Student Spotlights August ’21

Every month we compile a list of students and schools doing great things across our community.  We have so many talented students in our area.  Greater Pensacola Parents joins with these families and schools to celebrate their achievements!


Pine Forest High School girls were named Pensacola News Journal’s All Area Track & Field for 2021.
100 meter winner was Autaliah Williams; 100 meter hurdles was Maliyah Williams; 4×100 meter relay was the team of Maliyah Williams, Autaliah Williams, Deaundra Johnson and Caliya Gee; 4×400 meter relay was Olivia Fulford, Caliya Gee, J. Rudolph, Desirae McCants and Aaliyah Reed; triple jump was Maliyah Williams; and shot put was Cassandra Jones.


Campers made their hair stand on end while learning about the properties of static electricity at Montessori School of Pensacola’s summer camp. They experimented with balloons attracting bits of paper and also with their hair. These young scientists got to see how they could cause atoms to become unbalanced to create static!


Sunglasses Day in the Primary level at Montessori School of Pensacola was a big hit! Students were excited for the coming of summer. They enjoyed special dress-up days during the last week of school, which included changing their name day, fun hair day, and sunglasses day. Students, families and teachers looked forward to a relaxing summer and hopefully a less restrictive start of next school year.


During summer school at Longleaf Elementary, students went on listening walks, observed mealworms, planted seeds and watched the plants grow, and made their own roller coasters.


The elementary students at East Hill Christian School who made their reading goals were able to celebrate with snow cones at EHCS’s end-of-year Accelerated Reading (AR) party! Thank you to Sneaky Tiki for providing the refreshing treats!


Montessori School of Pensacola ended a week of summer camp with a special visit from Animal Tales. Animal Tales specializes in professional live educational animal programs committed to educate, entertain and inspire. MSP students love when John from Animal Tales visits with an engaging and fun presentation where students get to be involved.

To go along with its dinosaur-themed camp, campers learned about some animals that still live now that are descendants of prehistoric dinosaurs. Campers were very excited to see how scorpions glow bluish-green under an ultraviolet or black light. (Scorpions glow under these lights partially because of the beta-carboline in their outer cuticle.)


The Pensacola Catholic High School tennis team recently took top honors in all of the categories for the Spring All-Area teams named by sportswriter Eric Wallace in the Pensacola News Journal’s annual naming of local top athletes. CHS sophomore Justin Lyons was named Boys’ Tennis Player of the Year after a phenomenal season. Lyons finished the season with an overall record of 21-1 with his only loss coming in the FHSAA State Individual Finals. He swept the district and regional titles in singles and doubles. Lyons partners with CHS junior Patrick Ling for the doubles competition and together they had a tremendous year with an overall record of 16-3 and were named No. 1 Doubles Team by Wallace. Lyons and Ling were justifiably slotted number one and two respectively in the All-Area Boys’ Team.

CHS freshman Gabriela Goyins was named Girls’ Tennis Player of the Year following a stellar year in competition. Goyins also finished with a record of 21-1 and, like her male counterpart, her only loss of the year was at the FHSAA State Tournament. She also took district and regional titles in singles and doubles competitions. Her doubles partner is CHS junior Maggie Eddins, who was also named to the All-Area Girls’ Team.

Catholic High’s Geoff Watts was also named All-Area Tennis Coach of the Year. Coach Watts has been the tennis team coach at CHS since 2006 and also teaches English.


The Escambia County Public Schools Foundation has partnered with the University of West Florida to offer free podcasts to help parents support their student’s success in the new academic year. The seven podcasts are available on demand at

“Supporting today’s youth to realize school success is a lot to navigate for anyone, especially parents,” said Dr. William Crawley, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. “It is our hope that by teaming up with the Escambia County Public Schools Foundation, we can share our faculty’s expertise to make a positive impact on our community.”

Kristie Kelley, executive director at the Foundation, added, “We are excited to partner with UWF for the second time in as many years. Last spring, we offered webinars to help parents navigate their child’s education during the pandemic. This fall, we are offering podcasts on topics the parents requested when that first series ended.”

Podcast topics and presenters include: “Communicating with Your Child’s Teacher” by Rochelle Carmichael and Dr. John Pecore; “Establishing Routines” by Dr. Melanie DiLoreto and Dr. Holley Handley; “Helping Young Learners Read” by Dr. Elizabeth Bemiss and Dr. Kathleen Heubach; “Older Student Literacy Challenges” by Dr. Kathleen Heubach and Mercedes Musto; “Testing and Assessment” by Dr. Bill Evans and Dr. Aneta Walker; “Students with Special Needs” by Dr. Keri Fogle and Dr. Tim Morse; and “Preparing Your Child for College” by Dr. William Crawley and Dr. Jennifer Stark.

“We are especially excited that Andrew McKay is hosting these podcasts,” said Kelley. “He interviewed teachers from the Escambia County School District and UWF faculty from the departments of teacher education and educational leadership and instructional design and technology.”

The podcasts were recorded in the Pickens Multimedia Studio at the UWF College of Education and Professional Studies. Wells Fargo provided funding for both the webinars in the spring and podcasts this fall.


