Student Spotlights (October 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!


Summer at Montessori School of Pensacola offered 10 weeks of different themed camps. The last week allowed campers to create clay pieces with different types of clay. They worked with air-dry clay and polymer clay to make pots and jewelry pieces.

This hands-on, artistic week was a great way to wrap up the MSP summer camp program. Campers got their creative juices flowing and had fun!


Sherwood Elementary hosted a Hero’s Day for any first responders available to drop by the school on September 10. First responders were greeted by student leaders, presented with student-created cards, and treated to an array of delicious desserts and ice cold drinks as our way of saying thank you for your service.

“We were honored as a school to serve our first responders today and have the opportunity to thank them for all they do,” said Sherwood Elementary Principal Kristen Danley. “This event provided a wonderful opportunity for students to be involved in community service. It also provided valuable, real-world connections to their Social Studies curriculum this month.”


Escambia County High School appreciates the generous donation of $3,500 made by Wind Creek to our fall sports programs. Each sport received $500. Thank you for your continued support!


Mr. Mize and his agriscience students at Escambia County High School repurposed a picnic table to make it wheelchair accessible.


Fifth-grade students at East Hill Christian School are responsible for raising the American flag each day. In order for the students to understand flag etiquette, the school invited US Navy Reserve CDR Tim Gleason to show them the proper way to handle and to show respect for the flag. Students were shown steps for folding the flag correctly, how to hang the flag and how to properly take it down. We are proud of our students who showed great respect and honor to our flag and CDR Gleason.


Pine Forest’s varsity boys’ basketball team hosted the Dreams 2 Reality Basketball Camp recently on campus. The smiles tell that it was an outstanding event for the community. Thanks to everyone who contributed and participated to make this event a success!


Sherwood Elementary collected and loaded up items for survivors of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana. The packages were delivered to Jefferson Parish.

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“Thank you for supporting Sherwood’s Hurricane Ida relief drive,” said Sherwood Principal Kristen Danley. “We appreciate you!”


Pensacola Catholic High School offers a wide variety of sports for students. One of the most popular for our student spectators is volleyball. They love to cheer on their team in “The Hut,” the affectionate nickname for the CHS Gym for home volleyball and basketball games.

Coach Simonelli, in his tenth year at Catholic High School, along with Assistant Coaches Tom Hartley and Farley Dodson, has already led the Lady Crusaders to an overall record of 10-1, winning five games in straight sets. This year’s roster includes eight seniors: Maile Apongan, Amiah Butler, Madison Galloway, Gabriella Gordon, Claire Jimenez, Marlo Rebol, Mallory Richardson and Susan Sanborn.


Checkmate! Members of the Redeemer Lutheran Chess Club have been sharpening their skills and “checking” their competition. In addition to meeting once a week, they also have lunch chess twice a week. Keep your king safe because these kids are not “rook-ies.”


For two weeks, the National Honor Society chapter at West Florida High School collected diapers, wipes and baby formula for victims of Hurricane Ida in southeast Louisiana. Those donations were delivered to Lorium Law, a Pensacola firm who transported them to Louisiana.

NHS students collected more than 1,500 diapers and numerous boxes of baby wipes and formula for donation. “The kids have really come together and gotten behind this initiative,” said West Florida High School NHS sponsor Teressa Doman. “We are just happy to be able to lend a little bit of relief to our neighbors in Louisiana.”

Garrett P. LaBorde, Pensacola managing attorney for Lorium Law, said, “It is our privilege to be able to gather and deliver tens of thousands of dollars worth of desperately needed donations and supplies directly to the people of Louisiana who were hardest hit by Ida.”


The beautiful weather in Pensacola provides many opportunities for students to learn both inside and outside the classroom. Creative Learning Academy’s seventh-grade science students were able to take advantage of these warm summer days and complete their Stop Motion Mitosis Project out on our basketball court. This lesson, conducted by Mrs. Reichwage, is designed to teach mitosis by having learners create a stop animation video illustrating the five stages of mitosis: interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. Students demonstrated their creativity by using hula hoops for nuclear membranes, jump ropes for cellular membranes, pool noodles for sister chromatids and classmates for spindle fibers.

Throughout the project, students were responsible for developing their own script and storyboards, directing the stop animation, and implementing effective cinematography methods. Upon completion of this lesson, students learned that mitosis creates identical daughter cells from existing parent cells. Additionally, students learned the importance of depicting scientific processes through engaging formats such as stop motion animation.


The Escambia County High School Blue Devils junior varsity football team began its season with a 38-0 win over WS Neal.


East Hill Christian School announces that Coach Samba Johnson will transition into a new role as athletic director. Coach Johnson has served on faculty as a PE and Bible teacher for the past three years and as head basketball coach for varsity boys and girls for the past four years.

Johnson said he is enthusiastic about the opportunity to impact students and the surrounding community on a larger scale as he takes on this new role. He sees athletics as a way to teach our youth beyond the court and beyond the playing field. Pointing students to Christ, providing leadership and service opportunities, and holding students accountable academically are pillars of Coach Johnson’s vision for EHCS Athletics.

At the college level, he has been an active part of Fellowship for Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade and Campus Bible Studies. Most recently, Coach Johnson formed the Bible for Breakfast Ministry for EHCS middle and high school students. Johnson received his undergraduate degree from Chaminade University in Hawaii and his master’s degree from Cleveland State University in Ohio.

Prior to joining the EHCS team in 2017, he coached for 20 years at Division I, II and III programs where he gained a unique skill set that will serve him well as athletic director. Since 2017, Coach Johnson has been building the basketball program at EHCS, where the varsity boys were victorious in post season at the Panhandle Christian Conference Championship Game this past spring.


During the second full week of school at the beginning of the school year, Pensacola Catholic High’s Student Council spends time in homeroom classes and in the morning and afternoon announcements to increase club awareness for students. This year students were even more excited to get involved because of limited clubs and meetings last year. A wide variety of activities are offered at CHS outside of the nineteen sports teams. Moderators of the clubs try their best not to schedule meetings and events on the same date/time so students can participate in as many of the activities they are interested in and can fit into their academic study time.

Being a Catholic school also allows us to incorporate worship and discussion of our faith into our clubs. One of our most popular clubs is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) which usually meets twice a month in the mornings before school. Clubs elect student officers who gain leadership experience by being active in the planning and execution of meetings/events.

Students can choose to join clubs ranging from physical activity (Ultimate Frisbee, Surfing) to academic/culture focus (History, Spanish, Quiz Team), career exploration (Mock Trial, Pre-Med, Robotics/Engineering), faith-based (FCA, Music Ministry, Discipleship), and just for fun (Board Games, Sci-Fi). These are a small sampling of the 25 clubs to choose from, not to mention the seven organizations for which students can be elected and/or selected to participate in based on academics, leadership and character. Those organizations include Student Council, Student Ambassadors, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Math Team, Yearbook Staff and the Senior Retreat Team. There can be no excuse for not being involved somewhere. Here’s to a great year of “clubbing” for the CHS student body and a BIG THANKS to all the teachers/staff who participate as moderators!

Joana Rose
Author: Joana Rose


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