July 2023 Student Spotlights

Student & School Spotlights - July 2023 GPP
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!

Beulah Middle School FFA Aquaculture Team Places 2nd In Florida

Beulah Middle School Future Farmers of America Aquaculture Team placed second in Florida. Join us in celebrating our Future Farmers of America Aquaculture Team at Beulah Middle School. Congratulations go to Jayden Williams, Harrison Vernier, Ezekiel Flores, and Henry Merritt. Vernier and Merritt were both top 6 scoring individuals in the state.

Booker T. Washington High School Choir Performs at Carnegie Hall in New York

18 choir students from Booker T. Washington High School in Escambia County received the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York. Last September, a recorded audition from the Booker T. Washington choir, consisting of three songs, was submitted for consideration into the “Festival at Carnegie Hall.” In October, the choir received an email confirming their acceptance. The choir got the chance to perform under the conductorship of Dr. Edith Copely.

Escambia HS Robotics Team wins 1st place at “NASA's Human Exploration Rover Challenge”

The Escambia High School Robotics Team brought home the top national honor from a weekend competition. 13 seniors from the school’s engineering academy competed at “NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge.” It was held at the “U.S. Rocket and Space Center” in Huntsville, Alabama. Their challenge was to design and build a vehicle to conquer a course of obstacles, and tasks on an expedition over lunar and martain terrain. They beat out 48 competitors from eight countries to win first place in the high school division.

N.B. Cook Annual Senior Walk

On Friday, May 19, N.B. Cook Elementary hosted its 2nd Annual Senior Walk, where graduating seniors that once attended N.B. Cook were welcomed back to walk the halls and be celebrated by current students. Current students lined the halls with signs of congratulations, cheering and offering high-fives as our graduates walked past. This event brings former faculty/staff and administration together with the seniors and ends in a school-wide singing of our school songs.
“I believe this was an exciting moment for our current students as well as our graduating seniors,” said Principal Larry Knight. “Our students got a glimpse of where hard work and perseverance will lead them. We look forward to continuing this tradition for many more years to come.”
Many of these seniors are off to college campuses or trade schools around the country.

Breakfast Honors Molino Park Elementary Volunteers, Partners and Mentors

Molino Park Elementary School held a “Breakfast of Champions” to celebrate volunteers, community partners and mentors. Collectively, they have logged over 3,400 hours this school year.

Pensacola High School Seniors Sign to Play College Basketball

Brian Harris, the son of Pensacola High School’s athletic director and boys basketball head coach, inked his letter of intent to play basketball at Spring Hill College. While his teammate at Pensacola High, Jonah Carter signed to play for John Melvin University.

Celebrating Pleasant Grove's New Campus

School staff, district personnel, local leaders, business partners, and community members gathered for the ribbon cutting at the brand-new Pleasant Grove Elementary Campus. After a brief ceremony and ribbon cutting, guests enjoyed a reception in the cafeteria and tours of the beautiful new facility.

Ferry Pass Middle School Odyssey Teams Rank Top Quarter at World Finals

Two teams from Ferry Pass Middle School competed at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan May 25-27. Both teams, representing the state of Florida, performed exceptionally, ranking in the top quarter of all teams! FPMS Problem 3 “Classics…The Walls of Troy” placed 16th out of 54 International Teams. FPMS Problem 5 “The Most Dramatic Problem Ever” placed 15th out of 66 International Teams. The competition consisted of a Long Term Problem solution performance for each Problem that teams have worked on for many months and a Spontaneous Problem the teams must complete and get scored on without prior knowledge of what it is. The FPMS teams met students from all over the world, exchanging ideas and culture at the International Fest and throughout the week. One such activity that brought all ages and cultures together was the very popular activity of pin trading. Each State/Region/Country produces special pins each year, which make collectors keen on collecting the most unique and hard to find individual pins and pin sets. The students made memories to last a lifetime and want to thank all of the community members that so generously donated to make this trip possible.

2023 NFL Draft: Pine Forest alum Devon Witherspoon Selected in First Round by Seattle Seahawks

For the third consecutive year, a premier college prospect from the Pensacola area has been drafted to the NFL. Pine Forest High School Devon Witherspoon and University of Illinois standout was selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the fifth pick during the first round of the NFL Draft.

Tate High School Girls Tennis Team Won the District 1-3A Runner-up

The Tate High School girls tennis team won the District 1-3A runner-up spot. Coach Dave Bonucchi had a team of amazing athletes this year. Join us in celebrating this accomplishment by KJ Crow, Ansli Brown, Ashlyn Greeson, Riley Robbins and Neyanie Linares.

Chain Reaction Teen Volunteer Opportunity at PSU Kids College

Do you want your teen off the couch, away from Netflix, and earning service hours this summer? Volunteer at Pensacola State Kids College with Chain Reaction!
Pensacola State Kids College is a unique summer opportunity for high school students to stay busy, make an impact on the community, and focus on leadership development. Teens can spend the week working with children by serving as Junior Counselors and mentors. Teens also participate in Chain Reaction curriculum and build professional and leadership skills while earning service hours. This opportunity is available for all rising 9th – 12th graders in the Pensacola area!
Teens can volunteer at Kids College Monday through Friday from June 5th to July 28th, 2023. For more information, please email

Pensacola Catholic High School Crubotics Team Takes First Place

Pensacola Catholic High School Robotics Team, also known as ‘Crubotics,’ once again
competed in the Gulf Coast Regional MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education)
competition, hosted by Dauphin Island Sea Lab in April. Crubotics, over 20 members strong, competed in two different classifications. The Ranger and Navigator teams spent a combined 1,400 hours using the engineering process to plan, build and test two Remotely Operated Vehicles (underwater robots) to accomplish simulations of real-world scenarios such as making scientific observations as well as removal of obstacles and placement of simulated solar arrays and wind turbines. This year’s theme was aligned with the “United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.” It was intended to inspire our global community to embrace environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts to create a sustainable future on our ocean planet” ( For the second year in a row, the Ranger Team won First Place in their division and earned an invitation to the MATE International Competition which this year is being held in Longmont, Colorado on June 20-25.

Take Stock in Children of Escambia County Awards $287,000 in Scholarships!

Take Stock in Children and the Escambia County Public Schools Foundation awarded $287,000 in scholarships at the May 19 “Graduation & Unsung Hero Celebration” at the Wright Place. The event honored 21 graduating seniors who received four-year tuition scholarships and a laptop computer. Also recognized were all of the volunteer mentors of our students as well as scholarship donors. Take Stock in Children was established in 1995 as a non-profit organization in Florida operating locally under the Escambia County Public Schools Foundation. The program provides a unique opportunity for deserving low-income students to escape the cycle of poverty through education. Students are selected through a need-based application process in middle school, and comprehensive services continue through high school and include the students’ transition into college.
The 2023 Take Stock in Children graduates are: Escambia Virtual: Trinity Weaver; Northview High: Johnnie Howell, Jr.; Pine Forest High: Bobbie-Sue Jarrell, Bricen Kelly, Jayla Rudolph, Aiden Wilson; Tate High: Calvin Brewer, Tyler Hurley, Avery Leventhal, Loghan Zellers; Booker T. Washington High: Kelsey Bolling, Briana Coates, Kiana Hollis, Teddy Robinson III, Shiriell Watson; West Florida High: Alonna Brown, Patrick Delcour, Efrain Escarfullet III, Kiara Mullins, Kendall Poston, Ty’QuJuan Stallworth-Horne.

Northview High School and Central School Seniors Named EREC Scholarship Winners

Drake Driskell from Escambia County and Elisabeth Stowers of Santa Rosa County have been named as the winners of Escambia River Electric Cooperative’s 2023 Herman D. Johnson Scholarship Awards
Drake Driskell is a senior at Northview High School and is the son of Allen and Michelle Driskell. He would like to study anesthesiology. Driskell is the academic commander and command master chief of Northview’s NJROTC, class treasurer, and is involved in several sports including baseball, cross country and track. Driskell is the Beta Club president and participates in Math Club and Phi Theta Kappa and an Atmore Rotary Club scholar. Drake was an EREC delegate for the 2022 Tallahassee and Washington youth tours. “This scholarship would allow me to dive deeper into my studies and focus on my education,” Driskell said. “Thank you to EREC for investing in me.”
Elisabeth Stowers is a senior at Central School and is the daughter of Myra Cole Robinson. Elisabeth plans to use this scholarship to pursue a nursing degree. She is the senior Beta Club president and National Honor Society officer. She participates in the Spanish Club and the Debate Club. Stowers has many hours volunteering for New Life Baptist and at events in her community. “The Herman D. Johnson Scholarship will definitely benefit me,” said Stowers. “It will help me achieve my goals of becoming a nurse and helping children with cancer. I want them to feel loved and safe through their toughest time.”
“These scholarships are going to two very deserving students, and we are excited to watch them as they follow their dreams,” says Ryan Campbell, CEO of EREC. “EREC has such a rich history of helping our youth, and we are proud to be able to give them a head start on their college careers.”

Tate Baseball Presents Annual Awards Named For Former Aggies

Tate High School Baseball has presented three annual awards named for men who have played at Tate and impacted the program and people by showing some combination of moral character, athleticism, excellent work ethic and high academic achievements. Ethan McAnally received the Travis Fryman Scholarship Award. Brayden Noble received the Chris Moorehead Award, and Drew Reaves received the Trace Penton Award.

Northview Boys Weightlifters Finish as District Runner-ups

The Northview High School boys weightlifters earned individual district championships and the team finished as district runner-ups. Congratulations to Dustin Santinelli in the 119-pound, Tony Antrim in the 129-pound class and Blake Yoder in the 199-pound class.

Sunflower Science at St. Paul Catholic School

While studying the structures of life in our science unit, third graders at St. Paul Catholic School had fun learning about the life cycle of plants with a special visitor, Mr. Gasi. Mr. Gasi brought mammoth sunflower seeds for everyone to plant!

Creative Learning Academy Celebrates this year’s Eighth Grade Graduates

Creative Learning Academy’s Eighth Grade Graduation ceremony was a heartwarming and memorable event held on Thursday evening, May 25, 2023, at 6pm in CLA’s Gymnasium. The graduating eighth graders, accompanied by their families and friends, gathered to celebrate their achievements and bid farewell to their middle school years. The ceremony was filled with nostalgic moments as the graduates shared their cherished class memories, spanning from their preprimary grades to their final year at CLA.
This year, our graduating kindergartners took part in the festivities. They delighted the audience with their performances of “Everything Grows” and “Friend of Mine”. The kindergartners’ participation added a touch of innocence and joy to the event, reminding everyone of the transformative journey the Eighth-grade students had undergone during their time at CLA. Special recognition was also given to the dedicated faculty members who have been teaching at CLA for over ten years. Their unwavering commitment to education and the well-being of their students was acknowledged and appreciated by the students and administration. The valedictorian of the graduating class, Ella Mediate, delivered a heartfelt and inspiring speech that resonated with her fellow classmates and the attendees. Her words not only captured the essence of their collective journey but also offered encouragement and optimism for the future endeavors that lie ahead for each graduate.
With great pride and admiration, Kim Stafford, Head of School, and Elizabeth Daza, Board of Trustees president, presented the graduating students with their well-deserved diplomas, symbolizing the successful completion of their middle school education. This significant milestone marked the beginning of a new chapter in these students’ lives, as they prepared to embrace the challenges and opportunities of high school. As the graduates embark on their next journey, they carry with them the memories and lessons from CLA, ready to embrace the challenges and successes that await them in the years to come.

Moving on Up at Montessori School of Pensacola

8th grade students graduated from Montessori School of Pensacola. There werw 14 graduates this year headed off to high school this fall. The high schools they will be attending are: Washington HS, School of Liberal Arts, Catholic HS, Pensacola HS IB, Gulf Breeze HS, FL Virtual, and Tate HS. Each year, the 8th graders write speeches about their time attending MSP. Many of the students have attended MSP since they were 18 months. They presented about their favorite pieces of Montessori work that they have gotten to use over the years, plus reflections about their school trips, favorite teachers, and funny memories. The 7th grade students sing songs and celebrate the graduating 8th graders.

Pensacola Catholic High School Student Council Hosts Final ‘Crazy Competition’

Every year the Pensacola Catholic High School Student Council hosts a variety of student competitions on campus during which members of the four classes go against each other in friendly athletic events for “the win” and bragging rights. The 2022-2023 school year was no different except that this year a new competition, Dodgeball, was introduced. The Freshman Class of 2026 took bragging rights in October when they won the Crazy Crusader Kickball Challenge that was held on the Lady Crusaders Softball field. And then it is all “Seniors”, the Class of 2023, as they won the Conquer the Court competition that was held in March and the inaugural Dodgeball Competition that was held in April. Thank you to Julie Remke, English Teacher and Student Council Moderator, and all of the teachers who help coach and officiate these great competitions! Pictured: Victors of the Dodgeball Classic – Seniors – Class of 2023.

Montessori School of Pensacola Students Present Ancient Civilization Fair

Upper Elementary students at Montessori School of Pensacola presented a special day of immersion into the history and traditions of six ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia, Greece, China, India, Egypt, and Rome. The class has studied these civilizations over the course of the school year, learning about the contributions and lifestyles of them each. The year’s study culminated in fair that students worked in groups to present to their families, as well as Lower Elementary students and staff. Each station presented about art, culture, government, clothing, and food from one of the civilizations. Each student brought a bowl as they visited each station, so that they could try food from each place, including eating dumplings with chopsticks. It was a fun and engaging way to share the rich cultural information they have learned.

East Hill Christian Hosts Baseball Skills Camp

Looking to grow your skills out on the diamond this summer? Join the East Hill Eagles for one of our Baseball Skills Camps! These camps, offered in July and August, offer in depth baseball instruction to develop all players, from beginners to advanced. These camps will help your player prepare for competitive level baseball while fostering a Christ-centered approach to the game and sportsmanship. Learn more and register today at

St. Paul Catholic School Class of 2023

The St. Paul Catholic School 8th Grade Class enjoyed an end of the year trip to OWA! They kept a great attitude through the pouring rain in the morning and persevered to a sunny afternoon of fun and laughter- and dry clothes!

St. Paul Catholic School Presents Alice in Wonderland

Bravo! St. Paul Catholic School’s Musical Theater students spent all semester working on their production of Alice in Wonderland. Students not only performed, but made costumes, designed the set, choreographed and managed the lighting and sound!

St. Paul Catholic School Spartan Spectacular Glow Gallery 2023

Art teacher Julie Fink and her St. Paul Catholic School students worked hard all spring to create treasure from trash! The Treasure Our Florida Habitat exhibit used found and recycled items and neon glow paint to simulate an out of this world experience of traveling down the Escambia River and into the Pensacola Bay! The Glow Gallery was buzzing with visitors all night long! Sculpture from recycled items, kiln-fired clay sculpture, watercolor and acrylic paintings, chalk pastel drawings- our Spartan students have a hand in it all. This year’s Glow Gallery highlighted the native species of Northwest Florida and reminded us all of the negative impact of human trash and even our presence, but it is our duty as stewards of this earth to never give up hope for a future where all species are protected and allowed to flourish.

Animals Visit Summer Camp at Montessori School of Pensacola

Montessori School of Pensacola campers took part in hands-on crafting fun at the first week of summer camp, which was animal themed. Campers created swirly snake crafts, animal puppets, and colorful animal costume headbands. There was also an opportunity for the children at camp to bring in photographs of their pets to share information with the rest of camp (those that do not have a pet at home, were able to bring a photo of their favorite animal). The week of camp ended on Friday with an exciting visit from Animal Tales. This live animal education provides safe and entertaining programs that provide up close and hands on experiences with animals. Campers got to see and learn about a Madagascar boa constrictor snake, an African bullfrog, a prairie dog, and a red-crested turaco bird. For more info about Animal Tales:


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