Student Spotlights – March ’22

Two Bayside Academy Chosen for FB… McKean
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 Students Hold House Competition

St. Paul Catholic middle school students spent a fun and active morning playing games at the end of the fall semester. Students broke into their designated houses and battled it out in several rounds of close competition. It was a fun way to finish up the fall semester!

East Hill Third-Graders Learn About Arrowheads

East Hill Christian School’s third-grade students enjoyed having Dennis Daniel demonstrate authentic arrowhead making. The top five students from each class who said his or her multiplication facts 1-12 were able to earn an arrowhead that Mr. Daniel handmade!

ECSD Announces 2023 Teacher of the Year

The Escambia County School District has announced its 2023 ECSD Teacher of the Year, Jamiliya McBride, an Instructional coach at Pine Forest High School. McBride has been an employee of the District since 2014, when she served as a long-term substitute teacher at Warrington Middle School. Soon thereafter, she joined the instructional staff at Warrington, where she remained until 2018. In 2018, McBride transitioned to Pine Forest  as an algebra teacher.

In June 2020, McBride was named instructional coach at Pine Forest, where she has continued to be an innovator and trainer, as well as an inspiration for both students and faculty. McBride has been instrumental in reaching students and training teachers throughout the pandemic.

“We are thrilled to announce Mrs. Jamiliya McBride has been selected as our Teacher of the Year,” stated Superintendent Tim Smith. “Mrs. McBride epitomizes the dedication, strength and innovation so necessary for instruction during these unprecedented times.  She is a blessing to her students and the community as a whole.”

The ECSD 2023 Teacher of the Year was announced during the ECSD Golden Apple Awards Banquet, which was held virtually on January 28.

In addition to McBride’s recognition, Teacher of the Year candidates from each school within the district were honored during this year’s virtual event.

McBride will now move on to represent the Escambia County School District in the state Teacher of the Year competition.

Montessori Students Create Self-Portraits

Montessori School of Pensacola’s classes are multi-aged groups spanning three years. This allows for social development, children helping children and shared learning as well as independent growth. Because of the different ages and abilities, teaching one another becomes a reality.

Another exciting aspect of having children in a classroom for multiple years is that they draw their self-portrait each year. This allows them to show their developing art and creative skills, as well as their views of themselves from year to year. Children look in the mirror and have discussions with teachers about the placement of their facial features, the colors of their eyes and hair, and how best to portray them. At the Montessori School of Pensacola, these portraits show development and self-reflection and are also wonderful keepsakes for families.

Tea Brewing Teaches Practical Skills at MSP

At Montessori School of Pensacola, students in the Primary classrooms get to brew and enjoy hot tea. Montessori education includes the curriculum area of Practical Life. Montessori Services states, “The exercises of Practical Life provide the foundation for all other activities in the Montessori classroom. Through exercises in daily living, such as pouring and scrubbing, sewing and gardening, or practicing grace and courtesy, the child gains confidence and mastery of the environment.”

Students have a tea pot, tea bag in a small dish, a timer for the child to know when the tea is ready, a spoon to mix and a towel to clean the spills. Along with Practical Life skills, students also get to practice their Grace and Courtesy skills. Grace and Courtesy in a Montessori classroom refers to expressions of hospitality, respect, and appropriate communication children extend to their peers and any others with whom they come into contact. This carries on outside of the classroom into real-world situations, and will serve the child well beyond childhood and into adulthood.

St. Paul Students Take STREAM Challenge

The St. Paul Catholic School third-grade class was given a STREAM challenge: build a simple cart that rolls. In the process, students investigated distance and speed and cause and effect relationships using ramps and carts. Incorporating multiple elements of learning together gives students richer and longer lasting knowledge!

LEAD Academy Gets Special Visitors

Animal Tales came to visit the L.E.A.D. Academy Genesis campus. The students were introduced to several creatures and learned about their natural habitats; why they wouldn’t make a good pet; and all about their physical characteristics. The kids had a great time learning about some of God’s creatures.

Booker T. Washington High, Workman Middle Team to Offer NJROTC Opportunities

The NJROTC (Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) program recently authorized a new pilot program that permits 8th-grade students to enroll in NJROTC. Booker T. Washington High School’s NJROTC program is among a few units nationwide that can offer the program to eighth-grade students.

This unique opportunity can only exist for NJROTC programs that are co-located within walking distance of their middle school feeder, such as Workman Middle School. Beginning this fall, 8th-graders from Workman Middle were given the opportunity to experience BTWHS’s NJROTC program.

