It was almost by accident that LeeAnn Hovis discovered she had an eye for photography. The University View Academy eleventh-grader from Destrehan found her father’s old camera and became curious. So, she started taking photos.
She has a deadline looming for editing and getting wedding photos to a client. But LeeAnn also teaches elementary ballet to children, attends musical theater classes at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, performs in theater, and works backstage in community theater in the evenings. Sometimes she doesn’t get home until midnight. “I love everything that I put on my plate,” LeeAnn says of her breakneck schedule. She also has another job with NOLA Pixie Dust on weekends, where she portrays a princess in costume and interacts with children at birthday parties, volunteer events, and festivals. “My fun time is when I’m doing all these things,” she explains.
And then there is school. LeeAnn is in her second year at University View Academy. She says she was not being challenged with academics at her former school. “I found what UVA offered, and I said bingo and wanted to do school online,” she stated. Her decision started a family discussion, and her dad, Warren, admits he was skeptical. He says LeeAnn chose to leave a top-ten rated school district for the flexibility University View Academy offers. LeeAnn stated, “I do UVA at my own pace. I can go back and finish, or I can even strategically work ahead if my schedule gets in the way, and I know I’m going to be busy.” Now, her dad says, “I have no reservations about the decision, and I know the education she is getting is as good as she had. It’s been a great experience for her,” he offered.
LeeAnn’s goal is to work with children as a pediatric physical therapist and is laying the groundwork by taking two dual-enrollment classes this year for college credit. She says she may also continue her passion for musical theater by being a vocal instructor. As for the fun and success she has outside of high school, she humbly credits her family and their support. But LeeAnn also confidently says about what she chose to do, “I took it, and I ran.”