Student Spotlights – February 2022

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!

CLA Scientists Learn Through Dissection

Students at Creative Learning Academy are periodically provided the opportunity to perform dissections throughout their Middle School science classes. Our science teacher, Jennifer Reichwage, maintains that there is no substitute for the hands-on learning experience of dissection. During CLA’s bullfrog dissection, for example, students’ brains receive information from the eyes and ears, the muscles in the hands, the touch-sensitive nerves in the fingers, and even the smell receptors inside the nose. Seeing organs and understanding how they work within a single animal may strengthen students’ comprehension of biological systems. When applied to their own bodies, this may then translate to a greater understanding of human anatomy and biology.

In this particular dissection lab, students are compassionately reminded that nearly all wild bullfrogs have rather short lives and eventually serve as food for other organisms such as birds, fish, snakes or humans. This activity provides a good overview of the organ systems of a complex living thing—one with many similarities to human bodies. Throughout this class’s dissection, many students were surprised that their female frogs were full of eggs—making this dissection more memorable and interesting. It is not surprising that some surgeons credit their middle school dissection labs for awakening them to their life’s passion!

ECSD Teams Honored as Academic Team Champions

Several Escambia County School District athletic teams were recently honored by the Florida High School Athletic Association as Academic Team Champions (ATC). Each year, the FHSAA recognizes athletic teams from across the state for their academic prowess.

Booker T. Washington High School’s Boys’ Cross Country had the best team GPA in Class 3A at 3.849

Northview High Class 1A Football #2 with a team GPA of 3.033

Northview High Boys’ Golf #4 in Class 1A  with a team GPA of 3.802

Northview High Volleyball #3 in Class 1A with a team GPA of 3.361

Pensacola High Boys’ Golf #4 in Class 2A with a team GPA 3.675

“I believe that our athletic teams are a great reflection of our schools and our community in general,” said ECSD District Director of Athletics Casey Thiele. “Our schools and their athletic programs push to bring out the best in each child, and our families expect their children to be the best they can be in everything they do. It is an honor to work with these student-athletes, coaches, school staffs and parents every day!”

Twenty-five additional athletic teams across the District were honored for team GPAs above 3.0.

St. Paul Participates in Christmas Outreach

St. Paul Catholic School’s  Knights of St. Michael created wonderful personalized Christmas cards and donated socks. The students designed each card and added a sweet personal message. The cards and socks were given to military widows through Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

East Hill Enjoys Christmas Luncheon

The East Hill Christian School family joins together a couple of times a year for fellowship and food. Our first opportunity was for a Christmas luncheon as we celebrated the birth of Christ. The luncheon was served by the senior class to help the students raise funds for their senior trip. A great time of fun, fellowship and good food was had by all.

Rocket Scientists at Pensacola Catholic High School

The Space Technology and Engineering class at Pensacola Catholic High School recently named 46 students “Rocket Scientists.” Each year during the first semester of classes, the Space Tech course covers a unique lab from MIT’s Aero/Astro Department through its OpenCourseWare initiative. Every Aero/Astro graduate from MIT must complete this lab as part of a required course called “Unified Engineering.” Thishas long been held as the most difficult course in the entire undergraduate curriculum at MIT. According to tradition, Aero/Astro majors at the school are allowed to call themselves Rocket Scientists upon completion of this lab. For the past several years, science teacher Andrea Whitson, who teaches the Space Technology and Engineering course at CHS, has worked this lab provided by MIT into the curriculum that she teaches.

“Completing the lab does take our Space Tech class all semester,” she said. “But, taking a little bit longer on the lab only makes sense since our students had to make their way from Galileo’s parabolic trajectories through taking the definite integral of pressure with respect to volume as part of a thermodynamic analysis on their rocket designs.”

Students launch their rockets during several phases of the lab and take their applied learning to their final launch. All students who successfully complete the lab are then officially Rocket Scientists.  Congratulations to the CHS Space Tech students who did just that! Note: Not all Rocket Scientists were available for the photo.

Brown Barge Student Honored with New Award

Brown Barge Middle School 8th grader Ally Atchison was recently honored with the first-ever CivicCon Environmental Award! She was recognized at a special CivicCon awards ceremony December 6 at the Studer Community Institute building.

LEAD Academy Holds Christmas Program

On December 9, LEAD. Academy held its Genesis Campus Christmas program led by Katie Johnson. All the students sang Christmas songs and were dressed in their best holiday outfits. The event was held at the school’s Joppa Campus in the new gym. It was an inspiring night to get everyone in the holiday spirit and celebrate our Savior, Jesus Christ.

East Hill Elementary Students Perform Christmas Program

East Hill Christian School enjoyed “The Mystery of the Manger” performed by the elementary grades 3-5 this past December. It was a heartwarming story of a children’s choir director and choir being interviewed by an investigative reporter. The reporter wanted only the facts and was able to unravel the mystery of the manger and the true meaning of Christmas. The students captured the moment with great singing, acting and, above all, the reminder about keeping Christ as the focal point during the Christmas season (and all year long!).