The daily mission of the program is to build the cadet’s leadership potential. Cadets are taught the values of citizenship, self-esteem and self-respect, service to the community, pride in belonging, self-discipline, and personal, family and social responsibility. They learn to think quickly, to be sure of themselves, to communicate their ideas and to become self-reliant. These are all qualities that are necessary to thrive in any career.

The 8th-grade students are catching on well and learning the basics while demonstrating enthusiasm for more physical training, and drilling. They also performed well in the Veterans Day Parade.

“I joined NJROTC because when I’m older I want to join the military,” said 8th-grade Cadet Seaman Apprentice Nathan Lacasse. “This program has changed my life in many different ways. For starters, I have become a leader and this has gotten me in shape.”

The NJROTC program’s mission is stated in the National Defense Act of 1916 (with the Navy establishing its program in 1966): The purpose of NJROTC is “to instill in Cadets the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.” NJROTC provides cadets with the tools/skills they can use to succeed in high school, and for the remainder of their lives.

East Hill Christian Students Attend Leadership University in Orlando

Thirty-nine East Hill Christian eighth- through twelfth-grade leadership students had the awesome opportunity to attend Student Leadership University 101 in Orlando. Students were challenged to think, dream and lead at this year’s conference sessions. Over the four days, our students were privileged to be taught by Dr. Jay Strack, president and founder of SLU; Brent Crowe, vice president of SLU; Jeff Wallace, urban ministry communicator and innovator; Pat Williams, senior vice president, Orlando Magic; Joseph Sojourner, hip-hop recording artist, writer and communicator; and Brett Kunkle, founder and president of MAVEN. During the twenty hours of seminars, the students were instructed on the topics of components of leadership, time and goal management, personality profiling, and how to strive for excellence in all things.

Aletheia Christian Academy Holds Walkathon Fundraiser for School and Gymnasium Improvements

On January 7, the students and staff of Aletheia Christian Academy held a walkathon fundraiser to help with school improvements. The overall goal was to raise $20,000, and through the hard work of everyone, the school was able to raise almost $22,000! Because the school exceeded its overall goal, high school Bible teacher Mr. Brown got his beard shaved and school administrator Mr. Laxton got his head buzzed!

Everyone who participated enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day along with a sweet treat donated by the Bayou Boulevard Chick-Fil-A. The school is gearing up for its next fundraiser event, the ACA Flapjack 5K, which will take place Saturday, April 9, at 8 a.m. at the school. Check out

MSP Students Explore Insects in Art Class

Upper Elementary students at the Montessori School of Pensacola express their creativity throughout the areas of curriculum, including specifically dedicated art lessons. A current project allowed them to combine their zoology studies with art.  They have been looking in depth at the life cycle of insects. This is a student’s interpretation of the life cycle of a lady bug. The part she has done in black is the food pouch of the insect.

LEAD Students Participate In Charity Toy Drive

Before Christmas, a toy drive to benefit Rachael’s Kids at the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart was held at LEAD. Academy. Many LEAD families were very generous and the students were able to experience the gift of giving.

Escambia High Latin Team Crowned Regional Champs

Escambia High School’s Latin Team again was crowned Regional Champions in the Classical League competition held at Gulf Breeze January 29. This marks the 30th consecutive year Escambia has won this competition. The region comprises schools from Escambia County all the way to Leon County. This year 99 Latin students, under the direction of Amy Hornick, competed in the competition. This superb team of students and sponsors will again compete at the state level later in the spring.

LEAD Students Give the Gift of Reading

Kindergarten LEAD Academy students participated in a book gift exchange in each of their classes before Christmas. The children were so excited to bring in a special gift for a classmate.

St. Paul Holds First Basketball Games in New Gym

It was a historic weekend in January for St. Paul Catholic School’s new Pate Family Gym —the FIRST-ever CYSL basketball games! Our 8th-grade boys brought home the win as well as many of our other teams.

West Florida Literary Federation’s 2022 Youth Writing Contest

This year, the West Florida Literary Federation challenges you to blast into “A New World” for the 2022 Youth Writing Contest. It is open to all public, private and home-schooled Escambia and Santa Rosa County students in grades K-12.

First-, second- and third-place prizes will be awarded in three categories: poetry, fiction and non-fiction in elementary, middle and high school. An awards ceremony/reading for winning students, their families and their friends will be held in April.

