Student Spotlight – July 2024

Student & School Spotlights - JULY 2024 GPP (1)
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!

Three Booker T. Washington Sign to Play Collegiately

Three Booker T. Washington boys soccer stars signed to play at the next level. Kyle Hunnicutt, Tony Lipnicky and Ethan Koivu all signed their letters of intent at Booker T. Washington High School, with teammates, friends and family. Hunnicutt signed with Division I University of South Florida, Lipnicky is headed to Division III Ogelthorpe University in Georgia, while Koivu is going to the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama.

Pensacola Opera will Perform Original Opera at Schools

The Pensacola Opera will debut its 2024-2025 educational series this fall, visiting area schools to perform “The Bear Who Couldn’t Fish,” an original opera commissioned for children. “The Bear Who Couldn’t Fish” was written specifically for children.

Pensacola Catholic High Present Pro Deo et Patria Award

Pensacola Catholic High School held their Commencement Exercises on May 18 during which they bestowed a very special award on a member of the Pensacola Catholic High School graduating class. For the past 41 years, this award, named the Pro Deo et Patria Award, 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. Congratulations to the 2024 recipient of the Pro Deo et Patria Award – Maria Bush! Maria is presented the Pro Deo et Patria Award by Principal, Sister Kierstin Martin.

High School Students Attend Northwest Florida Construction Career Days

Area high school students were treated to an interactive look into the transportation industry during the 4th Annual Northwest Florida Construction Career Days (CCD) event.
Students had the opportunity to operate heavy equipment and learn about bridge inspections, paving, concrete, traffic control, engineering, and were also introduced to the large number of career paths available in the transportation, structural, engineering, and building industries. Students were able to interact with representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), as well as various engineering firms, and contractors looking to hire in the Northwest Florida area. . Students over the age of 18 were also able to fill out applications for hiring companies during the event.
High school seniors who attended CCD in-person or virtually were eligible to receive a portion of up to $50,000 in scholarship funds that will be awarded this year. The scholarship fund was established to assist high school graduates enrolling in college, trade/vocational education programs, or those entering directly into the workforce.

Catholic High Honors Former Student-Athlete with Annual Award

Each year during the Pensacola Catholic High School Commencement Exercises, the school honors the memory of Chris Gallman by bestowing an award on a graduating senior. Chris was a member of the CHS Class of 1999 and a very talented member of both the Basketball and Track Teams who died very suddenly and tragically of an undiagnosed heart condition 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. His death left the Catholic High community stunned and heartbroken. Chris was a very special person – a very talented athlete, a friend to all, rarely seen without a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone – truly 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, parents, who all recognized the unique goodness of Chris Gallman and asked that we establish an award in his honor… to memorialize the goodness he contributed and stood for in his life at Catholic High, his sportsmanship, selflessness, and compassion.
These qualities became the focus and criteria for the bestowal of the Chris Gallman Sportsmanship Award. With the input of athletes in each of the 21 CHS Varsity athletic teams, the entire CHS faculty, and the CHS coaching staff, the selection of the recipient(s) for this very special award is conducted each year. In some years, it is just too difficult to select just one athlete to receive this award based on the input about the actions and character of our athletes. This year we have selected two students to receive this award.
The first recipient of the Chris Gallman Award, Maria Bush, participated in Tennis at CHS. Her coach described her by saying, “this student athlete is a tenacious competitor who embodies the priceless virtues that a team sport seeks to imbue – passion, persistence, enthusiasm, and camaraderie.” Maria always offered a smile to every opponent, win or lose, and she was foremost a constant source of encouragement and support of her fellow teammates. She truly embodies the ideals of respect and good sportsmanship as displayed by Chris Gallman.
The second recipient of the Chris Gallman Award is a young man who competed in both swimming and baseball at CHS. His Swim Coach described him as “a true leader of the Swim Team for the past two years.” He encourages every one of his teammates to strive to do their best both in practices and in meets. He helped them set goals, pushed them in practice, cheered them on in meets, and set the example for them. His Baseball Coach says, “he is the consummate team player, putting the needs of the team before his own. He is a role model for his peers both on and off the athletic field.” These are the same selfless attributes exhibited by Chris Gallman. Congratulations, Maria and Chris! Maria Bush and Chris Shashaty were presented the Chris Gallman Sportsmanship Award by Athletic Director, Coach Richard LaBounty.