For the past 38 years, a very special award has been bestowed on a member of the Pensacola Catholic High School graduating class at Commencement Exercises. This award, named the Pro Deo et Patria, recognizes a graduate who dynamically and consistently exemplifies the spirit and ideals of Catholic High School. The ideals are summarized very succinctly in the school motto, “Pro Deo et Patria,” translated from Latin to mean “For God and Country.”

Each year, the faculty and senior class members, by means of a vote of each individual, select a member of the graduating class to receive this honor. Among the many awards given to graduates each year, this is perhaps the most meaningful and cherished because it recognizes someone who has chosen to live by the ideals and core values of Catholic High School—Selfless Love, Commitment to Excellence, Personal Integrity and Commitment to Service—to do all For God and Country. This year’s recipient, Joseph “Joey” Baroco, was presented the Pro Deo et Patria Award by Principal Sister Kierstin Martin.


Emily Roberson, a fifth-grader at Cordova Park Elementary, was the 2021 Escambia County winner of the annual essay contest sponsored by Florida Retired Teachers Association (FREA) and EREA. Students were asked to describe a meaningful experience with a grandparent.

Roberson’s essay is titled “Blessing the Elderly” and begins: “My grandmother and I came up with the idea to make pillows for the elderly two years ago. My great-grandmother was living in a memory care center, and we noticed how much the people living there needed a personal touch. We came up with a plan to make pillows for the residents.”

Roberson goes on to explain how they made the pillows and delivered them to the Memory Care Center. “We stood back after we gave them out so we could watch their reactions,” she says. “Some were holding their pillows tightly or hugging them. You would have thought that we had given them a million dollars.”

As the winner of the contest, Roberson received $50, a framed certificate, and a bouquet of roses from EREA.

She is shown with her teacher, Julie Glucroft, as well as Barbara Beck and Ruth Sneed, the literacy cochairs for Escambia Retired Educators Association (EREA).


East Hill Christian School teacher Sylvia Wright has been with EHCS for the past nine years. She is leaving a legacy of faithful service in a career of teaching middle and high school math for the past 41 years. The students, staff and faculty will miss her but are excited for Mrs. Wright as she transitions into retirement.


Chris Gallman was a member of the Catholic High School Class of 1999 and a very talented member of both the basketball and track teams. In May of 1998, just days after he won the District high jump gold medal at the end of his junior year, and shortly before he was to leave for the State track meet, he died very suddenly and tragically of an undiagnosed heart condition. His death left the Catholic High community stunned and heartbroken. Gallman was a very special person—a talented athlete, a friend to all, rarely seen without a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone—the epitome of kindness and good sportsmanship.

Shortly after his untimely death, there was a groundswell of desire from all parts of the CHS family—students, teachers, administrators and parents—all recognizing the unique goodness of Chris Gallman and asking to establish an award in his honor, to memorialize the goodness he stood for in his life at Catholic High, his sportsmanship, selflessness and compassion. These qualities became the criteria for the award that is given each year at commencement exercises. With the input of athletes in all CHS athletic programs, the entire CHS faculty, and the CHS coaching staff, the selection of the recipient for the Chris Gallman Sportsmanship Award is conducted each year.

This year’s recipient, Darcy Sullivan, participated in three varsity sports throughout the year—cheerleading, soccer and lacrosse. In the award’s selection process, she was nominated by each of the three teams on which she participated as their senior team member best qualified to receive this award. This has never happened before in the selection process. Sullivan clearly demonstrated team unity and integrity, the same selfless attributes of sportsmanship displayed by Chris Gallman.

Sullivan was presented the Chris Gallman Sportsmanship Award by Athletic Director and Coach Richard LaBounty.


The Escambia County Council of PTA/PTSAs is hosting its Annual Leadership Training event and Vendor Fair August 14 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. While the event is geared toward PTAs operating their individual units, we encourage all of our Booster Clubs to attend as well, so that they can learn how to maintain compliance with the district’s Outside Support Organization procedures. We also invite any local non-profit community-based organization to attend so that they may train in leadership skills such as creating a budget, taking minutes at meetings, filing your 990 (taxes), simple Roberts Rule of Order, fundraising, creating meaningful programs, advocating for your cause, and many more! Daycare is free of charge with registration, but children must be potty-trained.

The event will launch with a light breakfast and a welcome, as well as School District Superintendent, Dr. Tim Smith. We will begin training immediately following. We will have more than a dozen classes offered with three different class periods and time for break-out sessions as well as brainstorming in between. The kick off and meetings will take place in the Library, Building 20. Every pre-registered attendee will receive a free tote bag with freebies from our sponsors as well as a training binder that has every class’s information, so if you cannot attend all the classes you want, you will have the training materials to refer back to.

After classes end, we will head over to lunch and the vendor fair (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) in the Arena, Building 3. Lunch is free for all pre-registered attendees. The Vendor Fair is also free and will have dozens of vendors from both non-profits and fundraising companies. Offering you many great and free program ideas for your organization as well as the latest and greatest fundraising opportunities! During the vendor fair, we will give away thousands of dollars in prizes from our sponsors!

This conference is FREE to attend but you must register. To register or for more info, visit our Facebook page – or


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