Massage Therapy Instructors
Edward Driggers, LMT (MA # 20692)
Edward is the Chief Administrator of Alpha School of Massage. He also attended and received his training from Alpha, graduating in 1995, at which time he took over the position of Chief Administrator of the school. His perspective in learning and instruction is unique as he has been student, instructor and administrator, all at this same facility. This multi-faceted perspective has served him well giving him beneficial insight, especially as an instructor, enabling him to teach the evening classes with a complete "hands-on" approach while still maintaining his availability to instructors, students and clients. He has perfected the art of body mechanics for massage therapists, passing on his knowledge while continuously challenging his own massage therapy skills.
Edward has extensive training in basic massage therapy as well as reflexology, myofascial release and infant massage. Edward knows from years of skilled experience and instruction, both personal and professional, that massage therapy absolutely works and helps people physically, as well as mentally. The results can be extraordinary and sometimes beyond comprehension. He has often used different methods of massage therapy on many clients under the knowledge, advice and approval of their personal physicians.
To every new class of students, Edward enjoys telling them, "Don't do like I did - come to Alpha for massage therapy instruction.....and stay!", proving there is NO question as to Edward's enormous passion for his school, his trade and his unfailing dedication to his students. His constant encouragement to them during instruction extends to his even stronger encouragement to enter into this wonderful trade of the medical field as professionals with a skill that will follow them for life.
Michael Garcia RN, LMT (MA # 21545)
Michael is our chief instructor. Michael has been a Registered Nurse since 1976 and a Licensed Massage Therapist since 1996. He began his massage and anatomy teaching career right here at Alpha, over 15 years ago. Hundreds of students have successfully passed their massage licensing exam due in part to his teaching style and ability. Many of our graduates have told us that he is the best instructor that they have ever had, including high school and college instructors.
He has been a fixture here since 1995. Michael's areas of expertise include anatomy, physiology and pathology; medical massage; neuromuscular therapy; pain relief techniques (including ETPS Pain Relief Therapy); and Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage. Michael was a past president of the local chapter of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association and a past officer of the American Massage Therapy Association. Many of his articles have been published in massage magazines over the past few years. He has personally trained with and/or completed entire training courses with several innovators in this field, including: Paul St John; Judith Delaney; Dr. Bruce Hocking; and Ruthie Hardee (founder of Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy). Many licensed massage therapists depend on Michael to provide the continuing education courses that they need to remain competitive in this field. Our school and our students are indeed lucky to have this fine instructor.
Neal Delaporta, LMT, NCBTMB, CPT (MA # 57152)
After a career in public service, Neal attended the National Holistic Institute in Emeryville, California, graduating, with honors, in 2001, as a Massage Therapist and Holistic Health Educator. While developing a private practice specializing in sports and injury rehab massage, he joined the faculty at the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy and began a 10-year volunteer career with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) culminating in his service as Chairman of the Board, 2008-2010.
Relocating to Florida in 2009, Neal became the Associate Director of the Arlington School of Massage, a Certified Personal Trainer and a Florida and NCBTMB Approved Provider of Continuing Education. He is now a member of the faculty at Alpha School of Massage, Inc., Jacksonville, where he delivers classroom instruction and clinic supervision.
Leigh Jacob, LMT, Cosmetologist
Leigh has been in the healing arts since the late 90’s. She began a life in health care at the early age of 20. Leigh began her journey helping the elder in their final days, it is there that she decided to help people as they entered the world. Leigh studied midwifery for many years, she was part of the midwifery exchange program in Port Maria, Jamaica and was a home birthing assist for 8 years with Agape Midwifery Services of Deland, Fl. After becoming a mother, Leigh decided to enter a different realm of care. She studied therapeutic massage and medical esthetics. Leigh has been a practicing LMT and facial specialist in Florida for 10 years. Leigh has also been an educator for massage and esthetics for 5 years. Leigh has been trained in Control Correctives Jessner Peel, Circadia Chemical Peel and Jessner Peel and the Art of Zen Facial Massage with Aromatherapy Oil Courses. She also holds certifications in Lomi-Lomi, Prenatal and Thai Yoga Massage. Leigh is also a 200 E-RYT with yoga alliance having completed 300 hours of train with Shiva Rea.
Dean Pickett, Cosmetologist, LMT
Dean has been a licensed cosmetologist since 1993 and a successful owner of 3 day spas. In 2015 Dean extended his passion beyond health and beauty into the healing art of massage and became a graduate of Alpha. When Dean graduated he told his instructor, "I'm going to teach at Alpha one day" and now he is. In addition to over 24 years of experience in the field he has been educator for cosmetology and product knowledge for several product lines.