Meet Our Team

Jennifer Lincoln

Meet Our Director

Jennifer was raised in Anchorage, Alaska prior to moving to Florida where she attended the University of South Florida, earning her Master’s in Elementary Education with Reading and ESOL Endorsements for students in grades K-12.  Prior to joining Sphinx Academy in 2017, Jennifer worked in the field of alternative education, focusing on academic differentiation as well as working with students to build organizational and study skills. In addition to her background in education, she is also trained in the Orton-Gillingham method used to help students with dyslexia and a Certified Advanced Academic Coach through NTA. 

In addition to her role as Director, Jennifer is the Sphinx Academy Academic Counselor, Dual Credit Coordinator, National Honor Society advisor and the Standardized Testing Coordinator. She believes there are several pathways available to the same end goal in learning; as educators we help each student find the pathway that is the right fit for them.

Meet Our Staff

Wafaa Elghoroury

Wafaa founded Sphinx Academy in 2013 based the rising need for an alternative model geared toward gifted and twice exceptional students. She now has the role of curriculum coordinator and assistant director in addition to teaching, mentoring younger students, and organizing a variety of experiences such as electives, workshops, guest speakers, and field trips for our students. 

Wafaa's background encompasses medicine, psychology, special education, and Montessori education alongside of over 15 years of experience in the field of giftedness and twice exceptionality. 

Julia Saderholm

Julia grew up in small-town Kentucky and earned her BA in Mathematics and Russian from Grinnell College in Iowa. After graduating, she worked in math classrooms in a paraprofessional role for several years. She earned a master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Kentucky, joining the staff at Sphinx Academy in 2018.

Julia finds beauty and joy in mathematics (though she recognizes this as a controversial view). In the classroom, she focuses on helping students repair their relationship with math by strengthening foundational skills, by making connections between areas of math, and by sharing her excitement for topics which don’t appear in standard math curricula.

Arlo Barnette

Arlo was raised in Eastern Kentucky and earned his bachelor's degree studying Biology, English, and Spanish Language and Literature at Morehead State University. During that time, he lived in Guatemala and Chile as part of the George M. Luckey Academic Honors Program and worked as a reporter for Morehead State Public Radio. He continues to contribute to NPR member station 91.3 WUKY in Lexington. 

He has been a teacher of music for over a decade and began teaching Spanish at Sphinx Academy in January 2021. He joined Sphinx Academy's full time staff in 2022 and now teaches Biology, English, and Spanish, in addition to sharing his passion for music and songwriting with our students.

William Fritz

William grew up in Lexington, before earning a BA in Ancient and Medieval History from Carleton College. He then taught at the elementary level in Brooklyn, New York before returning to Kentucky to earn a masters in Secondary Education for the Social Studies from the University of Kentucky. He joined Sphinx Academy in 2023 as the social studies instructor, and coach of the academic team.

William encourages students to look beyond the basic facts of history in order to derive deeper meaning from them, preferring to focus on evaluative and causative factors, rather than specific details. He believes strongly in making connections between past and present, and also has a particular affinity for the built environment of the medieval world (which means he really likes castles).

Luke Russell

I am a dedicated enthusiast of mathematics, and my fascination with numbers has been a lifelong journey. From my earliest memory of my father asking me a simple multiplication question, my curiosity in mathematical concepts has only grown stronger. I thrive on the challenges that math presents and am eager to apply my analytical and problem-solving skills to contribute effectively in various professional contexts. John Horton Conway is my biggest inspiration. 

I graduated from Sphinx Academy in 2020, and now I've come back and taken a position as the instructor for Chemistry, Algebra 1, and Geometry. Returning to Sphinx Academy was not just a matter of career choice; it was a heartfelt reunion with the place that had played a pivotal role in shaping my academic and personal growth. Now, I find myself standing on the other side of the classroom, imparting knowledge and guidance to a new generation of eager learners.

Marialyce Gradek 

Business Manager, Registrar

Originally from Alexandria, VA, Marialyce has lived in Lexington since 2000. She has degrees from Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  Marialyce started her own business, Trio Bookkeeping Solutions, LLC and became bookkeeper for Sphinx Academy in its inaugural year and continues to see to our accounting and non-profit management needs.

Meet Our Board of Directors

Jennifer Lincoln

Julia Saderholm

Debbie Arbaugh

Wafaa Elghoroury

Blayne Borden

Andrea Fiero

Pem Ausbrook

Marialyce Gradek (ex officio)