Student Spotlights August 2022

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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!

Artist Visits Montessori School of Pensacola Summer Camp

Special guest, local artist, Elizabeth Bruck, came to visit summer campers at Montessori School of Pensacola during Art Week.  She was able to answer questions from campers about her artistic style, materials she uses, and how she plans her designs.  Art Week allowed campers to create art using different media, learn about famous artists, and put their artwork on display for an art show for their fellow campers.

Scientific Exploration at Montessori School of Pensacola Summer Camp

Montessori School of Pensacola summer camp offers children the chance to explore a new theme each week.  During the science themed week, campers conducted different experiments each day, which introduced them to different scientific concepts.  One very popular day was an exploration of acids and bases.  Campers tested different materials, such as cabbage, baking soda, and lemon and observed the reactions.  Videos and books about the concept were used to provide further explanation.

Escambia County School District Maintains District Grade of ‘B’ Despite Lingering Effects of Pandemic

The Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) released district and school grades today, and Escambia County has maintained a grade of ‘B,’ despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A handful of  schools saw increases in school grades, and many schools upheld or exceeded past years’ performances.  As expected, grades dropped slightly at some schools.

In its initial report, FLDOE issued a grade of ‘Incomplete’ to Warrington Middle School.  District officials are currently reaching out to the State Department of Education for clarification.  This information will be shared when received by the District.

“First, I would like to express my gratitude for the tremendous and unprecedented effort each and every member of our ECSD family exhibited during an extremely challenging school year,” said ECSD Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith. “Rest assured, just as we faced the challenges of COVID, we will face these new challenges with a no excuses attitude. We will not be deterred in our commitment to ensuring our students reach their full potential.

“While the state’s standards for school grades have not changed, the circumstances under which schools have been operating since the spring of 2020 have changed dramatically,” continued Smith.  “From shut-downs and remote learning to  loss of instructional time and staffing challenges,  ECSD employees and families have persevered.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021-2022 school year is the first year for which school grades have been issued since 2018-2019.   The full report of 2021-2022 school and district grades can be found at

Dixon School of Arts & Sciences Students Earn Top Honors

Nine students from Dixon School of Arts & Sciences recently earned top honors at the acclaimed “Music in the Parks” music festival held in Atlanta, Georgia on May 7th. The Dixon Guitar Ensemble, under the direction of musician and teacher Quintarries Upshaw and classical pianist Alan Long, took first place as well as a “Superior” rating.

Dixon students Alex Saldivar, Nashawn Hosea, Alicia Lee, Aaliyah Lee, Ka’Mora McNeal, Devin Tolentino, Elijah Autrey, Laila Long and Elijah Proctor-White had only been introduced to the guitar in February of this year, and were competition-ready in just four months, according to Dixon executive director Donna Curry. “These exceptional students had never even played the guitar before,” said Curry. “They remind us there are no limits to what our young scholars can achieve.”

Music In The Parks is an educationally-focused music festival founded by Dr. James Wells in 1981 that provides school performing ensembles the opportunity to learn from exceptional conductors in the field of music education today. Its mission is to bring together student musicians and adjudicator-clinicians for performances with the result being musical growth, achievement and recognition for both the individuals and the participating music programs. “Music in the Parks” events take place over multiple weekends in the spring in cities across the United States. The event is culminated by a celebratory awards ceremony where all participants are honored for their commitment to quality in music education.

For more information about Dixon School of Arts & Sciences, contact the Executive Director, Dr. Donna Curry, at (850) 435-0511or

