Meet Our Leadership

Sandy Krischke

Sandy Krischke


Sandy Krischke, founder of Independence Classical Academy, active in both local politics and sporting clubs, has many interests.

However, as the mother of 4 children educated in private, public, and magnet schools, her true passions lie with advocating for educational policy change. She has been active in education for over 18 years, from her classroom volunteer experience, service on numerous SAC, PTO, other educational committees, and even a run for local school board in 2010.

Ms. Krischke has a solid understanding of education reform from the perspective of policy setting, implementation and administration, and the effects of those policies in the classroom. She is a true lover of American History, was certified to teach Broad Social Sciences in grades 5-9, and has taught in St. Lucie County while working towards her graduate degrees. She has an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration, both conferred by Indian River State College, where she graduated summa cum laude, a member of both Phi Theta Kappa, and All-Florida Academic Team. She is currently dual-enrolled, completing both a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Florida International University and a Licensed Law Master’s (LLM) in Education Law from Nova Southeastern University, where upon graduation, she intends to pursue her Juris Doctorate Degree.

She has assisted with legislation as it relates to education and has been a source of information for numerous legislators on education policy here on the Treasure Coast and throughout Florida. This expertise and passion were recognized in 2014 when Governor Scott appointed her to serve on the Board of Trustees for Indian River State College, her Alma mater, a position she is both humbled and honored to serve in. This charter school endeavor is the culmination of many years of following education policy, research, planning, and involvement in her community.

Ms. Krischke will oversee all non-instructional matters at ICA.

Ms. Tamara Gavin

Ms. Tamara Gavin


Tamara Gavin is a born educator who is passionate about the classical curriculum, and has been in the field of education for more than 20 years. Ms. Gavin holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Education, a Bachelor’s of Arts with a double major in Elementary Education and Dance Education, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. Being educated in multiple fields affords Ms. Gavin the ability to bring creativity and vision alongside rigorous academic best practices coupled with a strong adherence to policy and procedure. 

Having experience teaching all grade levels from 2 years old through twelfth grade and at the college level, Ms. Gavin is able to provide hands-on coaching for teachers and staff as well as great insight into cross-curricular learning. Ms. Gavin loves to take education outside the four walls of the classroom and was elected beginning teacher of the year in her first year as a teacher when she taught math to her students through building a full-sized pavilion for teachers and students to use for years to come. 

For the last few years Ms. Gavin has been the principal of a K-12 school as well as the project director and was key in the development of vocational and trades programs for middle and high school students. Bringing the school and community together as well as preparing young people to achieve their dreams and calling throug

Meet Our Founders

Joining Ms. Krischke is four other founding members.  Our founding board was an effort to develop the most philosophically like-minded team to implement the program described in our charter, and the team needed to sustain an institution of excellence.  While the founding board will not necessarily be the final governing body of our school, it was required to ensure a successful startup and development of our programs. Our board will have complete autonomy in the direction of our institution, initial hiring of school leadership, and curricular development. Board meetings are open to the public and input is encouraged at all levels of our program. Our board members are all strong advocates of parental rights, community service, school choice, conservative fiscal policy, and classical education as a whole.

To contact the board with questions or concerns please email

Clay Becton


Clay Becton, long time Fort Pierce resident, has joined our governing board, and is currently beginning a two-year term as Chairman of the ICA Board! Mr. Becton holds a Masters of Agribusiness from the University of Florida that will prove helpful as we work towards the establishment of an FFA program. He also possesses a General Contractors license. With his many years of experience in business, sales, and construction, Mr. Becton will be able to lead our school towards a smooth transition from construction to operations, and help as we move into Phase II of our High School building! We welcome Clay to the table and look forward to his leadership and stewardship as he promotes ICA in the community.

Cathy Townsend


Cathy Townsend, a local County Commissioner, understands the true meaning of community servant. Many local leaders and elected officials have lost the spirit of our founding fathers when it comes to service, but Mrs. Townsend offers assistance to all in need and has shown that her roots run deep here in St. Lucie County.  We are proud to have her on our board where she can yet again offer one more service to our community, as she supports a tuition-free, K-12 public education option for all students. Mrs. Townsend offers a unique perspective on public service, small business and entrepreneurship, and fiscal responsibility.

Sandra Crouch


Sandra Crouch, a native Fort Pierce resident, is the owner of Big John’s Feed &  Western Wear. Sandra is an advocate of both a strong education and civic engagement, both of which we will offer our students. As a business owner, mother and grandmother, and an Ag family, she appreciates the value of our future goal of developing the Agriculture and Athletics program at ICA, and understands just how important education is to our community!  Sandra has raised her family here, and her children are now raising families here. We are excited to have her voice on our board.

Deborah Kicliter-Kelley


Deborah Kicliter-Kelley, Fort Pierce resident, is a deep-rooted 3rd generation pioneer family.  The mother of two, she has experience with homeschooling, as well as both public and private school environments.  She is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. She will be graduating this summer with her Doctor of Nursing degree. Her family is experienced in agriculture and understands the importance of fulfilling civic duties. Debbie is very community-minded and believes in the importance of supporting local businesses. Debbie currently works in private practice serving the medical needs of our community and will prove to be an asset to our board.

Have a safe and fun Summer!

Get Angler Alerts

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from the Anglers.


You have Successfully Subscribed!