Bell Shoals Baptist Academy
a Christian foundation | a love for learning | high personal moral standards
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."
Junior Kindergarten – 5th Grade
Bell Shoals Baptist Academy believes in educating children not only academically but also spiritually, socially, physically, and emotionally thus keeping with our mission to provide a Christ-centered education. Academy students are taught in a classroom setting using a variety of teaching methods so that each child can develop their individual skills and talents. We use a comprehensive curriculum combined with hands-on activities that reflect God as the source of all knowledge, truth, and understanding. It is our vision to address the individual needs of our students and to maintain an active learning environment.
Our Bell Shoals Baptist Academy elementary teachers endeavor to provide a cheerful, pleasant learning atmosphere and strive to train students to excel in academics, fine arts, as well as athletics, while fostering a biblical worldview through all aspects of the program. Every effort is also made to promote a love of learning and a love for our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The elementary program at the Brandon Campus provides a strong, core curriculum of Bible, math, reading/phonics, grammar, spelling, history, and science. Our students also participate in a variety of special classes such as art, music, library, computer, and physical education.
- Weekly Chapel
- Science Experiments
- Grandparent’s Day
- Music & Art Presentations
- Boosterthon Fun Run
- ACSI Spelling Bee
- ACSI Math Olympics
- ACSI Creative Writing Contest
- Field Day
Interested in applying to the Elementary program?
Below is an overview of the Elementary subjects.
“He is to read [God’s Word] all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees."
With different types of learners in mind, teachers instruct in small reading groups as well as whole class activities. We give individual attention to your child’s specific reading needs, regardless of their reading ability level.
Your child will become excited about reading as he/she develops in fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. Leveled readers, iPad, centers, and a variety of games and activities will keep your child motivated.
“We write this to make our joy complete.”
1 John 1:4
We integrate our writing throughout many areas of our curriculum. Our second graders will learning cursive writing. Written communication skills including spelling and English will enable them to write meaningful pieces for a variety of purposes.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Our students learn important concepts in the areas of life, physical, earth, and space sciences and how they relate to God’s design. They engage in various fun hands-on experiments and activities.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
We teach the biblical foundation of our country, and we celebrate the diversity between other nations of the world. Through the study of our nation's geography, history and the biographies of many great Americans, students will gain an appreciation for the Biblical foundation of America.
“You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”
ABeKA math curriculum and a variety of manipulative and hands-on activities are used to teach skills such as computation, time, temperature, money, measurements, graphing, and algebraic thinking skills. Memorization of multiplication facts and applications are employed in the higher grade levels.
"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
We teach God’s truth explicitly and integrate it into each subject daily. The students experience praise and worship each Monday during our chapel time. Throughout the year, students are also given the opportunity to give back to the community in our various mission projects.
- Physical Education
Jr K & Kindergarten Teachers
I am a Brandon, Florida native. I was raised in First Baptist Church of Seffner. I grew up in a school around teachers who were passionate about education. Their love for me to succeed nurtured my desire to become a teacher. After substituting in public school and administrating in a child care facility, my desire was to continue in this role.
I enrolled my daughter here at Bell Shoals Baptist Academy at the age of three. I knew immediately I wanted to return to the classroom. During the time my daughter was in Kindergarten, I began substituting. I was hired as a Kindergarten teacher that following school year. I have spent the last 22 years teaching the love of Jesus to children... My daughter, Lauren, graduated from BSBA and will soon graduate from the University of Florida with her Doctorate Degree in Pharmacy.. She is the “love” of my life. BSBA is like family and a place you are cherished and loved!
I was blessed to have been raised in a Christian home, and accept Christ as my savior at a very young age. I grew up in Jonesboro, Arkansas, where I graduated from Arkansas State University, and received my BSE in Elementary Education Pre-K – 8th grade.
After teaching in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas for seventeen years, we relocated to Florida. My husband, Anthony, and I have 3 sons, and 2 daughters. They are among our greatest accomplishments. It has been a privilege to teach at Bell Shoals Baptist Academy for the last 2 years.
Bell Shoals Academy is an amazing Christ centered place that is blessed with Godly teachers and staff. I strive each day to prepare my students for success in First grade. I am encouraged each day as I am allowed to apply God’s word to each of my student’s lives.
I grew up in the Lakeland, Florida and attended and graduated from Lakeland Christian School. I have always been grateful that my parents considered Christian education a priority and sacrificed so we could attend a Christian school.
I earned my B.A. in Elementary Education from Cedarville University. I accepted a position in Atlanta, GA teaching Second Grade at Providence Christian Academy. This is where my love for teaching grew tremendously. I enjoyed seeing the students grow and learn in all different areas. I loved my time in Atlanta and learned so much about teaching. Last year, I met my husband and God brought me back to Florida.
