Alicia Turner

4th Grade Jackie Robinson's Nine Values

As an introduction to leadership and the expecta-tions of the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy, 4th graders will focus on character traits that leaders need to be effective. The class examines Jackie Robinson’s nine principles to live by and looks at his biography as a guideline to determine what a leader does. Robinson’s nine principles are: Courage, Determination, Teamwork, Persistence, Integrity, Citizenship, Justice, Commitment and Excellence 

Megan Parker

5th Grade A

The Leader Within—We all have a story to tell. What will your story be? We will examine our stories and craft memoirs about turning point moments in our lives. Students will utilize a writing process and organize a writer’s notebook. We will study the stories of leaders that have inspired us along the way. 

Dr. Franita Ware

5th Grade B

Students will cultivate an appreciation for the quote “Those to whom much is given, much is expected” as the foundation of the curriculum for the 5th grade students. They will explore their purpose and responsibilities in the Porter Billups Leadership Academy and how this experience is a foundation for developing the genus and greatness in their lives. We will explore the following topics: What is a leader and what are the types of leader-ship? How do leaders behave and support the growth of others? What types of leaders are scholar-activists, entrepreneurs, and philan-thropists? Why is financial literacy an element of leader-ship? 

Paul Roberts

6th Grade Transitions 

Students entering sixth grade are embarking on a whole new adventure in school. In order to assist our students as they transition to middle school expectations, we have created a class called Transitioning to Leadership. This class focuses on the soft skills that are not always taught, but are necessary for academic success. This class is taught in a computer lab, as technological literacy is key. It also addresses other essentials such as self-advocacy, organization, time management, and problem solving. Additionally, we will explore resources to support students academically as they make the transition to taking responsibility for their own learning. 

Brian Moland

8th Grade Social Justice — AVID/Literacy

Integrates and contextualizes current events and controversial issues through reading, writing, public speaking and presentation skills. Students will identify and research a social issue and prepare a written and videoed proposal. Students will practice AVID organizational strategies, and participate in Socratic Seminars and Philosophical Chairs. 

Sean Malloy

9th Grade Writer's Craft 

In The Writer's Craft, the rising 9th graders will reading Paolo Coelho's The Alchemist and exploring the idea behind the novel's overarching theme of "personal legends." Students will be writing about their own life goals, as well as the different paths they can take in ultimately achieving their own "legend." The unit will culminate in a persuasive essay in which students reflect on their life thus far, and their goals for high school, college, and beyond. 

Ryan Turk

10th Grade — The Complexity of Compliance

Students will work through modern-day racial rela-tions (1960s-present) in America by analyzing Nic Stone’s Dear Martin and thoroughly discuss their interpretations of society’s ills. Our intent is to use literature and history to address complex issues that challenge and strengthen our critical thinking skills. Students will address current issues in socie-ty, and the novel, and discuss/propose solutions. Each of them will filter through Stone’s characteri-zations of modern day adolescents and decide which are beneficial and/or detrimental. This pro-cess will require a large amount of self-reflection and analysis that improves leadership skills. 

William Anderson

11th Grade Introduction to Social/Emotional Leadership

People and events in history challenge student leaders to see the past, present, future, and them-selves differently. Students use literacy strategies to get on a path of self-discovery using reading, writing, and discussion at a critical thinking level. We will address the social and emotional well-being of great leaders. 

Jason Perry

​12th Grade Managing Your Relationship Portfolio

Every person’s life is made up of a collection of rela-tionships - a portfolio. Just like with financial investments, wise choices need to be made about who is included in your portfolio. How well you manage your relationships will determine how successful you will be in your life. This class will look at five types of relationships - Self, Family, Friends, Romantic and Professional and seek to give students insights and skills for getting the best return on their investment. 

8th grade Moving from Good to Great 

If LeBron James is such a great basketball player, why did it take him so long to begin winning cham-pionships? This class will look at the changes that he needed to make in order to become the winner that everyone thought he had the potential to be-come. Our class will examine how students can make those same changes in their own lives to un-lock their potential to win at every level of life. 


