Okaloosa County Schools Superintendent, Eglin and Hurlburt Field leaders to launch $900,000 National STEM Program at Three High Schools

National STEM Program

The National STEM Program launch will take place at the Okaloosa County School Board Meeting, October 14th at 6 p.m being held at the Okaloosa County School District Central Administration Complex Training Room 202 Highway 85 North, Niceville, FL 32578.

Leaders from Okaloosa County School District, Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field will announce a new partnership with an evidence-based, rigorous national STEM program at three high schools: Choctawhatchee, Crestview, and Fort Walton Beach. This is thanks to more than $900,000 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Defense. The launch event at an Okaloosa County School District board meeting, which includes military families and students, is for a two-year College Readiness Program from the National Math and Science Initiative that’s being implemented at the three high schools. As a nonprofit whose mission is to advance STEM education so all students, especially those furthest from opportunity, can reach their highest potential, NMSI has served more than 250 U.S. schools that have significant enrollment among military-connected students.

"We are proud to partner with Okaloosa schools and NMSI to provide high-quality educational opportunities for all students and prepare them for the 21st-century workforce." - Col. Bryan Hogan

"With a national focus on STEM education, I wholeheartedly believe in how the NMSI program can benefit not only our military students but all students in our community. In this district, everyone is important." - Superintendent Marcus Chambers


  • Superintendent Marcus Chambers, Okaloosa County School DistrictCol.
  • Bryan Hogan, Deputy Commander, 96 Mission Support Group, Eglin Air Force Base Col.
  • William H. Hunter, Commander, 1st Special Operations Mission Support Group, Hurlburt Field

  • Ed Veiga, Senior Director, DoD & Military Families Mission, National Math and Science Initiative


  • Choctawhatchee ROTC, presentation of the colors
  • Crestview students, Pledge of Allegiance
  • Fort Walton Beach Voices of Vallhalla, singing "The Star-Spangled Banner"


  • No identification or credentials required for this evening event


The Dallas-based National Math and Science Initiative has served more than 1,300 U.S. high schools to improve student access and achievement in STEM education through teacher training, collaboration with campus leaders and student-focused resources. Schools that participate in the nonprofit’s College Readiness Program see immediate and dramatic increases in the number of students taking Advanced Placement® exams and earning qualifying scores. The nonprofit seeks to give access to high-quality, college-level coursework for all students, particularly those who are underrepresented in STEM programs.


  • Stephanie Thetford, Secondary Math Specialist, Okaloosa County School District, 850-833-6313, thetfords@okaloosaschools.com
  • Angela Chambers, National Math and Science Initiative,214-525-3046, achambers@nms.org,  cell: 972-989-6370