Dana Simmons : Assistant Principal

Dana Simmons

Assistant Principal

I currently live in Bartow with My Husband and two Sons, Layne and Tucker. I am a native of Bartow, attending Union Academy when it was strictly for 7th grade only, then going on to graduate from Bartow High School. I played college sports at Troy State University and transferred to Webber International University, where I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Following my love of sports, I began my teaching career as a Physical Education Teacher at Fort Meade Middle Senior High School. I coached softball while there, then transferred to Bartow High School to teach Reading and Business, as well as, continue to coach softball. It was shortly after my 5th year of teaching that I decided to pursue a career in administration. I received my Master’s degree from Saint Leo University and soon thereafter became an Academic Dean at Lakeland Highlands Middle School. I went on to become an Assistant Principal II at Lakeland High School, where I was able to focus my learning in curriculum and instruction. With the knowledge I gained through my experiences at Lakeland, I was blessed to have the opportunity to become the Assistant Principal here, at Union Academy Middle Magnet IB. I have been looking forward to returning to my hometown and serving these students and families. I know what a special town and community this is, and what this group of students are capable of accomplishing, and I am proud and honored to be a part of it! Go Tigers!!
Stephen Scheloske : Principal

Stephen Scheloske


I was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania where I attended Strong Vincent High School. After graduation, I attended Allegheny College for one year. When Allegheny began depleting their Education Program, I transferred to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. In my time at Edinboro, I played football and met my wife Amy who was a two-sport athlete. Upon graduation, I began teaching in a nearby school district and coaching football at Edinboro. Florida was the right place for us so we relocated to Lakeland. Amy and I both taught at All Saints Academy before I moved onto Lake Gibson High School. At LGHS I was a classroom teacher, Dean of Students and Academic Dean. During my time at LG, I earned my Master Degree at the University of South Florida in Educational Leadership. Assistant Principal of Haines City International Baccalaureate was the next challenge for me. I spent nine years working to establish a program that would stand provide a world class education for its students. I am proud to say Haines City IB students are among the best in the world. During my time at Haines City, my wife and I have been lucky to have two wonderful children Mason and Madison. I wasn’t busy enough so I began working on my Doctorate at Florida Southern College. Currently, I am working on my dissertation to complete that degree.

I am very excited to be part of the Union Academy family. The rich tradition and history speaks to me as an educator and an old social studies teacher. I accept the challenge of leading a school that has been a consistent shining example of what Polk County produces. As Max Thompson once said, “It is ok for you to be where you are, it is not ok for you to stay there.” We must progress as a school; my goal for Union Academy is to be the shining star in Florida. I look forward to working with our students, parents, staff, community and business partners to advance our school and provide the best for our kids.