What is the Communications Academy?

The Communications Academy at Deland High School will provide students with rigorous, hands on, real world experiences to prepare them for the industry.

Students will have a comprehensive overview of communications in which they can then choose a path to continue on throughout their four years of high school.

These paths include Web Design, Digital Design, Digital Video Production, and Journalism.

In all paths, students will participate in “market-ready” activities which include being tested on and passing the industry exams in the appropriate courses.


Marlo Jones
US History Honors, African American Studies, Sociology

Graduate of University of Central Florida with a Degree in Social Science Education, Mrs. Jones has been teaching 9 years. She loves spending time with her family, camping and boating.

James Lowenstein
Digital Video Production

Graduate of University of Central Florida with a degree in Radio-Television Production, Mr. Lowenstein has been teaching for 22 years. In addition to coaching cross country, track and field and soccer, he enjoys spending time with his wife and playing sports when he can. He has worked with ESPN and the Orlando Predators as well as a musical background which involved session work in the early days at Full Sail Recording Studios.

Ryan McConkey
English Honors, Regular

Graduate of Warner University, Southeastern University and University of Tampa, Mr. McConkey has a bachelors in Theology, Masters in Theology and a M.F.A in Creative Writing. He played four years of college baseball at Warner University. He has published a novel and several short stories. Mr. McConkey is happily married with a 5 year old son.

Catherine Oley
Web Design, Academy Director

Graduate of Stetson University with a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, Ms. Oley has been teaching at DeLand High for the past 11 years. As academy director, Ms. Oley oversees all academy related activity along with making sure the team and students meet the county's standards as outlined on their Wikispace.

Vickie Perri
Digital Media/Multimedia Foundations Level 1, 2, 3, Digital Information Technology

Graduate of University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Ms. Perri has been teaching for 16 years. She is a proud memeber of the Communications Academy team and sponsor of the Communications Club! She has a love for animals, nature, and technology!

Rebecca Schaffer
English Honors, Journalism

Graduate of University of Florida with a Bachelors in English and an M.E.D. in Mastery of Education, Mrs. Schaffer has been teaching English and Journalism for 20 years. She has a number of pets including 3 chickens, 2 dogs, 2 kids and a husband.

April Sniffen
Seniors English, Dual Enrollment: Student Success and Career Explorations, Journalism/Newspaper

Graduate of University of North Florida with Bachelors in Secondary Education and a Masters in English, Mrs. Sniffen has been teaching for 19 years. Mrs. Sniffen had a radio show in college and has always had a love for Communications! She collected PEZ dispenses and has over 500 of them!.