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About Us

Falcons Leading, Learning, and Loving what we do!

Melissa Lime, Principal

Melissa Lime is honored to serve as the Principal at Freedom Crossing Academy. Mrs. Lime is a St. Augustine native who earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and obtained a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and Post Master’s Certificate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida. Throughout her 19+ years in K-12 education, Mrs. Lime has supported students and families in St. Johns County School District in a variety of roles including classroom teacher, instructional literacy coach, coordinator for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, curriculum coordinator, and most recently as the vice principal at Freedom Crossing Academy. In 2021, Mrs. Lime was recognized as the St. Johns County School District Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year.

Mrs. Lime is a champion for all students and is passionate about creating a positive school culture where every student feels valued, supported, and empowered to achieve academic excellence. Her leadership philosophy and core beliefs are rooted in fostering positive and trusting relationships with her students and families and creating strong partnerships with the community. Since opening Freedom Crossing Academy in 2018, Mrs. Lime has inspired and empowered students to demonstrate outstanding character, leadership, and positive behavior by adhering to the “FCA Way” behavior expectations at school and throughout the community. Her vision is for all students and staff to feel a deep sense of belonging and enthusiasm every day. She is passionate about cultivating a culture of student leadership and innovation, encouraging students to ‘Take Flight and Break Barriers” in their academic, athletic, and artistic endeavors.

Mrs. Lime is also actively involved in the community and has served on local advisory boards including the Advisory Board for THE PLAYERS Championship Boys & Girls Club in St. Augustine. In 2019, she was recognized as one of St. Augustine’s “40 Under Forty” young professionals who demonstrate outstanding leadership and service to the community. Mrs. Lime is also a graduate of Leadership St. Johns: Class of 2022 and Leadership Florida Education Class 8 (2024). She is honored to serve the students and families at FCA and proud to be a Falcon!

Holli Strompolis, Vice Principal

Holli Strompolis is excited to join the amazing team at Freedom Crossing Academy in her role as the Vice Principal.  Ms. Strompolis is originally from Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!)  and moved to St. Augustine, Florida to attend school and play volleyball for Flagler College.  While there, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and later went on to obtain her Master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of Purdue.  She has served her entire eighteen-year career in St. Johns County and began as a History teacher at Pedro Menendez High School.  After teaching, Ms. Strompolis also served as the Dean of Students at PMHS, the Coordinator for School Services, and then as an Assistant Principal at various schools in the county.

In 2023-24, Ms. Strompolis was recognized as the St. Johns County Assistant Principal of the Year. She was recognized by the Florida Department of Education as a Top 3 Finalist for the 2024 Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award.  Aside from her career, Ms. Stromplis’ pride and joy is her 8-year-old son, who also attends school in St. Johns County.  She loves to watch him play on his sporting teams and they enjoy traveling together.  Their goal is to see all 50 states.

Ms. Strompolis is excited to continue her educational journey at FCA and looks forward to getting to know the students, families, and staff.  She is passionate about building positive relationships with all school stakeholders and strives to ensure that students and staff feel safe, supported, excited to walk through the school doors each day.

Cassandra Hurst, Assistant Principal 6-8

bio coming soon

Donna Gary Donovan, Assistant Principal K-2

Donna Gary-Donovan is thrilled to join the Freedom Crossing Academy team and serve the students, families, and teachers of this wonderful community. She values every family and will partner with you to support your child’s academic and personal growth. One of her favorite quotes is “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship” said by Dr. James P. Comer.

Ms. Gary-Donovan joined St. Johns County School District in 2013 as an ESE Pre-K teacher and transitioned to Assistant Principal in 2014. She has served as Assistant Principal at Otis A. Mason Elementary, First Coast Technical College, and most recently, at Hickory Creek Elementary. She has successfully collaborated with Flagler College and UNF to provide ESOL services for students with various needs as part of the COMPEL program. The collaboration connects ESOL teachers with students and provides direct instruction for students to thrive in their educational journeys.

Prior to relocating to Florida, Ms. Gary-Donovan and family lived in Cary, North Carolina for 12 years. She served as an ESE teacher, Career Development Specialist, and Assistant Principal at both Elementary and High School levels in Wake County Public Schools. She led several innovative programs, which included a high school initiative to provide “time” during the school day for students to participate in academic support and club experiences, as part of the “Smart-Lunch” program.

Ms. Gary-Donovan’s career first began in Long Island, New York. Her passion for children and families is at the heart of her values and professional goals. She has worked within non-profit and public education organizations. She also had the honor of serving as a teacher for exceptional student education, early intervention, second grade and sixth grade. Her roles included Education Specialist, Assistant Bureau Chief of Special Education, and Director. During her tenure in New York, she received several grant awards which included funding for inclusion of students with Autism and supported employment/independent living for young adults with unique abilities.

Ms. Gary-Donovan is a graduate of Adelphi University with a Master’s Degree in Education concentration in Inclusionary Practices. She completed a Post Master’s Degree in School Administration from Dowling College. In addition, she attended Saint Joseph’s College and completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a dual major in Elementary Education and Special Education.