Escambia River Electric Cooperative Poster Contest Winners

Fifth graders at local elementary schools in North Escambia took part in a poster contest to promote Escambia River Electric Cooperative’s Annual Meeting. The winning students received a cash award, and their posters were displayed at the meeting on April 27, at Ernest Ward Middle School. Winners from Bratt Elementary School were Klaire Bealey, first; Zinaleah Moreno, third place; and Marshall Nall, second. Winners from Byrneville Elementary School were Gracie Levins, second; Kaison Robbins, first; and Antonia Hayes, third place.

Catholic High Scholar Athletes Receive Honors

On Thursday, May 9, Pensacola Sports Association hosted their annual banquet to recognize Senior Scholar-Athletes. Each year, Scholar-Athletes in each sport from Escambia and Santa Rosa County high schools are invited to the recognition program. This year the following students from Pensacola Catholic High School were selected to represent their sport. Students whose names are bolded were recognized with Top Honors for their sport – Congratulations!
Chris Rembert (Baseball), James Banks (Basketball-Boys), Virginia Lee (Basketball-Girls), Ava Adams (Cheerleading), Xander McLaughlin (Cross Country-Boys), Mariana Contreras (Cross Country-Girls), Turner McLaughlin (Football), Evan Covington (Golf-Boys), Islay Benoit (Golf-Girls), Benton Lane (Lacrosse-Boys), Natalie Biggs (Lacrosse-Girls), Will Watson (Soccer-Boys), Meghan McCarthy (Soccer-Girls), Mackenzie Dobhan (Softball), Chris Shashaty (Swimming-Boys), Amelia Killingsworth (Swimming-Girls), Ben Ling (Tennis-Boys), Gabrielle Goyins (Tennis-Girls), Nathan Carroll (Track-Boys), Elizabeth Watson (Track-Girls), and Madelin Hammergren (Volleyball).
In addition to the individual sport awards, Chris Rembert (Baseball) and Gabby Goyins (Girls Tennis) were honored as the overall Male Scholar Athlete and overall Female Scholar Athlete. Congratulations to all of the Crusaders honored!

Escambia County Students Shine at the State History Fair

Thirty-three students represented Escambia County at the State History Fair in Tallahassee. Of the 2600 students participating across the state, 852 students with 499 entries advanced this year to the state competition representing thirty-two counties.
The 2024 theme was “Turning Points in History.” Escambia County brought home two first and a second-place entry along with special prizes. Our first and second-place winners will compete in the National History Day competition this June in College Park, Maryland.
Join us in Congratulating:
Senior Individual Website
1st Place and Outstanding County Award
Alice Zhang
“Turning the Red Page: How the Chinese Cultural Revolution Altered Education and Chinese Identity.”
Pensacola High School
Teacher: Michael Jones
Senior Individual Documentary
1st Place
Josephine “Josie” Harrell
“How Chicago’s Death Trap Showed Us The Way Out.”
Pensacola High School
Teacher: Blevins Rose
Senior Individual Performance
2nd place
Gretchen Lamar
“A Hard Thing to Swallow: The Medical Turning Point that Saved Millions.”
Pensacola High School
Teacher: Blevins Rose
Special Awards:
World War II Heritage Award (Sponsored by Florida State University Institute on World War II and the Human Experience)
Zanuela Otabil and MyVy Phu
“A Shot in the Vein”
Pensacola High School
Teacher: Blevins Rose
Celebrate Freedom Award (Sponsored by the James Madison Institute)
Military Heritage Award
Sarah Tanveer
“Stinging the Soviet Union: Operation Cyclone as a Turning Point in the Cold War.”
Pensacola High School
Teacher: Blevins Rose

Holm Elementary Teachers Attend Space & Rocket Center

Ms. Julie Harmon, Kindergarten (left) and Mrs. Jenn Ruffin, 5th Grade Science (right) from Holm Elementary School are attending a six-day hands-on Professional Development opportunity at the Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Longleaf Elementary School Students Publish a Book

Students in Mrs. Hopkins 3rd grade and Mrs. Kramer’s/Ms. Davis’ 4th grade classes have completed a year-long writing project.
Teachers ordered a book publishing kit from at the beginning of the year. The kit included all of the necessary materials to write, illustrate and publish a book. The classes decided on a topic to write about and then began to plan, draft, revise and edit their writing.
Students also had the opportunity to include illustrations, which is a great way to show off their artistic abilities. Students took pride in their accomplishments and were very excited to see the final, published book.