Pensacola Catholic High School Crubotics Team Participates in World Competition

After placing first in the Gulf Coast Regional MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) competition held in April this year, the Pensacola Catholic High School Robotics Team, also known as the ‘Crubotics’, traveled to Long Beach, California to compete in the MATE ROV World Championship.  The MATE ROV Competition uses remotely operated vehicles (underwater robots) to inspire and challenge students to learn and creatively apply science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to solve real-world problems and strengthen their critical thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The MATE ROV Competition allows organizations who have competed and placed in a Regional event to improve upon their initial designs and compete at a higher level with teams from across the U.S. and around the world.  The Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) that are engineered by the teams must complete a set of mission tasks based on real-world, workplace scenarios. The competition emphasizes and inspires a mindset of entrepreneurship and innovation by requiring students to transform their teams into “start-up” companies that respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP) that must meet specified criteria. In addition to their robots, the student teams also prepare technical reports, create a marketing (poster) display, and deliver engineering presentations.  Catholic High competed in the Ranger Division which is open to students in middle (grades 5-8) and high (grades 9-12) schools as well as students in home schools, afterschool programs, clubs, and community organizations of comparable grade levels.  Teams are judged on the ROV’s completion of the required underwater tasks but also on Technical Documentation, Engineering Presentation, Safety Reviews, and Marketing Materials.  All Crubotics Team members worked on the challenge in Pensacola under the guidance and direction of Teacher/Moderator Mrs. Dana Lupton.  Team members and the chief roles they filled are Kush Wells-CEO, Logan O’Hanlon-CFO, Gavin Strickland-Safety Officer, Quentin Wright-Lead Programmer, Alex Che –Assistant Programmer, Porter Hanley-Assistant Programmer, Luke Junck-Assistant Programmer, Grant Robertson-Lead Modeler, Aloysius London-Assistant Designer, Brandon Hoppe-Float Engineer, Tyler Ruble-Team Electrician, Finley Holmes-Prop Builder, Luke Foster-Driver and Builder, and Maggie Johnson-Head of Media (underline means they traveled to CA). A group of CHS Crubotics supporters met at Catholic High for a send-off party as the Crubotics Team made final tweaks to their ROV before heading to California for the competition.  Crubotics CEO, Kush Wells, drove to California with his father to ensure the safe handling of the team’s robot.  The rest of the members, along with Mrs. Amanda Long, CHS Technology Director, flew to California for the event that took place June 21-25.  We are so proud of our Crubotics Team which placed 17th in their division against 26 teams from across the world.  They came home having learned a great deal and excited about their opportunities for next year!

Montessori School of Pensacola Campers Designed and Crafted Jewelry Pieces

Children, from age 4 through 3rd grade, enjoyed creating wearable art during Jewelry Week at Montessori School of Pensacola Summer Camp.  Campers got a chance to repurpose materials, such as paper towel rolls, to make bracelets.  Additionally, there were fun projects with beads, wire, and resin.  Campers loved wearing their new pieces, as well as decorating a box to store them in.

J.H. Workman and Warrington Students Enjoy Summer Programs

The Workforce Education Department is proud to announce the CTE Summer Programs at J.H. Workman and Warrington Middle Schools were a success. The eight-day camps were designed to give middle school students an opportunity to learn online business marketing techniques and skills as they earn the coveted “Social Media Strategist” (SMS) industry certification. At J.H. Workman Middle School, all ten (10) students who attended the camp earned the SMS certification. That brought J.H. Workman’s total certifications for the year up to 21. At Warrington Middle School, six (6) students attended the camp and they all earned the SMS certification. Each of the students attending this camp previously earned high school credit (in 8th grade) in the course Computer Fundamentals. So proud of our young Social Media Strategists!

Pensacola Catholic High School Athletes Honored at the Annual Senior Scholar Athlete Awards Banquet

On Tuesday, May 10, Pensacola Sports hosted their annual banquet for 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 — Will Taylor (Basketball), Anna Goodspeed (Cheerleading), Nick Dobhan (Cross Country-Boys), Alexis Dillard (Cross Country-Girls), Zack Dobhan (Football), Justin Burroughs (Golf-Boys), Lacey Fisher (Golf-Girls), Charles Jasso (Lacrosse-Boys), Jordan Ryba (Lacrosse-Girls), Jake Baumann (Soccer-Boys), Lindsey Middleton (Soccer-Girls), Ella Little (Softball), Mason Hockenberry (Swimming-Boys), Lindsey Rauscher (Swimming-Girls), Timothy Marshall (Tennis-Boys), Maggie Eddins (Tennis-Girls), Mallory Parker (Track-Girls), Madison Galloway (Volleyball), and Nick Howell (Weightlifting).

