Dr. Jiliann De Villiers, Principal
Luis De Villiers, Head of School Operations
Dr. Jiliann De Villiers, affectionately known to her students and families as “Dr. Gigi”, is a veteran of the Miami-Dade County Public School system. Dr. De Villiers began her career in 1988 as an Exceptional Student Education teacher working with children diagnosed with Autism, Down Syndrome, multiple physical impairments, and Specific Learning Disabilities. She was among the pioneers who began implementing an Inclusion Model for servicing children with special needs in the general classroom.
In 1994, she left the classroom to become a Staffing Specialist. In that role, she was responsible for assisting in the diagnosis and placement of students with learning problems as well as designing educational programs to meet their individual needs. During this time, Dr. De Villiers helped to establish support programs for children with disabilities and their families across several schools in the county. In 1997, she worked as an elementary school administrator. Never losing sight of her love for helping children who face learning challenges, Dr. De Villiers developed special intervention programs at her school that targeted children whose educational needs were not being met by the school system.
Luis De Villiers, affectionately known as “Coach Luis” joined his wife in 2004 when they opened the Exceptional Student Education program at Highpoint Academy under the leadership, support and vision of the school’s principal and owner, Alicia A. Casanova. Dr. De Villiers has used her years of experience and training to design the program and services offered at the school. Luis De Villiers coming from Corporate America, brought to the program the expertise for organizing different disciplines under one roof in order to provide in house services for the students and their families.
In 2009, Luis and Gigi opened Schoolhouse Preparatory. They both experienced first-hand the limited high school options that students with Learning Differences have. Following their passion for making the difference in the lives of children, they fulfilled their dream of establishing a high school that meets the academic, social, and emotional needs of young adults, as well as support for their families.