One entry is allowed per student in one category. For poetry entries, this means up to three poems or three pages of poetry. Fiction/non-fiction entries can be up to 1,200 words in a legible font, double-spaced Word document, submitted by e-mail.

Judges are looking for writing that: is original, a product of your own experience and observations; uses vivid, sensory language and imagery; uses correct grammar and spelling; adheres to the theme and has overall effectiveness and impact.

Your submission and online contest entry form must be received by Thursday, March 9. A link to the entry form can be found at See the form for details about how to submit your writing. Note that the link to submit will not be accessible using a school Gmail account.

Please contact Charline Barger at(850) 485-0818 or with any questions.

Little Flower Donates Gifts to Sister Schools

Little Flower Catholic School was able to donate Joe Patti’s gift baskets to all our sister Catholic schools as part of Celebrating Your Community Day of Catholic Schools Week. Ian Malone, Gabby Beal and Kaniya Westbrooks were our 8th-graders along with Principal Sanchez, who delivered the baskets to each of the schools to show our appreciation for the Catholic schools of our community.

St. Paul Students Take Periodic Table Challenge

Seventh-grade students at St. Paul Catholic School had the opportunity to challenge science teacher Ms. Ripp or other students in reciting the periodic table song. This young scientist was the ultimate champion getting all the way to berkelium—number 97! Two other students were also winners getting to chlorine and calcium.

East Hill Christian Participates in Escambia County History Fair 2022

cccs honor society

Many East Hill Christian middle and high school students participated in the Escambia County History Fair February 1-5.  EHCS students received much recognition at the awards ceremony held February 8 at Washington High School. This year we will be sending a record seven projects on to the state level competition in Tallahassee in May!

These include the followingHistorical Documentary winners:

*First Place: Jonathan Lin

Historical Website:

*First Place: Junior Individual: Jack Treick

*First Place: Senior Group: Kessler Ferry and Andy Bosarge

Historical Exhibits:

*Second Place: Junior Individual: Emma Gleason

*First Place: Junior Group: Abby Hudspeth and Emma Osborn

*First Place: Senior Individual: Gracie Hamilton; Third Place: Senior Individual: Lindsay Thomas

*Second Place: Senior Group: Sophia Bondurant and Bailey Hansler; Third Place: Senior Group: Carsyn Clanton, Reiss Goldman and Abigail Hrabar

Excellence in History Award (NSDAR) went to: Gracie Hamilton, Abby Hudspeth and Emma Osborn

Escambia County Council of PTA/PTSA Awards went to: Emma Gleason and Gracie Hamilton

Southeastern Native American History Awards (Santa Rosa County Creek Indian Tribe) went to: Sophia Bondurant and Bailey Hansler

African American Heritage Award (Omega Golden Rule Foundation) went to: Carsyn Clanton, Reiss Goldman, Abigail Hrabar, Sophia Bondurant and Bailey Hansler

Wayne Perkins Award for Use of Primary Sources went to: Carsyn Clanton, Reiss Goldman and Abigail Harabar

Fiesta of Five Flags Award went to: Sophia Bondurant and Bailey Hansler

Woodrow B. Skinner Memorial Award went to: Jack Treik, Kessler Ferry and Andy Bosarge.

Naval Aviation Museum Hosts Nationwide Student SALUTE Art & Essay Contest

The National Naval Aviation Museum and Naval Aviation Museum Foundation are excited to present the SALUTE Art and Essay contest to students all across the nation. To participate, each student must submit artwork or an essay that recognizes the sacrifice, service and commitment of our service members and their families for a chance to have their artwork displayed in the Museum.

All public, private and homeschooled students in kindergarten through 12th grade are encouraged to participate. The contest calls for entries of original artwork from students in grades K-12 and essays from students in grades 6-12.

“We’re excited to see how each student will utilize their creativity and imagination to recognize our nation’s military men and women,” said retired Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, President and CEO of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.

Entries will be collected in February, March and April. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 22. The contest will be separated and judged in separate grade-level groups. Winners will be announced by Friday, May 6, and awarded in May.

All art must be created using only pencils, paint, charcoal or markers. Three-dimensional art pieces, photography and digital art are ineligible. Glitter is not permitted on any art pieces. The art must be 11-by-17 inches or smaller. Drop-off locations are available in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Content submitted will not be returned.

Essay submissions must be between 200 and 500 words typed using double-spaced lines. Essay submissions can be mailed or e-mailed.

