Head of School

Dawn Engle joined the Real Life Christian Academy family in 2015 as the Director of Student Services following 11 years’ as a classroom teacher in both public and private schools. She was then promoted to the position Upper School Principal in which she served for two years. She then accepted the position of Lower School Principal and served there for two years. Dawn is thrilled to begin the 20-21 school year as the Academy Head of School.

Her experience in Christian education and love for the Lord have driven her passion to build meaningful relationships with students, parents, and school community. She is dedicated to continuing an exceptional academic program, equipping students with a biblical worldview, and creating agile leaders. Mrs. Engle received both her bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s and doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida. She is certified in kindergarten through 12th grade education, clinical education, is ESOL and reading specialist endorsed, and is author of two children’s books. She and Tim, her husband, reside in Clermont and are proud parents of two children, Ella and Lane.

Director of Instruction and Curriculum

Kristy Tallon

I have been at Real Life Christian Academy for three years teaching The Fabulous Fourth Graders. She is also the advisor for our school’s Safety Patrol and the National Elementary Honor Society at RLCA.

Kristy received her Bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Student Education with a minor in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University, and continued her education with a Master’s degree from Walden University in Reading and Literacy. This school year makes m fourteenth year of teaching! Those fourteen years have been in both public and private schools in both special education and standard classroom settings. Most of her teaching career has been in Florida with two years in Georgia.

Kristy's husband Scott, have been married for 19 years and have a 15 year old daughter, Kaylee. They relocated with her husband’s job to Central Florida five years ago and love living here. Kaylee is an amazing student athlete who plays varsity as well as travel softball and loves to surf. They also have a furbaby Petey whom they rescued 6 years ago. Their family are members of Real Life at Clermont and have attended since they moved here.

"I am beyond excited to begin a new role as the Curriculum Resource Teacher at RLCA. My heart and vision of this role is to support the instructional needs of the students as well as supporting the needs of our amazing teachers. My focus will be on making sure we are providing the best curriculum and instructional practices possible in PreK-12th grade.

I love what Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We are doing amazing things at Real Life Christian Academy and I can’t wait to see the plans God continues to unfold! " Kristy states.

Upper School Principal

Adam Danapilis

Adam was born and raised in St. Joseph, MI, where he grew up playing, coaching, and officiating baseball and football. He holds a BA in Special Education from Elmhurst College and a MA in School Administration from Grand Valley State University. During his 19-year career in education, Adam has been a classroom teacher, teacher consultant, transition coordinator, program administrator, and school principal. Adam believes in preparing all students to live a meaningful and purpose-filled life. He is passionate about supporting students where they are at and taking them to new heights so they can achieve their post-secondary goals.

Adam has been married to his high school sweetheart Lisa for 18 years. They have 2 wonderful teenage children. Adam and his family are excited to be part of Real Life Christian Academy, connect with the church family, engage with the community of Clermont, and be faithful stewards for the cause of Christ in order to make an eternal difference and grow His kingdom.

Adam enjoys spending quality time with his family playing games, being outdoors, walking their dog Gibbs, and watching his 2 children play sports. His daily encouragement comes from the Bible and leans on Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Lower School Principal

Amy Lowry

Over the last 8 years of her time here at Real Life Christian Academy, Amy has been so blessed to have been given the opportunity to serve families and students. She loved every minute that she had serving either as a 3rd grade teacher or the Admissions Director. She is so humbled and excited that the Lord is allowing her to continue serving our Real Life community in my new role as Lower School Principal.

Amy has been a member of Real Life Christian Church since 2008, where she served as a life group leader, Worship Leader, and as part of the Women's Ministry Team. "It's been a huge blessing that my own children have had the opportunity to grow up as "Real Lifers". Amy states.

Amy graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Education and is currently pursuing a Masters in Educational Leadership. She has 18 years of classroom and teaching experience in both the public and private school setting. She taught in the public school system for 13 years as a special education teacher, teaching students from grades K-12, and was a school-wide Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports Coach. She hold a Florida Teacher Certification in grades PK-3, K-6, ESE K-12, and ESOL endorsement. Amy joined the Real Life Christian Academy family to teach 3rd grade. During that time, she also to served as Chapel Coordinator, Lower School Lead Teacher and Admissions Director.

Amy has been married to her high school sweetheart, Erik for 25 years in May and has two children. Her son, Wyatt is an RLCA 2020 graduate, and our daughter Londyn, is currently an 11th grader here at the Academy.

In her spare time, you can find Amy running marathons/half-marathons with her dad, gardening, doing home improvement projects, paddle boarding, and spending time with her family and friends. Amy has a heart for sharing the love of Jesus with students and families and she is committed to loving and serving our RLCA community!

Athletics Director
Debi Lawson

Married for 37 yrs to Ron Lawson, Debi also has 2 children-Ron Lawson III & Ashley Wilmore (married to Josh Wilmore). 2 grandchildren-Lily Grace Wilmore-2 yrs old and Levi Allen Wilmore- 2 months old.

Debi coached Volleyball, Basketball & Softball for over 20 yrs / Athletic Director for 25 yrs / worked in Christian Education-25 yrs

Debi is the Athletics Director at Real Life Christian Academy - 11 yrs. Member of Real Life Christian Church

Her favorite Bible Verse- Ephesians 4:32
Be kind to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

She continually hopes to inspire young people through love and kindness. Jesus forgives us and loves us unconditionally and that is what I try to do to our young people. We live in difficult times and it is very important that we LOVE one another and be KIND to one another.

Debi loves her free time with her...GRANDKIDS!!!!

Virtual Learning Director
Peggy Pearson

Before she got married, you may have known her as Ms. Alex. She has had the privilege of being one of the Real Life’s 5th grade teachers for the past five years. This year, she will be stepping into a new role. I will be RLCA’s Virtual Learning Director.

Peggy's role for the academy this year will be to support our virtual learning community. In the unprecedented time of Covid-19, our staff has decided to open up a virtual learning platform so that your child can continue to receive a Christ-centered education from home. We are thrilled that you have chosen to partner with us online, and we are looking forward to the academic, social, and spiritual gains that your child will make this year.

Student Services Director
Danifer Rodriguez

Danifer Rodriguez has worked closely with our Real Life families for the past 5 years. She is dedicated in helping our student and families in the Student Services department. Danifer worked in the Orange County public school system for 7 years. She has a heart for students and loves putting a smile on everyone’s face.

Mrs. Rodriguez has been married to her best friend for 24 years. She enjoys DIY projects and spending time at the beach with her growing family. Being from Colombia, she likes good coffee, so please stop by to say hello and join her for a cup when you get a chance ;)

Her go-to verse is Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”