between what is happening in the classroom and their outside lives!


Brittnay Doane, High School Language Arts and College Prep

Brittnay is a Florida certified educator who received her Bachelors in English Education from the University of South Florida, and holds an endorsement for English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). 2016 -2017 marks her fifth year as a teacher, and she currently teaches English, AP Literature, and Creative Writing at the high school level. Ms. Doane has a passion for literature and composition, and she aims to instill that same passion within each and every one of her students. She strives to focus on student’s strengths, and through the opportunities presented at Like Skills in ACTion, she has no doubt that each student will find success.  

 

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Andrea Edwards:  Elementary Math and Science, Study Skills I

Andrea Edwards is a certified Florida educator with 22 years of classroom experience in both Hillsborough and Pasco County schools.   Mrs. Edwards received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education at the University of Tampa and is certified K-6, ESOL endorsed, and a National Board Certified Teacher.  Her goal for students is to become organized, independent learners that feel successful in and out of the classroom.  Mrs. Edwards is thrilled to be a part of the Life Skills in ACTion family! 


Diane Epifanio:  Elementary Reading and Math, 6th grade language arts

Mrs. Epifanio has been a certified teacher in Pasco County for 25 years. She attended the State University of New York at Cortland and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in ElementaryEducation and is ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages) endorsed. Mrs. Epifanio is passionate about empowering students to realize the talents that they can achieve through hard work and believing in themselves. Mrs. Epifanio realized that every student has a unique learning style and she welcomes a variety of teaching modalities to meet the specific needs of her students. She is very excited to join the team at Life Skills in Action!


Tim Hamlin:  Intermediate Math-Algebra I

Bio Coming Soon!

 


Jenna Janicki:  Primary (grades K-2)

Jenna Janicki is a certified Florida educator with 6 years of classroom experience. She has previously taught at Academy at the Farm and Lutz Preparatory. She attended Saint Leo University, where she received her Bachelor's in Elementary Education, along with an ESOL endorsement. She supports homeschool groups in the community and enjoys this opportunity.  Mrs. Janicki knew she wanted to be a teacher since she was a young lady.   She continually strives to do what is best for her students and enjoys each learning session with her students.   Mrs. Janicki is very excited to be teaching at Life Skills in ACTion! She hopes to instill in each student the confidence and knowledge needed to achieve success in school. 


Amanda Justice:  Upper Elementary and Middle School MathAmanda Justice is a certified Florida educator with six years of classroom teaching experience. She graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University,  with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. Ms. Justice also has a K-9th mathematics certification, along with an ESOL endorsement and ESE endorsement. She has a strong passion for math and loves helping students become successful and excited about their progress! She uses a variety of teaching techniques that best suit each child. Ms. Justice is so excited to be apart of the Life Skills In ACTion team and is eager to share her passion for learning.


Nancy Martin: Phonics Superhero, Writing, Gifted Education

Nancy taught elementary students for 16 years in Michigan and Florida, after graduating from Grand Valley State University in western Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies and minors in Education and History and a Masters Degree in Gifted Education.  She is certified in K-6 all subjects and K-8 Social Studies, has the ESOL endorsement, and received a year of specialized phonics training in the Orton-Gillingham method for teaching students with dyslexia.  Although she has taught many levels, she focused on second graders because that is the year when the strategies students have developed to compensate for learning problems are not enough.  She tutored students after school and on weekends with an organized, sequential phonics program to help them learn to read and spell.  Nancy recently retired from full-time teaching and loves having more time to tutor students with dyslexia and other reading problems.  Nancy is ecstatic to be on staff at Life Skills In ACTion because now, she gets to do what she does best.  Teach kids to learn to read all day long!

Nicole Minott, Algebra I, II and Geometry, SAT prep

Nicole is a certified Florida educator, as well as ESOL endorsed. Nicole has been a high school and middle school math teacher in both Pasco and Polk County. Her passion is being able to work with students one-on-one and help them connect with the concepts they are learning. Nothing gives her more pleasure than seeing her students make learning gains and feel more confident in a concept they once struggled with. Nicole is very excited to be involved with making lifelong learners at Life Skills in ACTion.


Heather Morphew:  Elementary Math, Study Skills Instructor, Personal Development, Coding, American Girl History Class

Heather Morphew is a Florida certified educator who received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Saint Leo University, and holds an endorsement in Reading (K-12) and ESOL. Mrs. Morphew has a variety of experiences throughout her 6 years in the field of education, ranging from classroom teaching to providing interventions in both reading and math. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of West Florida, while completing her fieldwork through hands-on leadership experiences as the Dean at a Hillsborough County charter school. Mrs. Morphew strongly believes in how the Life Skills in ACTion classes, will benefit all children in the areas of academics and personal growth. 


 


Lynette Papapanos: Language Arts and Math, Study Skills I

Lynette Papapanos is a certified Florida educator with 6 years of classroom teaching experience in Pasco County. She attended St. Petersburg College earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education, as well as an endorsement in both Reading and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Mrs. Papapanos accentuates positivity by encouraging students and boosting their confidence. She highlights strengths, while improving targeted needs. Through the provision of Life Skills In ACTion, Mrs. Papapanos is certain that students will be both successful and confident. 


Tom Powers: Upper Elementary Language Arts and Math

Tom Powers is a certified Florida educator with over 25 years of classroom experience, all in Pasco County. He attended the University of South Florida where he earned a bachelors degree in elementary education as well as English for speakers of other languages endorsement (ESOL). Mr Powers has always had a unique ability to instill the love of learning and make learning fun. He encourages students to take an active role in their own education by using humor and positive reinforcement, even the most reluctant learners find success. His goal has always been to make students responsible citizens and lifelong learners. Former parents often state their child had the best year ever and now have a new attitude towards school and education.  Mr. Powers is eager to share these gifts with the students at Life Skills In ACTion.  

 


 

2 convenient Locations

Wesley Chapel (Seven Oaks)

2026 Ashley Oaks Circle

Suite 102

Wesley Chapel, FL 33544

 Phone Number: (813) 575-9100             FAX:  (813) 575-9090

Lutz

17896 U.S. Highway 41 North

Lutz, FL 33549

Contact


Email: studentservices@lifeskillsinaction.com