School Board Appoints New Principals and Director

The School Board unanimously approved the selection of Lee Martello as the Principal at Laurel Hill School, the transfer of Angie Vaughan as the Principal at Kenwood Elementary School, and the selection of Marti Gardner as the Director of Elementary Education at the June 10 School Board meeting.

Lee Martello – Principal at Laurel Hill School

Lee Martello is a sixteen year veteran of education having been a school counselor at both elementary and high school levels.  She has been an assistant principal for the last nine years in Okaloosa County at Richbourg Middle School and most recently at Shoal River Middle School.   Martello is passionate about children and believes every student can make a difference.

After graduating from Crestview High School, Martello earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Florida State University.  She also earned an additional Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas-Arlington.  Her Specialist degree was awarded from Florida State University in the area of Counseling and Human Systems.

Martello has been married to Michael Martello for nineteen years.  Together, they have one daughter, Carson, who will be entering high school next year.  Lee enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, antiquing and assisting her master gardener, Michael.

Angie Vaughan – Principal at Kenwood Elementary

Angie Vaughan is a thirty-five year veteran of education having taught Students with Disabilities for twenty-five years with experiences in grades K-12.  During this time she was instrumental in the implementation of the inclusion of students into the general education classroom and the co-teaching model.  She also served as a district ESE Staffing Specialist.  Vaughan is committed to public education and providing students with optimum learning experiences.

Vaughan received her Master’s degree in Clinical Teaching from the University of West Florida in 1980 and Educational Leadership in 1999.  During the past ten years she has served as the District’s ESE School Support Coordinator, Assistant Principal at Pryor Middle School and most recently as Principal at Florosa Elementary School. 

Vaughan is married to Jim Vaughan and has two sons, Michael Gordon and Justin Gordon.  She is passionate about education and is committed to the Okaloosa County School District.  Her husband, two sons, and daughters-in law are all products of the Okaloosa County School System.  She enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren, and is involved in the music program at Cinco Baptist Church.

Marti Gardner – Director of Elementary Education

Marti Gardner is a thirty-two year veteran of education having taught fourteen years in grades 3, 4, and 6.  After receiving a degree in PreK-12 Library Science, she was a media specialist at Destin Elementary for eight years.  Twice during her career as a teacher and media specialist, she was selected by her peers as Teacher of the Year.

Gardner received her Master's degree in Educational Leadership in 1999 and became the District’s Technology Specialist.  She has been a principal for the past eleven years, and has served at Bluewater Elementary and most recently at Destin Elementary. 

She is a passionate, enthusiastic, and creative individual who loves being an advocate for all students.  She is committed to continuing to make the Okaloosa School environment and community a place that empowers both its students and staff to grow.

Gardner is married to Al Gardner and has two boys Travis and Tray. Her passion for education stems from a family legacy.  Her father, Houston Harrison, was employed in Okaloosa County for 45 years, and her mother, Betty Harrison, was a guidance counselor at Choctawhatchee High School.