9th and 10th Grade ‘Becoming CAPTAINS’ 


“If you want to change the direction of a ship, you don’t look to the sailors, you identify the Captain. Our class this year is about ‘Becoming CAPTAINS’. CAPTAINS are transformational leaders are people who can influence others and change in the world. We will be examining 8 things that transformation-al leaders understand– Community. Accountability. Purpose. Teamwork. Academic Success. Integrity. Next Generation. Service. 

11th Grade The Pathway to Leadership 

The Pathway to Leadership course will seek to em-power our students to build on the foundation of leadership they have been given in their years at PBLA and seek to help them become the transforma-tional leader we believe they have the potential and responsibility to be. Through group discussion, per-sonal reflections, media analysis and classroom in-struction, we will explore 7 important road markers on this pathway to leadership: Developing a Life Code; Knowledge; Personal Discipline; Perseverance; Pur-poseful Living; Respect for Others. 

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Jennifer Clark

Assistant Director

Robin Segura


Self-expression is an important form of communication. This year, students will have the opportunity to express themselves through art. Students will be asked to bring in an item that inspires them. and they will create a painting, drawing, or collage based on the picture or item they select.

Kelley Dawkins 

Communications/Financial Literacy

Find your voice! And some Financial knowledge along the way. Learn how to speak on any topic for 2-3 minutes, yes, that’s right! Any topic! Increase critical thinking and analytical skills through public speaking, debate, and informal conversations. Want to get that dream job? Let’s work on some interview skills. Lastly, understand basic market-ing principles and, thus how to avoid falling prey to them. This will lead to better financial decisions. 

Communications/Financial Literacy

Veronica Valenzuela

Classroom in a Backpack

Classroom In A Backpack is a place-based health education program that combines structured aca-demic activities and unstructured outdoor play to share with young people the health benefits of experiencing nature. Using the Arboretum of Regis University as their classroom, 6th graders explore the award winning trees and landscape to become advocates for reducing screen time and increasing time in nature. 7th graders will learn survival skills such as preparing a survival pack, setting up a tent, and set a life time goal of hiking at least one “fourteener”. This year, in collabora-tion with Lincoln Hills Cares, both groups will ex-perience first hand African American Heritage and outdoor skills at Lincoln Hills resort. 

Angela Sidhu

Life Skills

Life Skills are essential to learn and master in order to be successful in any endeavor. This year's focus will be on how to make a lasting and positive impression. Young people today are not always perceived in a positive manner. By addressing specific skills such as dressing and speaking for your audience, etiquette in different situations, handling peer pressure. negotiating conflicts. and the art of conversation. we will focus on making positive impressions. 

Zerphayne Willis and Conor Simbeck

Physical Education

Team building activities will involve a variety of group activities that teach leadership skills, communication, decision-making, and problem solving. Students will learn to work together, listen, and encourage others, as well as enjoy the spirit of fun and sportsmanship. 

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Martha Britt


This Introduction to STEM course provides an over-view of the engineering process that is taught in a middle school and STEM classroom. Students experience true integration of topics from science, technology, engineering and mathematics taught in a purposeful, meaningful manner. Emphasis will be placed on engineering and practice, regarding ‘failure’ and reflecting on what inspire students to engage in learning. The topics covered in this introductory course include designing and creating original ideas, objects, and structures according to certain specification using concepts and skills from math and science. The goal of this class is to grow students' capacity for creativity, fun, leadership, and confidence in the engineering cycle. Each grade will begin the summer with an engineering challenge to practice the engineering cycle. They will then each apply the engineering cycle to a different engineering project and present their work to their peers. 

Emily Hartford


Students explore and learn computer programming through various outlets. The 8th grade course introduces stu-dents to basic programming and problem solving strategies. The course will involve students in the development, building and programming of a LEGO Mind-storm robot. 

Steven Guydo


The 9th grade course students enter the world of computer science by learning how to create anima-tions, computer games, and interactive projects with the program scratch. In the 10th grade course stu-dents will learn how to program animations and drawing using JavaScript and the JS processing li-brary. In the 11th grade course will get a basic un-derstanding of HTML and CSS to begin developing their own webpages. As they progress through the STEM II classes the programming will become more difficult and utilize the same programs that comput-er scientists use to develop our technical world. 

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