St. Paul Performs Christmas Musical

Bravo to St. Paul Catholic School’s K3, K4 and kindergarten classes—and their teachers!  They gave a spirited performance of Follow the Star, a Christmas musical, to an audience of their parents and family members. Shine on, Spartan stars!

St. Paul Middle Schoolers Perform Jingle Jury

Middle school students in the Musical Theater elective at St. Paul Catholic School put on a wonderful production of Jingle Jury. Students worked all semester memorizing  lines, designing elements of the set and practicing controlling the light and sound systems. Our students are so grateful for a school that supports the arts!

CHS Students Sign Athletic Scholarships

During November and December, four Pensacola Catholic High School students signed athletic scholarships for their respective sports – Amiah Butler signed to play volleyball for Troy University, Emily Doyle signed to play soccer for Mississippi College, Justin Burroughs signed a golf scholarship with Clemson University, and Iliyas Fuavai signed to play football with the University of Southern Mississippi.

Catholic High has a very robust athletic program which offers fifteen different sports teams in which both male and female students can participate. Fall teams include football, volleyball, cheerleading, dance team, golf, cross country and swimming. Winter sports include basketball and soccer, and spring sports are baseball, softball, tennis, lacrosse, track & field, and weightlifting.  All of the team coaches work closely with students who are interested in playing at the collegiate level to understand NCAA Regulations and to network appropriately with college recruiters.

East Hill Cheerleaders Win First Place

Over the Christmas break, the East Hill Christian School competition cheerleaders participated in the Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders (FCC) National Christian Cheerleading Championship and brought home a first-place trophy in the Junior Varsity Novice Division. We are proud of our girls and coaches for all of their hard work and dedication!

Santa Rosa Online Accepting 2022-23 Applications

Bravo to St. Paul Catholic School’s K3, K4 and kindergarten classes—and their teachers!  They gave a spirited performance of Follow the Star, a Christmas musical, to an audience of their parents and family members. Shine on, Spartan stars!

LEAD Kindergartners Learn to Keep Promises

Mrs. James’ kindergarten class at LEAD Academy learned about the importance of keeping promises. The children studied the Bible story of King David and King Saul’s son Jonathan. These men had made a promise to look after one another’s families. Many years later, King David kept his promise to Jonathan by inviting Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, to eat at his table. The students all ate a meal together to commemorate.

Hedgehog Visits LEAD Students

Did you know that another name for hedgehog is urchin? LEAD Academy kindergartners all received a hands-on lesson by having a hedgehog visit their classroom. They enjoyed learning about the creature and even got the chance to hold or pet him.

Escambia County Announces Top 10 Teacher of the Year Finalists

The Escambia County School District has released its top 10 finalists for 2023 Teacher of the Year. In alphabetical order, the top 10 finalists are as follows:

Karen Bruening, Pensacola High

Laura Hobbs, Lincoln Park Elementary

Alison Link, A.K. Suter Elementary

Caleb Lovely, Warrington Middle

Courtney Lurton, Cordova Park Elementary

Jamiliya McBride, Pine Forest High

Angela Nass, Brown-Barge Middle

Jessica Phelps, Kingsfield Elementary

Tammy Robertson, Hellen Caro Elementary

Barbie Spears, Booker T. Washington High

“We are so very proud of these ten outstanding educators, who are being duly recognized for their exceptional contributions to their school and the district,” said ECSD Superintendent Timothy Smith. “We are excited for the opportunity to celebrate these top ten finalists, as well as all of our outstanding Teacher of the Year nominees.”

This list of 10 Teacher of the Year finalists will ultimately be pared down to a list of top five finalists, who will be honored at this year’s ECSD Golden Apple Awards Teacher of the Year Banquet. The 2023 Teacher of the Year for the School District of Escambia County will be announced during this year’s banquet and will be presented virtually on Friday, January 28, at 6 p.m.

Controlled Open Enrollment Continues

Controlled open enrollment is ongoing for Escambia County School District’s elementary schools for the 2022-2023 school year. During this open enrollment period you may select three different schools to apply for. You are not able to submit applications for overcapacity schools. Open enrollment closes March 4.

For more info on open enrollment, eligibility, application process, and answers to other frequently asked questions, visit

St. Paul’s Middle Schoolers Participate in New Competition

Schole’ (pronounced Sko-lay) is a Catholic classical principle of education that promotes restful learning and discovery of the true, the good and the beautiful. Students in the St. Paul Catholic School middle school elective class, Schole’ Scholars, participated in an innovation/invention competition called “Fish Bait,” which will become an annual event. Students developed, planned and created a model for each innovation/invention to present to a panel of judges from the Pensacola community.

The students also took part in a question/answer session with two local logo designers. After learning all the aspects of logo design, the students collaborated on a class shirt that was used as a fundraiser for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). The students were able to present a basket full of goodies to the pups in the shelter.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Greater Pensacola Parents
Close Cookmode