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!
St. Paul Families Enjoy Lunch On The Lawn
A new event, Lunch on the Lawn, launched this year at St. Paul Catholic School. Each class gets to have a special lunch with their families. It has been so wonderful to see so many families together at the school, enjoying lunch outside!
St. Paul Art Club Creates Walking Rosary Mosaic
The Art Club at St. Paul Catholic School is creating a Walking Rosary Mosaic as the students’ major project this year. Each “bead” is actually a circular cement block adorned with fragments of ceramics. In October, the Spartan artists celebrated completing another decade of the Rosary!
Santa Rosa Online Kicks Off New Year
Our Santa Rosa Online students are having a wonderful start to the 2021/2022 school year! Ethan is one of our amazing elementary students who is ready for a great year with Mrs. Swim. Having a designated workspace is a great way to stay organized and focused as an online student.
Santa Rosa Online Nominates Teacher of the Year
Rachel Wade was nominated Teacher of the Year for Santa Rosa Online. She teaches HOPE and is our resident health and wellness coordinator. Thank you for all you do for our students.
Pensacola Catholic Welcomes the Class of 2026
On September 28, Pensacola Catholic High School welcomed visiting eighth-graders who attended the first of five ‘Visitation Days’ that are hosted each fall. Eighth-grade students assemble in the gymnasium by 7:45 a.m. on these designated days where they are greeted by Student Ambassadors. Cheerleaders and the Crusader Band welcome the students with a brief cheer and then Principal Sister Kierstin officially welcomes the visitors and summarizes what their half-day at CHS will entail. Eighth-graders are then divided into small groups and led on tours of our Athletic Complex and our Science Department where they take part in several scientific experiments. Students attend six different classrooms for a brief “taste” of the curriculum that is offered at Catholic High School ranging from Literature to World History, English, Spanish, Personal Finance, Religion, Geometry, and Personal Fitness. CHS also offers various levels of math, science and social studies.
In between their six “classes,” they are given a snack while they visit the new Student Life Center that also doubles as the school cafeteria. Students visit the school’s Library/Media Center where they are introduced to the technology that is used throughout the curriculum. Students finish their morning with rotating visits to the state-of-the-art Robotics/STEM lab, Music Building, and Art Studio. Sister Kierstin wraps up their visit to Catholic High School with a short summary discussion before they depart at noon. In addition to Visitation Days that are open to students, Catholic High also hosts an Open House in the fall, to allow interested parents and students to learn more about Catholic as an option for a private school that offers not only a quality academic program but also the full high school experience with athletics and many other extracurricular activities.
STEM Story Live! Aims to Attract Girls to STEM Careers
Research shows that far too often female students who were strong in math and science in elementary school lose their interest in STEM fields during their teen years. It is believed that this departure can be affected if they get to meet women in STEM careers so that they can see themselves in a future full of options in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM).
STEM Story is a TV show currently in development. Sample interviews with STEM heroes can be seen on the STEM Story page on Facebook. The first STEM Story Live! event was held on Sept. 18. It was organized by a partnership between STEM Story, a Pensacola nonprofit, and WSRE-TV, Pensacola’s local PBS station, for teen girls and their parents. Major sponsors were Fishbien Orthodontics and Salz Studio.
At this live event, students and their family members heard from University of West Florida President Dr. Martha Saunders. She shared her own story about someone telling her to avoid math. Years later, when she decided to go for her doctorate, the program included five classes in statistics. She almost let her apprehension about math scare her away from her plans. She took a statistics class in her first semester and was pleasantly surprised to find out she was good at it. She went on to pass all five levels of statistics with flying colors. Based on her experience, she urged the girls to try something they think will be too hard because there is a great chance that they, too, will succeed.
Then the parents heard about topics such as how school counselors can help, what colleges and universities are looking for when they consider an application, how to find out more about financial assistance for career training and/or post-secondary education, and more, from specialists from Escambia County School District, Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida.
The girls rotated in small groups to meet four STEM heroes and to participate in activities involving cybersecurity, engineering, community planning and underwater archaeology.
The STEM Story professionals the students met with included:
* Traycee Verdun Chapman, Tyndall Air Force Base’s Community Planner and Community Partner Liaison, has been involved in plans to overhaul the base after Hurricane Michael.
* Lara Eremita, a certified engineer-intern with the Florida Board, has worked at Tyndall Air Force Base for three years with the 325th Civil Engineer Squadron. She works in civil environmental and utility engineering.
* Meghan Mumford, a maritime archaeologist with the UWF Archaeology Institute, has worked on a variety of terrestrial and underwater sites including the 16th-century Tristán de Luna settlement and shipwrecks sites, Emanuel Point II and III.
* Nicole Noa, a cybersecurity instructor for Pensacola State College. In addition to teaching, she is the advisor of the Cyber Defense Club, Women in Cybersecurity Club, and offers her time to teach about security attacks and how to mitigate those risks to the community.