I was blessed to know that Bell Shoals Baptist Academy needed a new Kindergarten teacher. I accepted the position and I have truly enjoyed working here. The relationships I have had the privilege to make are such a blessing. They have helped me grow in both my professional life and my spiritual life. My favorite part about teaching at Bell Shoals is the freedom to biblically integrate God’s Word into everything I teach. It is a joy watching young minds learn about God and how to trust Him!
I joined BSBA in 2015 as the Kindergarten Aide and substitute teacher. Prior to this, I volunteered as a home room Mom and classroom assistant. I served on the preschool board for one year and the PTF board for two years. I was then blessed with the opportunity to join the kindergarten team. I could not ask for a better group of teachers to work with and a better place to be! We are a close team and are all passionate about using our talents to provide a loving Christ centered environment focused on learning and growing in God’s word.
I grew up in a strong Christian family that included foster children. My parents raised me to Love the Lord and were great examples of serving the Lord through studying His Word, caring for his children and helping others. I was saved at a young age and have continued to grow stronger and deeper in my Christian faith with the love and support of my husband, daughter, Church and school family.
I have a BA in Linguistics from the University of Colorado. Yes, I did a good amount of skiing and snow-boarding there but am probably one of the few Coloradoans that does not like snow. I have true Florida blood. Shortly after relocating to Florida, I met my husband who was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base. He is now retired after serving 21 years in the military. We have one daughter, Sienna, who has been a student at BSBA since preschool. Our family has attended Bell Shoals Baptist Church since 2012, where we are involved in the children’s ministry and Lifegroup classes.
Dettye Ann Grooms
I grew up in Mayfield, Kentucky and graduated with a MA in Education from Murray State University. After retiring from the KY public school system, my husband and I relocated with his job to Florida in 1996. We have two beautiful children, adopted from Korea. Mackenzie, our son, works for Flight Scope in Orlando, and sells computerized golf equipment. Our daughter, Madison, graduates from college in June, with her degree in Interior Design. They are the joy of our lives. Both children graduated from BSBA.
As an avid reader myself, I love teaching kindergarteners to read. I feel I am blessed with the gift of helping children to succeed in learning the joy of reading. I love to see the wonder in their eyes as they discover the love of Jesus and the world He has created for them. My goal is to prepare them for First Grade academically, socially, and emotionally, however, most importantly spiritually. It is extremely rewarding to teach in an environment with those who uphold His truths. I am thankful that God continues to bless my time at BSBA.
First and Second Grade Teachers
I am originally from Avon Park, Florida, where I lived for most of my life. Growing up my parents both made sure my siblings and I were in church on Sundays and most Wednesdays. “Unless you are sick or contagious, you go to church!” I was baptized as a young child but was baptized again in my junior year of high school. God put it on my heart to do it again because the first time was not really my choice, it was expected at the time. I am now a firm believer in doing it when you fully understand what you are doing, be it in your youth or old age. I got married in April of 2016 to the best man I’ve ever met (really, he’s wonderful!) and moved to Lithia. I began teaching at Bell Shoals Baptist Academy in August of 2016.
Before coming to BSBA, I graduated from USF in 2008 with a degree in Elementary Education. I spent two years teaching in Polk County public schools, five years in Highlands County public schools, and one year at my hometown church’s school. I’ve taught kindergarten for seven years, middle school for half of a year, and returned to the little ones in first grade where I have been at home since. God bless the older kids, they’re just too tall for me!
*Both of my parents were teachers.
*I have: 2 brothers, 1 sister-in-law whom I consider a sister, and a twin sister (we are VERY close!).
*I don’t currently live at Disney, but if the opportunity ever arises to live in Adventureland or on Main Street USA, I will pack my bags immediately and commute to work.
-Colors: Pink, glitter (anything sparkly!)
-Book: Children’s books mostly. Anything by Roald Dahl, Maurice Sendak, and Frog and Toad stories.
-Song: Greater by MercyMe. And if I’m being honest… quite a bit of Disney movie music pops up in my playlists.
-Verse: “You are fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know full well.” Psalm 139:14
I was blessed to be brought up in a Christian home in Valrico where at the age of ten I came to know the Lord as my Savior. Jesus walks with me and strengthens me each day. Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” is my life verse. Each day I enter BSBA knowing that I can share that message with my students.
I attended the University of South Florida for Public Relations. Teaching was not on my radar. My mother was a teacher and I did not want to be like her! Eventually, I discovered I was not made for the corporate world and entered the classroom as a tutor in the AVID program. As I worked with different students and teachers, I fell in love with teaching. From there I attended Southeastern University and graduated with two Master Degrees in Elementary Education and TESOL.
I have been at BSBA for two years. Each year I am able to instill a love for learning and God in each of my students. I hope to teach with a passion in the classroom so that my students develop a desire to become life-long learners and followers in Christ.
I am married to a wonderful man, Rob. Rob and I have two adorable, crazy girls, Olivia and Emma, and two energetic dogs.
Third & Fourth Grade Teachers
I have had the privilege of teaching third grade at Bell Shoals Baptist Academy since 2002. I graduated from USF with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. I also have my educator's certificate through the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). Prior to becoming a part of the BSBA team, I taught second grade in Texas and third grade at Yates Elementary in Brandon, Florida. I feel so blessed that God has brought me to BSBA where I can help children grow spiritually as well as academically.
When I was eighteen years old, my boyfriend, Bryon, brought me to church with him. After about six months, he and my mother led me to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and my life was changed! Bryon and I have been married since August, 1994. We have two children, Brendan and Alyssa. Brendan is a BSBA alumni, and Alyssa is a current BSBA student. We are members of FishHawk Fellowship Church.
It is such a rewarding experience to watch what the Lord will do in the hearts and minds of those who are devoted to Him. To God be the glory!
At Bell Shoals Baptist Academy, I have worn many hats. As a young student is 1965, I was in the first four year old preschool class. I returned as a young mother in 1985, choosing Christian Education for my children. I continued as a parent until my youngest child graduated from 8th grade. In 1998 I joined the staff as a part time preschool music teacher and middle school girls PE coach. I took time out to have one more baby and then returned in 2008 to teach full time in second grade for two years. In 2010, I moved to fourth grade where I have been happily teaching Language Arts and Bible with excellent co teachers who cover Math, Science, and History. In 2015, I became the chairperson for the ACSI Regional Elementary Speech Meet that is hosted here at BSBA.
My favorite saying is “Life is not about …Waiting for the Storm to Pass. It is about … Learning to Dance in the Rain!” The only way to truly “Dance in the Rain!” is with Jesus as my cheerleader and dance partner. Jesus is a huge part of my childhood memories. I have always felt Him in my heart. At age eleven, I publicly accepted Him as my savior and was baptized in the Methodist Church. In 1999, while touring Israel, I rededicated my life to Christ and was baptized in the Jordan River.
God has made it clear to me that part of His plan for my life is to teach children the Gospel and a deeper understanding of the Bible. As an adult, I realized after attending Bible Study Fellowship, that my Bible knowledge was very limited. My heart’s desire is to help my fourth grade students gain this deeper understanding at an earlier age than I did.
In Language Arts, I integrate Bible truths, art, and public speaking into the reading and writing curriculum. Each assignment is designed to help my students reach their potential in all areas. I encourage them to step out of their comfort zones – especially in public speaking. The ultimate goal I set for my students is to mature into confident witnesses for Jesus.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
Fifth Grade & Specials Teachers
Compass/Imagination Station/Catapult (Title 1)
I became a believer in Jesus Christ when I was in elementary school. My desire is to follow Him all the days of my life and share my faith with others. Teaching at BSBA gives me the opportunity to freely and openly share with students, parents and colleagues the saving faith I have received! I have been at BSBA for over 20 years – first as a parent of two children serving as a homeroom mom in their classes; serving on the PPC and PTF Boards; subbing and teaching preschool, 2nd and 4th grades, and now as a specialist teaching STEM with Compass students, Imagination Station with Kindergarten students and tutoring K-8th grade students in math and reading through Catapult.
I have a degree in Engineering from the University of South Florida and earned my teaching certification from the State of Florida in 2010 for Elementary Education with an endorsement for teaching gifted students.
I was born in Newark, Ohio however have lived in the Tampa Bay area for the majority of my life. I was raised by Christian parents and attended Bell Shoals Baptist Academy during grade school. When I was in grade school, I prayed to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior during summer camp. I received a Bachelor's in Communications from the University of South Florida and upon graduating worked as a manager in the retail industry. While earning my degree at USF, I met my husband Jason. I introduced my husband to Christianity, where he became a follower of Christ and member of Bell Shoals Baptist Church. We have been married for 12 years and have two children, Gatlin and Vayda, who currently attend Bell Shoals Baptist Academy.
I have been active my whole life and enjoy sports and athletics and I'm blessed to be a PE coach at Bell Shoals Baptist Academy. It is also a blessing to be able to spend the majority of my time at the church and to teach children about the Lord. Outside of work, I enjoy running, reading, and spending time with my family & friends. I am also active in my children's extracurricular activities, including baseball, dance, and gymnastics.
I have lived in the Brandon area since 2001 when my family and I moved from Atlanta, Georgia. At 5 years old, I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior with my mom’s help in our kitchen, after a long conversation about what it means to be a Christian. I have been very active in the church since. I graduated from USF with dual degrees in history and psychology and worked in research at Moffitt Cancer Center for four years before coming to BSBA as a teacher. When I am not at school, I enjoy hiking, biking, and going to the beach with my four Siberian Huskies. My dogs and I compete in sports and love to train together! I also love photography and my main subjects of interest are pets, horses, and landscapes. My favorite things about being at BSBA are getting to work with all the talented and passionate students in the Panther Press and getting kids interested in coding and programming!