Ribbons will be awarded to the SALUTE Art and Essay contest first-, second- and third-place winners in each category. All winning submissions will be displayed at the National Naval Aviation Museum for Military Appreciation Month in May. First-place winners’ submissions will be displayed in the National Naval Aviation Museum for an entire calendar year. First-place winners will also receive a $100 savings bond and each winner’s teacher will receive a $50 gift card.

For details about the requirements and how to submit entries, please visit For contest questions, please contact Dianna Hayden at or (850) 308-8935.

West Pensacola Elementary, Regions Join YMCA for After-School Program

The Regions Foundation, a nonprofit organization funded primarily by Regions Bank, recently announced a $50,000 grant to the YMCA of Northwest Florida to bring a proven after-school reading program to West Pensacola Elementary. The donation will allow the YMCA to establish YReads! at West Pensacola. Nearly 100 WPES students from kindergarten through fourth grade will benefit from the after-school tutoring program designed to improve reading comprehension and strengthen education.

“Education creates a world of opportunity, and this program is making a real investment in the lives of children – an investment that helps level the playing field and positions students for long-term success,” said Marta Self, executive director of the Regions Foundation. “The YReads! program gives students individual attention to supplement what they learn in the classroom. Between the dedication of the YMCA and the commitment of exceptional educators at West Pensacola Elementary, we know students at WPES are well positioned for long-term success.”

WPES will be the first YReads! program site in the Panhandle. The program will use volunteer mentors trained to teach individualized reading lesson plans, evaluate student progress, and celebrate student achievements. Parents will also receive tools to help students continue reading gains at home.

Creative Learning Holds First Earthquake Shake Off

Creative Learning Academy’s 7th- and 8th-grade science classes had an excellent showing in the inaugural Earthquake Shake Off.  Natural disasters play such an important role in shaping our world and are usually at the very forefront of our news cycle and current events. Earthquakes, and the importance of understanding the effects of earthquakes on structures to the civil engineering community, are apparent.

Recent catastrophic earthquakes in Haiti, Indonesia, Mexico and Peru have reminded us of the powerful and potentially deadly consequences of such natural events. The most important lesson learned from severe earthquakes is that engineers must possess the skills to significantly improve structures to resist earthquake damage and thereby avoid most of the death and financial loss caused by such a catastrophe. Past earthquakes have demon-strated that it typically costs less to prepare for earthquakes in advance than to repair the damage afterwards. It is urgent to properly train and equip a new generation of young civil engineers with these skills. These future engineers must possess an understanding of seismic engineering and have an opportunity to learn about the earthquake engineering and seismic resistant design of structures.

In order to include the basic concepts of structural dynamics into CLA’s science classes, students were given an introduction to Structural Analysis. This unit provided students with a better understanding of the seismic design concepts, such as the nature of dynamic earthquake loading, the effectiveness of lateral bracing, and structural damping and base isolation on structural control. Students then designed and constructed their own “earthquake proof” structures by submitting designs, making revisions, and running structural integrity tests. These structures were tested with a “person” inside (actually an egg) on a student-built shake table. The final Shake Off was viewed by many younger CLA students and administration. Our 7th and 8th graders demonstrated that they were able to quickly integrate these structural concepts into their original designs.

West Florida High Critical Care/Emergency Medicine Academy Receives Ambulance Simulator

The Critical Care and Emergency Medicine (CCEM) Academy at West Florida High School recently added a very innovative and useful new tool to its collection.

As a result of the successful application for a federal grant, the Escambia County School District Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department was able to purchase a complete SimRig In-Class Ambulance Simulator for the CCEM Academy at West Florida. This grant, the CARES Act Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Building K-12 CTE infrastructure Grant, provided a funding source to secure this valuable teaching tool.

The SimRig allows students to be completely immersed in scenarios and controlled emergent situations prior to exposure to the actual incidents in real-world situations. Realistic equipment such as working suction, oxygen administration, and physical attributes such as patient loading and unloading, confined quarters, and various distractors allow the instructor to build and present patient care scenarios which test the students’ ability to apply critical thinking skills to a variety of ever-changing trauma and medical care problems.

This one of a kind patient-care simulator feels and reacts just as the ambulance in the field does. Students can become comfortable with equipment and supply set-up, as well as patient approach and assess-ment. With the attendant pharmacology, immobilization, and abundant patient care environment attributes, the In-Class SimRig Ambulance Simulator is the top-flight tool available today for teachers of emergency medicine and their students.

West Florida High School of Advanced Technology is located at 150 E. Burgess Road in Pensacola.


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