The event ended with two students winning amazing opportunities. One won a two-month scholarship for math tutoring or enrichment from Mathnasium. The other won a Naval Aviation Experience – a special day for the student and her family at the Naval Aviation Museum and the National Flight Academy.
The goal is for STEM Story to air weekly starting in the fall of 2022 on WSRE and other PBS television channels. The goal will be to cover a diverse variety of career fields, and to feature women who are also diverse, so that girls in the show’s target audience can see someone who looks like them, women who reflect the diversity of the show’s audience, working in STEM careers. Sample interviews can be explored on the STEM Story page on Facebook.
East Hill Christian Holds Senior Retreat
Each year the seniors at East Hill Christian School go on a two-day retreat to start out their final year of high school. This year, the students were able to visit the Historic St. Michael’s Cemetery where Pastor Rob from Marcus Pointe shared a devotional thought from God’s Word. Next, they visited the Pensacola Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. Students enjoyed learning about the lighthouse and climbing to the top to take in the breathtaking view!
Later, the seniors, along with sponsors Mr. Roper and Mrs. Hitchcock, checked into beach condos and spent time fellowshipping and enjoying the most beautiful beaches on the Gulf Coast. They played a large game of beach volleyball before gathering to watch the sunset and listen to Pastor Rob give another encouraging devotion. The following day, the seniors completed a sailing course and were able to sail solo and with a partner. The seniors sailed for hours and, at the end of the day, received a sailing certificate as beginner sailors!
This retreat gave students the opportunity to learn new things, to work together, and to enjoy God’s incredible creation.They had a wonderful time and made many great memories. We love our EHCS seniors from the Class of 2022!
LFCS Procession for St. Therese Feast Day
Little Flower Catholic School celebrated our patroness, St. Therese of Lisieux, during a procession October 1. Following Mass, Kaniya Westbrooks had the honor of representing St. Therese and carrying her relic in the procession. Ian Malone, DaQuavion Jackson, LaQaurius Peoples and LaQristen Peoples were our honor guard and carried our statue of St. Therese in the procession.
Montessori Students Present Lessons for Indigenous Peoples’ Day
In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Middle School students at Montessori School of Pensacola prepared and presented lessons to the Upper Elementary class. Students researched their topics (including history of our country, as well as the current proclamation honoring the day) and made PowerPoint presentations. They then took questions from the other students. This was a cultural lesson, but also gave the students practice public speaking.
For more info, visit www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/10/08/a-proclamation-indigenous-peoples-day-2021/.
East Hill ‘Sees You At the Pole’
On September 22, East Hill Christian School’s Student Government Association sponsored its Annual See You at the Pole event where many of our students and faculty gathered together around the flagpole to pray for our nation’s leaders, our community, and our EHCS family. This year’s theme was ‘Just Pray’ based on James 4:10. Special thanks to senior Chaeli Harris for heading this up this year!
Santa Rosa Online Students Create
Some virtual elementary students from Santa Rosa Online were inspired to create beautiful things under the guidance of their art teacher, Mrs. Taylor.
St. Paul Kindergarten Self-Portraits
Kindergartners at St. Paul Catholic School created self-portraits in art class. Each student looked into a mirror as he or she drew. The kids had fun studying their own faces and adding their own special details to their portraits.
Montessori’s Fun Days Link to Charitable Giving
Montessori School of Pensacola has special “Fun Days” throughout the year where students are invited to participate in special dress-up days on Fridays. The first Fun Day of the year was Dress like a Pet Day on September 15. In conjunction with dressing as pets, students could bring in donations for Pensacola’s Hotel for Dogs and Cats (a rescue and adoption center). Grace Coleman, a current senior at West Florida High School who is a Montessori School of Pensacola alumni student, volunteers at Hotel for Dogs and Cats, so the school was happy to be able to partner with her to organize donations. Students love the opportunity to dress up for school, while also giving back.
For more info, visit https://www.h4dc.org/.
East Hill Welcomes Community Helpers
This past month, the kindergarten classes at East Hill Christian School learned about community helpers and the tremendous value they bring to our lives through their heroic efforts! The students had a visit from many community helpers including a nurse practitioner from Sacred Heart Hospital, one of our School Resource Officers from Pensacola Police Department, and a firefighter from the Pensacola Fire Department Station #1. The kindergarten students were also able to enjoy a special day where they dressed up as their favorite community helpers.
Thank you, community helpers and first responders, for all you do. We appreciate you!
Catholic Pep Rallies Encourage School Spirit
The Pensacola Catholic High School student body and faculty were so excited to gather for real “in-person” pep rallies prior to some of their home games this year. The student body assembled outdoors in the home stands of Gorecki-LeBeau Stadium on campus to cheer on their football team. Students were led in cheers by both the varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders accompanied by the Crusader Band. The CHS Dance Team also performed for the student body while the football players looked on.
Students were seated by class and competed for cheering honors. Junior and senior classes usually won the competitions for being the loudest, with the sophomore and freshmen students progressively getting louder as the pep rallies continued and they began to understand what was “at stake.” It is always great to be a Crusader, but there is something about a pep rally that helps to remind us just how much!
Book Buffet is a Delicious Success at CLA
Jennifer Russell’s fifth-grade reading curriculum at Creative Learning Academy focuses on teaching students to understand and develop ideas about the texts they read. Students learn to support their ideas using specific details from books, and are expected to think critically about quotes, facts and events to formulate opinions about a text and explain it. Fifth-graders also expand these skills as they write (and create!) extensively about what they read.
Russell chose to facilitate a Book Buffet for a non-traditional independent reading project that would inspire her students to be creative and enjoy the reading and writing process. She was incredibly impressed with their vision and effort! Using fake food as a vehicle, fifth-graders created donuts, hamburgers, pizza, s’mores, sushi, cakes and bread to “summarize” their books! Each layer of food allowed students to describe and analyze different components of their novels, representing the setting, characters, plot and personal opinions of the book. The Book Buffet presentations sparked genuine interest in reading. The class also had an amazing time during the Book Buffet because they brought in real food to eat as they shared their projects!
“This project was a lot of fun because we had choices,” one student said. “We chose our book and chose how to design and create our project, and we could choose to bring in real food too!”
Another student added, “I loved the book I read for the project, and the project was so creative that I was excited to make it!”
A last comment was, “I enjoyed viewing the other projects and listening to the presentations that inspired me to read other books.”
West Florida High School Celebrates 20th Anniversary With Inaugural Induction of Hall of Fame Class
West Florida High School celebrates the 2001 opening of the school with the first class of the West Florida Legacies—an alumni Hall of Fame which will honor graduates and former staff members who are noted for high levels of achievement in their fields of endeavor and who make a significant contribution to that field.
The nomination process began in July and ended mid August. Nominees had to meet the criteria of being a graduate from at least 10 years prior or retired from service to the school at least three years prior.
“We had a great list of nominations that the committee was able to review and ultimately select the first three members based on their exemplary service in their field, honors and awards, and overall service to the community,” said West Florida High School Principal Esi Shannon. “We really feel these three individuals exemplify the West Florida Way.”
Inductees were recognized September 24 during a pre-game ceremony. West Florida’s varsity football team hosted Washington High School immediately following the ceremony.
BTWHS Cafeteria Uses Culinary Student Workers to Fill Employment Needs
At a time when Food Services is having difficulty filling a number of vacancies across the district, Elizabeth Gilmore and her Culinary Arts Academy students are able to assist in preparing meals for Booker T. Washington High School students each day.
This collaboration between the BTWHS Culinary Arts Academy and the BTWHS Cafeteria was born several years ago, as Jaleena Davis, school food services director, and Kay Johnson, coordinator for school food services operations, shared their need for more food service workers. ECSD Workforce Education Specialist Aisha Adkison partnered with Food Services staff to develop the workforce pipeline for this opportunity.
Today, there are nine BTWHS Culinary Arts Academy students participating in paid on-the-job training positions in the cafeteria at Washington.
“My students were thrilled with the opportunity to work in the cafeteria. They are able to earn both school credit and a paycheck at the same time, which they find amazing,” remarked Gilmore. “I had one student share with me this morning the sense of pride she felt making her first purchase with the money she earned from her first job. I truly believe this is an opportunity that will help them be more successful in their future careers.”
Participating students are fourth-year Culinary Arts Academy students, and seven of them are ServSafe certified, which is a management level food certification.
Pensacola Catholic Celebrates 80 Years
On September 14, Pensacola Catholic High School celebrated Catholic High’s 80th birthday! On that date in 1941 a student body of 170 assembled at the corner of Baylen and Garden streets downtown, where the school was located at the time, for their first day of school. In the fall of 1958 the school moved to its present location on West Scott Street, opening its doors to 485 students that year. This year’s enrollment is currently at 649.
The past 80 years have seen a tremendous amount of growth and change in the world and our community. In 1987 our current principal, Sister Kierstin Martin, ASCJ., joined the faculty to teach chemistry and physics and then the following year was appointed principal. During her tenure/leadership, she has worked with both alumni and parent groups on various improvements to the physical campus, as well as the academic and student life offerings at Catholic High. Through these past 80 years, one thing has remained constant – our commitment to maintain the standards of excellence for which Catholic High has always been known. We strive every day to fulfill our mission: to develop responsible Christian individuals by providing the finest in Catholic education.
MSP Students Learn About Migrant Workers
Students in Upper Elementary at Montessori School of Pensacola got to experience what life is like for migrant laborers. They carried their own water jugs and collected and transported harvests to deliver to others. They walked around the neighborhood that surrounds the Montessori Drive campus. This hands-on experience came from stories they are reading in their Voices literature program about migrant workers and their children. The discussions students had included how hard it was and how thirsty they got—as well as how hard it was for them to imagine doing it for further distances like real workers or how hard it would be to go to school and also have to work on farms. They definitely empathized with the children who work on farms.