Pensacola State College awarded CHS Student-Athletes, Charles Jasso, Timothy Marshall, and Maggie Eddins, a $1,800 one-year renewable scholarship to PSC for recognition in their individual sports.  Nick Howell was awarded a $500 scholarship as part of the Dr. Alec Kessler Memorial Scholarship program that is given to a Senior Scholar-Athlete who has overcome adversity and is dedicated to helping other students and his/her team.

Madison Galloway was named the Overall Female Scholar Athlete and Justin Burroughs was named the Overall Male Scholar Athlete from all the schools who entered athletes from both counties.  Both received $4,000 scholarship awards.  Congratulations to all of our CHS Scholar-Athletes!

Pensacola Catholic High School Graduates Offered Athletic Scholarships

Twelve of the 151 graduates from Pensacola Catholic High School were offered athletic scholarships to participate at the next level in their various sports. CHS students from seven different athletic programs will be joining their new teams at eleven different colleges/universities across the Southeast but also as far away as Alaska! Congratulations to all of these Crusaders who excelled in the classroom and in their sport. Pictured left to right: Justin Burroughs – Golf at Clemson University, Amiah Butler – Volleyball at Troy University, Brayden Bruster – Football at University of West Florida, Mallory Richardson – Volleyball at Millsaps College, Iliyas Fuavai – Football at University of Southern Mississippi, Maddie Galloway – Volleyball at University of Alaska-Anchorage, Patrick Ling – Tennis at Holy Cross College, Emily Doyle – Soccer at Mississippi College, and Peter Harmon – Lacrosse at Huntingdon College. Not pictured: Nigel Graham – Football at Missouri Valley College, Jackson Hiatt – Baseball at Pensacola State College, and Carter McCulley – Baseball at Pensacola State College.

Keeping Cool at Camp Creative Learning Academy this Summer!

Camp CLA at Creative Learning Academy provides experiences that enable young minds to make meaningful connections through collaboration, friendship, and community through a variety of morning and afternoon camp sessions. Campers have been cultivating creative thinking and problem-solving skills as they engage in physical and educational activities packed full of summer FUN! “We realize that finding a quality summer camp program can be a huge challenge for parents, “said Jennifer Russell, Camp CLA Director. “Our priority at Camp CLA is to provide an educational and fun environment for children. We decided that the need for this throughout the entire summer is so necessary and a great opportunity to develop community relationships with campers and their families.”  This has been the first year CLA has offered camps throughout the entire summer. The decision to offer six weeks of summer camp has been incredible. The parents have been thrilled, and we have had a wonderful turnout! We are constantly receiving a great amount of positive feedback from both parents and children. The parents have enjoyed peace of mind, knowing that their children are in a fun, safe, and educational environment, and the children have had a blast so far. We are looking forward to Camp CLA 2023!

East Hill Christian School Cheerleading

The East Hill Cheerleaders had a great experience at the Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders summer camp in Dalton, GA.  The Varsity girls squad won Best Home Cheer and the JV girls won Camp Champs!  The girls learned so much during their three days in Georgia.  They also got to have a little fun playing at Dave and Busters along the way.  Go Eagles!

East Hill Christian School Basketball

Boys Basketball had a great month of June competing and growing closer together in the weight room and on the gym floor. We competed in gyms from Pensacola to Tennessee this summer. In TN the guys got to experience a little bit of college life by staying in the dorms at Bryan College in Dayton, TN and playing basketball games from sunup to sundown for four days straight. The challenge to the student athletes from the camp directors was Not to Be Satisfied.  Don’t even be hungry in life, be starving! Hoping our kids come back starving for knowledge, for relationships, for instruction, and for Jesus.

Author: Staff

It is our pleasure to serve you and your family as the Wiregrass's #1 Resource for local families.


It is our pleasure to serve you and your family as the Wiregrass's #1 Resource for local families.

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Student Spotlights August 2022

by Staff time to read: 14 min