The mission of Pineapple Cove Classical Academy is to develop graduates in mind and character through a classical, content-rich curriculum that emphasizes the principles of virtuous living, traditional learning, and civic responsibility. We are building intelligent, virtuous American citizens.
Pineapple Cove Academy, a highly successful early learning facility located in the Bayside Lakes Division of Palm Bay, has inspired the application for Pineapple Cove Classical Academy. Demand from parents for a K-12 opportunity that matches the rigorous and successful VPK program at the early learning facility has been the impetus for Pineapple Cove Classical Academy’s inception.
“Pineapple Cove Classical Academy is a natural extension of Pineapple Cove Academy Early Learning facility where excellence in early education has been established at the preschool level. It is with the overwhelming support of our parents and community that Pineapple Cove Classical Academy has become a reality.” – John and Beth Moran, Founders
Kelly Gunter M.A., Ed.
Director of School Operations
Mrs. Gunter is a member of the Founding Board of Pineapple Cove Classical Academy and was the founding principal for the first three years of our school. Mrs. Gunter wrote the original charter application for Pineapple Cove Classical Academy at Palm Bay, as well as the subsequent applications for West Melbourne and our high school programs. In addition, Mrs. Gunter authored the Charter School Program grants for both schools, totaling over $850,000 in grant awards.
Mrs. Gunter brings 15 years of education experience as a classroom teacher, college professor, and faculty advisor to PCCA. She is certified in Elementary Education, Exceptional Student Education, and English 6-12.
As Director of School Operations, Mrs. Gunter handles much of the business tasks associated with the school, manages grants, ensures district, state, and federal compliance, and continues to mentor school leadership.
Email Mrs. Gunter here.
Lisa Wheeler, M.A., Ed.
Mrs. Wheeler taught for 15 years in Florida public schools prior to joining the administrative team at Pineapple Cove Classical Academy in 2015. Her teaching experience includes primary grades and literacy coaching, which provided extensive experience in supporting classroom and ESE teachers with core and intervention instruction, diagnosing reading difficulties, designing interventions, administering and analyzing assessments, working with at-risk students, and professional development for both parents and faculty. Her educational credentials include a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Reading.
Mrs. Wheeler has a long-standing relationship with Pineapple Cove Academy. In 2006, Mrs. Wheeler began working with PCA’s VPK teachers. Through curriculum development, training, and data analysis, teachers worked to create a prestigious VPK Literacy program that is known throughout Palm Bay and Melbourne. In addition, Mrs. Wheeler also authored and organized PCA’s SES and private tutoring program.
Mrs. Wheeler is a founding member of the Palm Bay location and has worked closely with the administrative team, instructional staff, Barney Charter School Initiative, and the governing board to ensure a successful launch in the school’s beginning years. In her role as Assistant Principal, Mrs. Wheeler oversaw student discipline and adherence to our school’s virtues and policies, monitored the MTSS process and student progression, coordinated student assessment, supported teacher instruction, and conferenced with students and families to enhance our school’s academic and social culture.
E-mail Mrs. Wheeler here.
Tara Engeron, M.A.
Assistant Principal, Elementary
Ms. Engeron began working with PCCA at its inception as a founding member of the governing board. After serving on the board, she taught third grade at the school for two years, and has now transitioned into the role of Assistant Principal at the Palm Bay campus.
Ms. Engeron brings 9 years of education experience as a classroom teacher, adjunct college instructor, and student academic advisor. As a complement to her role in student services at Eastern Florida State College, Ms. Engeron earned her master’s degree in Career and Technical Education from the University of Central Florida. Her student services experience includes student scheduling, program coordination, and admissions.
E-mail Ms. Engeron here.
John Ottinger, M.A.
AP of Curriculum, Junior/Senior HS
Mr. Ottinger is a founding faculty member of Pineapple Cove Classical Academy – Palm Bay and a teacher with over fifteen years of instructional experience in grades 5-12. He formerly taught in private schools and for five years owned, operated, and developed a classical instructional program for homeschool students in middle school and high school. He also spent three years as a senior loan adviser in commercial real estate finance and development.
Mr. Ottinger has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education – Middle Grades and earned his Master of Arts in English from the University of Central Florida. He is certified in Elementary Education and English 5-9 and holds the ESOL Endorsement.
At PCCA, Mr. Ottinger taught sixth grade and middle school English and was the National Junior Honor Society adviser and chess club adviser. He was awarded two field trip grants from Target for students to attend plays at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. As the Upper School Faculty Chair, Mr. Ottinger served as the liaison between instructors and the administration and coached new teachers in the classical model of education and the mission of PCCA.
E-mail Mr. Ottinger here.
Manny A. Ramirez, M.S.
AP of Student Affairs, Junior/Senior HS
School Accountability Reports
The annual Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) School Public Accountability Reports (SPARs) meet ESEA’s requirement for schools and districts to provide parents with an annual school status report at the beginning of each school year.