When Ms. Gary-Donovan is not keeping busy at FCA, you may find her traveling to New York City to visit her two daughters. She also enjoys yoga, gardening and spending time with her dog, Chloe.

Savannah Sims, Assistant Principal 3-5

Savannah Sims is excited and honored to serve as Freedom Crossing Academy’s Assistant Principal for grades 3-5.  Ms. Sims was raised in St. Johns County schools and has watched the county grow into one of the most successful and respected counties in Florida.  She graduated from Flagler College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from St. Leo University.

Mrs. Sims began her teaching career as a 1st grade teacher and enjoyed teaching 2nd and 4th graders in Putnam County. She started her educational journey in St. Johns County School District as a middle school math and science teacher at Pacetti Bay Middle School. She also served as the Testing Coordinator at Pacetti Bay Middle School before serving Freedom Crossing Academy as the Assistant Principal for grades K-2.

Ms. Sims has been married for 17 years to her high school sweetheart and has 3 boys, who also attend St. Johns County Schools.  Her family loves to do anything outdoors including fishing, camping, and raising chickens.  She loves to travel to the mountains and watching sports.  She is a huge baseball and football fan and is a diehard Jacksonville Jaguar fan.  Her favorite baseball players are of course her children.

Ms. Sims prides herself on building relationships with families, students and staff in order to help build a village that will make learning the best experience it can be.  She enjoys helping anyone in need and ensuring that school is a place where students can go to feel safe, encouraged, and loved.  She hopes that every community member who, comes into contact with Freedom Crossing Academy, will have a positive and impactful experience.  Ms. Sims truly looks forward to this upcoming year where all Falcons can Break Barriers and Take FLIGHT!

We Are Breaking Barriers!

Freedom Crossing Academy has been recognized as a National Showcase Capturing Kids Hearts Model School for the third consecutive year! Learn more about Capturing Kids Hearts.

Freedom Crossing Academy has been recognized by the Florida PBIS Project as a 2022-2023 Gold PBIS Model School! Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) is a school-wide framework that, according to national research, enhances student quality of life and reduces problem behaviors. By establishing this framework, we are developing skills, making changes to the school environment, acknowledging appropriate behavior, and using data to identify supports for our students. As a PBIS Model School, we demonstrate a commitment to positive and equitable outcomes for all students! Learn more about FCA’s PBIS program.

About Our School

School Established – 2018
School Location – Aberdeen community, St Johns County, FL
Area Served – Aberdeen and Rivertown Communities
First Principal – Allen Anderson
School Cost – $38 million, funded by the Half-Cent Sales Tax
School Mascot – Falcon
School Colors – Navy, Grey, Kelly Green
School Capacity – approximately 1,490 students
School Building – 190,000 square feet
Feeder Pattern High Schools – Bartram Trail HS & Creekside HS
School Design – The design is a modification of Patriot Oaks and Valley Ridge Academies with the addition of a third floor that houses 8 classrooms, 3 science labs, ESE classrooms, a Technology Lab, Business Lab, Skills Lab and Resource Room. Due to tremendous growth, 30 modular classrooms have been added.

Teacher of the Year 2018 – Matt Ostrowsky – St Johns County TOY Finalist
Teacher of the Year 2019 – Julie Haden – St Johns County TOY Finalist
Teacher of the Year 2020 – Jessica Brown
Teacher of the Year Middle School 2021 – Jill Loughran
Teacher of the Year Elementary 2021 – Ashley Anderson
Teacher of the Year Middle School 2022 – Sherry Galbraith
Teacher of the Year Elementary School 2022 – Jeremy Reed
Teacher of the Year Middle School 2023 – Zach Sharpe
Teacher of the Year Elementary School 2023 – Kim Denny

Rookie Teacher of the Year 2019 – Ashley Alford
Rookie Teacher of the Year 2020 – Alyssa Gavron
Rookie Teacher of the Year Elementary 2021 – Karina Ringdahl
Rookie Teacher of the Year Middle School 2021– David Zeinert
Rookie Teacher of the Year Elementary 2022 – Brooke Dougherty
Rookie Teacher of the Year Middle School 2022 – Scott Ewertz
Rookie Teacher of the Year Elementary 2023 – Aimee Banion
Rookie Teacher of the Year Middle School 2023 – Alexys Troyer

School Related Employee of the Year 2018 – Staci Boyer – SJC Employee of the Year
School Related Employee of the Year 2019 – Katie Richards
School Related Employee of the Year 2020 – John Reed
School Related Employee of the Year 2021 – Sean Eaton
School Related Employee of the Year 2022 – Meghan Atherton
School Related Employee of the Year 2023 – Ellen Albano

School Mission Statement: “Falcons take FLIGHT”
The letters in FLIGHT encompass qualities that we want for our students and staff = Focus, Leadership, Imagination, Grit, Heart, and Team

School Vision Statement: “Breaking Barriers”
It is our goal for our students, staff and school to ‘break the barriers’ that are holding us from the next step in our dreams and achievements.  These could include such things as the fear to fail, misconceptions, a fixed mindset, self-esteem, etc.

School Logo: