Student Spotlights – April 2024

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!

6th Annual Elementary Science Olympiad

The 6th Annual Elementary Science Olympiad event was held on February 17, 2024 at Washington High School. 21 elementary schools sent teams of students to compete in 9 different events. Overall Winners:
3rd: Bellview
2nd: Hellen Caro
1st: Molino Park
Spirit Award: Longleaf

Pensacola Catholic High School Math Team Competes

Congratulations to the Senior members of the CHS Math Team who competed in the Math Bowl on March 1 at Northwest Florida State College. The team finished second in their division with Nate Flores placing first overall. Mariana Contreras and Elizabeth Watson tied for seventh overall and Jackson Brewer rounded out the top ten. Pictured: Mariana Contreras, Elizabeth Watson, Nate Flores, and Jackson Brewer – Congratulations!

Aletheia Christian Academy Celebrates Ancient Day

Aletheia Christian Academy’s sophomore class celebrated Ancient Day on Tuesday, February 27th. Mr. Belton’s students explored World History by creating models of ancient historical structures such as the Roman Coliseum, the Temple of Heaven, and a typical Judean home. Other students discovered the past by creating replicas of artifacts such as the Winged Victory of Samothrace, a Greek theater mask, and an Egyptian sarcophagus.
Each student gave a presentation of their project, which included a discussion on how the artifact illuminates ancient history. The students’ semi-formal attire brought great dignity to the proceedings. Everyone came away from the experience knowing more about the distant past.
“History is a vital part of a Christian education,” said Mr. Jim Belton. “It serves as a laboratory of ideas. Many of the ‘new’ ideas trending on the internet today are ancient ideas wearing the costumes of modern language. Through the study of history, we can often identify which ideas worked in the past, and which were catastrophic failures.”

Celebrating Montessori Education with Montessori School of Pensacola

At Montessori schools around the world, the last week in February known as Montessori Education Week. This week was started to celebrate Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, and the child-focused educational approach she developed. The week involves activities that help show appreciation for the uniqueness of the Montessori classroom and the benefits it offers children. At Montessori School of Pensacola students and teachers showed school spirit all week by wearing shirts from the annual school Minithon fundraiser runs. One evening, the parent-teacher organization hosted a fundraiser at Panera Bread. Another night, families were invited into the classrooms, so their child could show their favorite pieces of Montessori work. Maria Montessori opened her first “Casa de Bambini” in Italy in 1907 and there are now more than 40,000 Montessori schools worldwide.

Local Figure Skaters Place at Denver invitational

Local skaters Houston and Cameron Konetzki from Navarre, Florida competed in the 2024 Denver Invitational which was held March 7th-10th. The event was hosted by the Denver Colorado Figure Skating and held in Highland Ranch, Colorado.
Debuting both their Ten Fox Pattern Dance Programs and Free Dance Programs in the Juvenile Combined Solo Dance Division, Houston finished in 2nd place and Cameron finished 4th. At this time Houston is ranked 2nd in both the Eastern Section and National Standings. Cameron is currently ranked 6th in the Eastern Section and 8th in National Standings. The U.S. Figure Skating Solo Dance Series runs March to September, with the 2024 National Solo Dance Final being held in Wesley Chapel, Florida mid-September. Both boys are associate members of the Greater Pensacola Figure Skating Club and compete representing Baltimore Figure Skating Club where they began their skating journey and still have access to year-round ice.
Pictured left to right in attached photo: Houston Konetzki and Cameron Konetzki

West Florida Tech's Jennifer Mims named Friday Night Rivals Scholar Athlete of the Year

Jennifer Mims, a senior at West Florida High School, is a phenomenal all-around athlete, scholar, and winner of the Friday Night Rivals scholarship. Mims carries a 4.92 GPA and participates in the National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She is a phenomenal all-around athlete. She qualified for the state meet in swimming and diving all four years — two-time district champion in the 1-meter springboard. She also qualified for the state track meet in the 100 and 400 hurdles and one relay. Members First Credit Union presented Jennifer Mims with a $5,000 scholarship. She will run track at Belmont University.

Aletheia Christian Academy Students Compete in Tropicana Speech Contest

Every year, Aletheia Christian Academy 4th-6th grade students participate in the Tropicana Speech Contest. This program is underwritten by the Tropicana Corporation and coordinated by Holmes County 4-H. It has been in school systems across Florida since 1969 and continues to grow each year.
Teachers in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades set aside part of their classroom time to help students research, organize, practice, present, and critique speeches based on their topic of their choice. A few of this year’s titles were ” Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover,” “Music All Around Us,” and “Longing for Water.”
Congratulations to Patrick Higgins (4th) and Lucy Jackson (6th) for moving forward to compete at the county level on March 14th.

Pensacola Catholic High Class of 2024 Hall of Fame Announced

One of the time-honored traditions at Pensacola Catholic High School is the naming of Seniors to the Hall of Fame from the current Senior Class. On February 23, ten Seniors were recognized for their status as exemplary Crusaders as they were inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony in which their families joined them as their names were revealed during a student body assembly. The Hall of Fame was first conceived by the CHS Student Council in 1982 and its purpose is to honor students who show outstanding personal achievement and integrity through their attitude and service. The criteria to be nominated and inducted into the Hall of Fame include: an unweighted GPA of 2.0 or higher; good conduct, good citizenship; eligibility in light of the Academic Integrity Policy; performs service to school and community; displays leadership and a positive attitude; and is actively involved in school organizations. The Senior Class, athletic teams, clubs, and extracurricular organizations nominate an eligible Senior for consideration. After nominations are compiled, the faculty and Senior Class make the final selection through an anonymous balloting process. Congratulations to this year’s inductees to the CHS Hall of Fame: Maria Bush, Cooper Meckler, Natalie Biggs, Chris Rembert, Scott Sanderson, Julia Ulmer, Gabby Goyins, Virginia Lee, Mariana Contreras, and Ava Adams.

Blind Simulation at Montessori School of Pensacola

Students at Montessori School of Pensacola got to have an experience with what it might feel like to be blind. After a presentation from the Escambia County of Blind Services, students led each other through a maze of boxes that had been constructed. The student in front was blindfolded to simulate being visually impaired. Here is some of what students had to say about the presentation and the simulation.
“The maze was hard, but got easier about halfway through because I was getting used to using my other senses.”
“The maze was tough- we had the option to have a guide or a walking stick and I chose both. I bumped into almost everything.”
“You had to trust the person guiding you.”
“The visitors from the Division of Blind Services explained things so well- like eye diseases and technology for blind people and what life is like reading Braille.”

Montessori School of Pensacola Middle Schoolers on the Job

You’ve heard of interning while you are in college, but at Montessori School of Pensacola (MSP), 7th and 8th graders get a taste of the working world. 7th grade students take part in internships working in classrooms at MSP, while 8th grade students work in a business. They go through the process of contacting and applying This year, some feedback from 7th grade teaching interns included having to use patience and at time being stressed. One student said, “The most rewarding part was seeing the children’s faces after I gave them a lesson, they were often amazed.”
8th grade students interned a variety of businesses, including a hair salon, an industrial design firm, with an accountant, and at a bakery.
The student who worked at bakery was at Continental Bakery in Birmingham, Alabama. They said, “I picked this internship because I enjoy baking and I wanted to intern at a real bakery.” They share, “I think interning is valuable because it teaches you more about a field you could possibly go into and it creates job opportunities.” They enjoyed decorating the sugar cookies the most.

Westgate Center Hosts Mardi Gras Parade

Under a cool, cloudy sky, Westgate Center held its annual Mardi Gras Parade. This event gets larger and more impressive every year. We’d like to thank all of our community partners, law enforcement agencies, and local krewes who participated. We can’t give our students all they need without your help. The parade brought a tremendous amount of joy to these wonderful students.

Escambia County History Fair

Congratulations to all students who participated in the Escambia County History Fair on February 13. The entries competed in a variety of categories including exhibits, websites, performances, documentaries, and historical papers. These students had advanced from school-level competitions. The YouTube Link for the History Fair Awards Ceremony Event is ttps://

Pensacola Catholic High School Crusaders Participate in ‘Night to Shine’

Over twenty Pensacola Catholic High School students participated in the Tim Tebow Foundation’s “Night to Shine” Prom on February 9. Students from our sister school, Mother Clelia Morning Star High School, also attended and everyone had a fantastic time!

ECPS Special Olympics at Tate High

Escambia County Public Schools’ Special Olympics were held Wednesday, March 14 at Tate High School with over 400 student athletes and close to 700 Tate student volunteers assisting as “buddies” and event workers. The event began with a Special Olympics Torch making its way around the track at Carl Madison Field at Pete Gindl Stadium. The National Anthem was performed by Tate senior Ella Kizer. So proud of our Aggies and these wonderful athletes.

St. Paul Catholic School Students Advance to State Science Fair

Several St. Paul Catholic middle school students recently participated in the Regional Science Fair and won many awards! Congratulations to all and good luck to those who will go on to compete at the State Science Fair.

Creative Learning Academy Mathletes Shine at Pensacola Invite

Creative Learning Academy’s sixth through eighth-grade students showcased their mathematical finesse at the recent 15th Annual Pensacola Invitational PI Competition. This rigorous and challenging event, organized entirely by students, brought together math enthusiasts from Escambia County’s diverse educational landscape, spanning both public and private institutions. With categories tailored to all math levels through Eighth grade, participants engaged in individual testing and team rounds, each designed to challenge their problem-solving abilities to the fullest extent.
Held on March 9th, 2024, this year’s Pensacola Invitational once again offered a platform for emerging mathematicians to compete, thanks to the generous support of local sponsors. All county schools were encouraged to maximize student participation, fostering an atmosphere prepped and ready for intellectual growth and healthy competition. For CLA students, the opportunity to demonstrate their mathematical abilities was met with concentration and determination.
When time ran out and all pencils were down, CLA mathletes emerged with commendable achievements and recognition. From individual accolades to collective triumphs, their dedication and skill were evident across various categories. Here are the results for CLA students: Math 1 Individual: Ian Truong (1st), Ethan Johnson (2nd), Liam Walker (4th), Ryan Blalock (7th), Marshall Pilger (8th); Math 1 Team: CLA 1 (1st), CLA 2 (2nd). Math 2 Individual: Carina Mariano (5th), Rohan Chavan (8th); Math 2 Team: CLA 1 (1st). Algebra Individual: Lukas Aung (2nd), Peter Ruiz (5th); Algebra Team: CLA 1 (1st). Geometry Individual: Konrad Kreis (2nd), Nathan Hultstrand (4th), Teagan Uslan (8th), Yash Gujral (10th); Geometry Team: CLA 1 (3rd). The Pensacola Invitational PI Competition stands as a testament to Northwest Florida’s passion for mathematics and the invaluable experience it offers to our CLA students that embrace competition.

J.M. Tate Helps with Literacy Week at Local Schools

The J.M. Tate FFA Chapter helped get National FFA Week “MOOving” through Literacy at Local Elementary Schools. National FFA Week was February 17 – 24, 2024 and the J.M. Tate FFA Chapter got things MOOving by sharing a story about Florida’s dairy industry to local first grade students. The J.M. Tate FFA officers, students from the Agriculture Communication class, and agriculture teachers/FFA Advisors partnered with Jim Allen Elementary and McArthur Elementary on February 16th to introduce the agriculture literacy program through Ag in the Classroom.
Students read and shared “Moovers, Shakers, and Milk Makers,” a book which highlights dairy production here in Florida. The first grade students learned about the dairy cow breeds, the practices used to care for dairy cows, and how a dairy operates.
After reading, the FFA students worked with the first graders on activities that focused on “Moovers, Shakers, and Milk Makers”, the Agriculture Literacy Day Book.

East Hill Christian School Visits State Capitol

East Hill Christian School’s eighth grade students visited Tallahassee to explore our state’s historic and current state capitol buildings. Through photographs, recordings, and displays throughout, and having the opportunity to sit in during a legislative session, our students enjoyed an immersive look into our state’s government, both past and present. The best part of these trips is seeing what our students are learning in the classroom come to life right in front of their eyes!

N.B. Cook Students Presents to School Board

At a recent School Board meeting, all in attendance were treated to a special treat. N.B. Cook Elementary 5th grader Olivia Graham presented a five-scene dramatization about the life of Marie van Britten Brown, an African American woman who is responsible for the invention of home security systems. The audience was captivated by Ms. Graham’s talent and poise. We know great things lie ahead for this talented young lady. A special thanks to Olivia’s teacher, Ms. Rachel Bismark, and N.B. Cook’s principal, Mr. Larry Knight.

Pensacola Figure Skaters Compete at ISI Winter Classic

Ten skaters from Greater Pensacola Figure Skating Club recently competed at the Ice Sports Industry’s National 2024 Winter Classic which was held at the Orlando Ice Den. Competing against over 500 skaters from as far away as British Columbia, New York and California, Pensacola was well represented with skaters bringing home 36 medals (6 first, 8 second, 10 third, 7 fourth, 1 fifth and 4 sixth) in a variety of categories. Representing GPFSC were Kassia Albarran, Lucy Beam, Mary Thomas Beam, Lindsay Carbone, Kristen Gaubert, Derek Markulin, Mila Markulin, Carter Murray, Norah Ortlieb and Cecelia Prevost.

St. Paul Catholic School Eagle Scout Alum Gives Back

St. Paul Catholic School alum Walton gave back to his former school with his Eagle Scout project! Students are so grateful and have been enjoying the new picnic tables! Thank you, Walton!

St. Paul Catholic School Fish Fry Volunteers

SPCS Middle school students have been volunteering at St. Paul Fish Fry events this Lenten season! We are thankful to our Knights of Columbus for allowing SPCS students to have this opportunity and proud of their commitment to serving their community!


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