Mrs. Lorie Dietz,
Head of School
We are so pleased to announce Mrs. Lorie Dietz as our Head of School and Lead Teacher. Lorie has a Master's Degree in Special Education and has specialized in autism specific education throughout her career.

Lorie has attended the Social Thinking® Clinical Training Program, which includes being personally trained by Michelle Garcia Winner. Mrs. Dietz is a strong believer in Project Based Learning and is excited to have the discretion to incorporate cutting edge processes into the curriculum.

For 3 years Lorie has also led a weekly social skills group for teens with autism. The programming at Lionheart Academy will incorporate daily lessons that promote social skills and independence in students as they move towards adulthood

Contact Lorie at
Mrs. Tara Thompson,
Special Education Instructor
Tara graduated from Greensboro College in 2014 with a BA in Special Education.

I have enjoyed 4 years of experience working with children with Autism and other special needs through Lindley Habilitation Services. I have taught a diverse range of students through my student teaching, substitute teaching and by providing tutoring. My strong passion to teach children that learn differently and have unique needs has been a part of me for a very long time.

Contact Tara at

Mrs. Mary Janca,
High School Teacher

Mary comes to Lionheart with a Masters in Special Education from North Carolina Central University, and a Bachelors in Cinema/Television and Anthropology from the University of Southern California.  She also is trained through TEACCH, and works with children and young adults in the community as a tutor and counselor.  She has taught English in Taiwan, Film at Piedmont Community College, and various subjects for Guilford County Schools for 11 years.  She is certified to teach Math, Language Arts and Science up to grade 9. Ms. Janca enjoys writing, filmmaking, sports, art, travel, reading, and good conversations.

Diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at 33, and ADD at 39, Mary Janca had experienced a childhood and young adulthood with limited tools.  Nevertheless, it was the words from a physical therapist, "be a fighter", which held keen in her mind.  It is that mindset which has helped with overcoming many hurdles, and creating a sense of determination that has been invaluable.

She is keen on working with every child to raise their confidence, self-esteem, academic and functional skills to become positive, contributing adults in the real world.

Contact Mary at