Gantry Academy

Gantry Academy

A Partnership in Discovery

About Us



To provide comprehensive, individualized education that enables each learner to flourish with honesty, compassion, and personal responsibility.


This is a place where littles are free to get their wiggles out every hour and bigs are free to delve into projects they design to fully investigate integrated topics with hands-on experiences.

Gantry Academy is more than a college prep school. We are a life prep school. Alongside of our rigorous STEAM focus we build Human Relations, Sustainability, and Life Skills, which allows us to support the growth of the whole child, including the whole family.


  • Fish don’t climb trees. All learners deserve an inclusive environment regardless of race, color, religion/creed, gender, gender expression, age, ancestry, disability, or sexual orientation.
  • Gantry Academy aggregates international best practices, such as the top-tier Finnish school systems, that use integrated, multi-disciplinary curriculum and innovative techniques like flipped homework to provide a world-class education in the Sciences and Arts to students of diverse cultural and economic backgrounds.
  • Gantry Academy encourages each student to thrive as an individual life-long learner with outstanding problem solving skills, allowing them to become confident and creative architects of their own future.

Meet the Team

This school is being built from the ground up (as in a project, not building construction!) by everyone involved. That means staff, mentors, and the families that join us will be an integral part of the team! Join us and see your name here!

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips, PMP

Founder & Director

I am a software developer, with my B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas. I attended Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth summer camps in middle school and graduated from high school at 16 years old because my parents fought to keep public school from standardizing me. As a parent and a friend, I started Gantry Academy to help as many learners as possible find their own passion.


Ali Ronder

Educational Consultant

You can view my entire electronic portfolio at for more detailed information including my resume and video documentation. Also find me for private educational consulting at

Gina Bennette, M.Ed.

Gina Bennette, M.Ed.


“The secret in education lies in respecting the student”                                                          -Ralph Waldo Emerson

As co-founder of ABCD, and Curriculum Director, I bring over 20 years of experience educating children, a B.S. in Psychology, and an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. I know from experience the importance of social-emotional learning and the consequences when our schools ignore it. As VP at The Princeton Review, I learned first hand how broken the system is. American Education doesn’t value true learning, just the ability to represent it on a test. My goal at Apple Blossom Center for Discovery is to fill that gap and get your child excited about learning.

Kreslyn Lehmann

Kreslyn Lehmann

Assistant Director

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
– Albert Einstein

My career started as a medical assistant. I loved helping families in a clinical setting but after taking a position as a Special Needs Nanny for a medically fragile child, I discovered my true passion is for teaching! I have several years of experience as a nanny and working in a small private school as a Pre-K teacher. I am excited to bring all of my experience to ABCD. My goal at Apple Blossom Center for Discovery is teaching our youngest students that learning is both fun and educational!

Keli Pollarine

Keli Pollarine

Teaching Mentor

Keli comes to ABCD with a Bachelors Degree in Communications and Drama from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX, and a collective 15 years of experience working with children. After two years teaching at the upper elementary and middle school levels, and having a daughter of her own; Keli honed her educational philosophy that learning is a truly magical process when it is based on fun, student-centric projects and organic discoveries.

Chloe Barnette, M.Ed.

Chloë Barnette

Teaching Mentor

I graduated from Lenoir Rhyne University in 2017 with my Education Degree focusing in Math and English and an Art Minor. I will be graduating in May 2019 with my Master’s Degree from Lenoir Rhyne University focusing in Online Teaching and Instructional Design. I taught 7th Grade Math in Hickory, North Carolina, and have received the North Carolina Team of the Year award in 2018. I have a strong passion for helping kids reach their “light bulb” moments and become excited about learning. I also believe every child, no matter the learning style, deserves to be engaged with the content.

Next Steps...

Contact us to find out more information or schedule a site visit.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!