Getting Crafty at MSP Summer Camp

Jewelry creation was the theme of the second week of Montessori School of Pensacola Summer Camp. Campers crafted wearable art pieces. They used materials like clay and beads to make necklaces. One day, they upcycled materials by re-using corks to make pendants for necklaces. Whenever possible, there are opportunities to recycle and reuse things. Campers loved wearing their new creations.

MSP Congratulates its 2024 Graduates

Montessori School of Pensacola 8th grade students had their graduation on May 21st. The ceremony and celebration included speeches given by the students recapping their time at MSP. They talked about their favorite memories and what they will miss most as they head off to high school. 7th grade students performed a play as part of the evening’s entertainment. This Fall, students will be heading to a mix of high schools, including, Pace High School, West Florida High School, Pensacola High School, Washington High School, and a homeschool program.

Take Stock in Children Awards Scholarships

Take Stock in Children and the Escambia County Public Schools Foundation awarded $315,000 in scholarships at the May 17 “Graduation & Unsung Hero Celebration” at the Wright Place.
The event honored 23 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.
The 2023 Take Stock in Children graduates are: Escambia Virtual: Hana Scully; Escambia High: Ralynn Durant, Kaley Mastrianno, Keyonte Smith, Jayla Stallworth; Northview High: Allyson Jones, Dequan Shabazz.; Pine Forest High: Amiya Rudolph, Chaeli Lackey, Chancellor Washington; Tate High: Kaylee Emmons, Eliana Howington, Quentin Lewis-Wright, Nancy Mendez-Rostro, Alex-Marie Tartarilla, Malachi Williams; Booker T. Washington High; Jaden Allen, Ariyanna Cunningham, Brogan Dougherty, Kaitie Johnson, Elizabeth Mendiola; West Florida High: Jessica Hatton, Bailey Poston.
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. Students receive a college scholarship, a caring volunteer mentor, and college readiness skills.
Scholarships are funded through a unique public-private fundraising model in which local scholarship donations are matched by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation when scholarships are purchased each year. Laptops were donated through a program founded by Nick & Nathan Gupta and currently coordinated by Walton Buckley. Donations come from businesses, community organizations, family foundations, and individuals.
For more information, contact Sally Lee, Take Stock in Children Coordinator, (850) 469-5458,

East Hill Christian Students Head to Europe

Five East Hill students are gearing up for a European summer! These students, plus a couple of teacher chaperones, are attending Student Leadership University’s SLU 301 event in London, Oxford, Normandy, and Paris. While continuing their leadership journey, we are excited to see our students understand how they are called to shape history and leave a legacy for Jesus!

Escambia Westgate Center Inspires

If you ever want to be inspired, make a trip down 10 Mile Road, turn on Ashton Brosnaham Drive, and pull up to Escambia Westgate Center. The Westgate Wildcats celebrated their class of 2024 graduates at a poignant and moving graduation ceremony today. Each of these students is the personification of perseverance and hard work, and we couldn’t be more proud to have had the opportunity to learn from them, as they learned from us. Great things ahead for all graduates.

Escambia County Math Teachers of the Year

Escambia County Public Schools is very excited to announce our ECCTM Math Teachers of the Year. This was not an easy choice because we have so many amazing math educators.
Our Elementary School Math Teacher of the Year is Makenzie Stein from C.A. Weis Elementary. Our Middle School Math Teacher of the Year is Maria Willis from Ernest Ward Middle School. Our High School Math Teacher of the Year is Virginia Snyder from Tate High School.
Congratulations to our 2023-2024 ECCTM Math Teachers of the Year. We cannot wait to see what exciting things happen in all of our math classrooms across the district next school year!

Camp Fun has Begun at MSP

Summer camp at Montessori School of Pensacola (MSP) is off to a great start! Camp is held at the MSP 12th Avenue (East Hill) campus. During the first week, campers worked on creative projects. One they especially loved was a collaborative mix of engineering and creativity. Campers decorated stones and they worked together to lay them out in flower shapes to decorate the walkway into camp.


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