October is National Principals Month

National Principals Month

October is National Principals Month and Okaloosa County celebrates our principals for the outstanding work they do day in and day out to help make Okaloosa schools the BEST!! Please check back – more spotlights to come!

Principal Spotlights

Florosa ES Banner

Dawn Massey, Florosa Elementary School

Dawn Massey, Florosa ES

Mrs. Massey is in her 7th year as Principal of Florosa Elementary School.

Student and Staff Shoutouts

"Dear Mrs. Massey - We have been at Florosa for 2 1/2 years and we have had a great time with all of the parties you have thrown for us, and having you as a principal. Some of the things we love about you are you are always joyful and kind. Also, you always do your best for us to have fun. You are always at the door and not just sitting in your office like some principals. And we thank you for always being there for the school. Thank you so much from being the best principal ever!
-JC and JC, Students

"Dwan Massey's enthusiasm for her role as principal of Florosa Elementary is evident every day. Greeting students, crunching the latest barrage of data, talking a teacher off the edge, working with parents, organizing online and in school classes, and more are ALL done ALL day. Her ability to do all these things stems from the fact that she is or has been the people that she serves: parent, student, and life-longer learner.
-Shelly King, Teacher

Mrs. Massey, thanks for all you do! Go Roadrunners!


Lee Martello, Laurel Hill School

Lee Martello, Laurel Hill School

Lee Martello, Laurel Hill School

Mrs. Martello has been the Principal at Laurel Hill School for 8 years.

Student and Staff Shoutouts

"Since we're a small school, Mrs. Martello does her best to have a personal connection with every student."
-MB, Student

MRS.     
Mediator
  Adaptable
Rational 
    Trustworthy
    Empathetic
Leader  
Listener 
        One-of-a-kind

"See the acrostic poem above. She is all that and so much more. Out of all of the principals that I've learned from, Mrs. Martello is, by far, the best!"
-Celeste Mott, Teacher

Mrs. Martello, thanks for all you do! Go Hoboes!!


Antioch Banner

Kelli Sanders, Antioch Elementary School

Kelli Sanders, Antioch Elementary School

Mrs. Sanders is in her 7th year as Principal of Antioch Elementary.

Student and Staff Shoutouts

"Mrs. Sanders is a very kind person. She is kind to students, teachers, and staff. She like doing fun events for us students allowing us to enjoy our year. She is just the kind of person who you love to be around."
-WZ, 5th Grade

"Kelli Sanders is one of the rare breeds that make the job of administration look completely effortless. She isn't afraid to get her hands dirty nor would she ever expect a member of her faculty and staff to do something she's not done or willing to do herself. She's logical, practical, and (what can't be said by some) - credible!"
-Mike Creel, Teacher

Mrs. Sanders, thanks for all you do! Go Aviators!


Walker Banner

Lorna Carnley, Walker Elementary School

Lorna Carnley, Walker Elementary School

Mrs. Carnley is in her 7th year as Principal of Walker Elementary School.

Student and Staff Shoutouts

"She's always so nice and she has the best candy!"
-AT, 3rd Grade

"Mrs. Carnley is loyal to her Walker family and dedicated to doing what is right for students. She is open and willing to listen to all ideas from faculty and staff. She is an asset to our school!"
-Elizabeth Drake, Teacher

Mrs. Carnley, thanks for all you do! Go Owls!!


Shalimar Banner

Kim McSparren, Shalimar Elementary School

Kim McSparren, Shalimar Elementary School

Mrs. McSparren is in her 6th year as Principal of Shalimar Elementary School.

Student and Staff Shoutouts

"Mrs. McSparren is the BEST principal! She is fun and kind and funny!
-FB, 2nd Grade

"She is a life longer learner who always reaches for new knowledge. She graces us with her enthusiasm and tremendous leadership as our Principal. We are blessed to have an administrator who has taught and counseled students, teachers, and her own children. This places her in the position of being able to see school issues from all sides. We know at Shalimar that we can count on Kim. We love her spontaneity, tenacity, and bonhomie."
-Sarah Barksdale, Teacher

Mrs. McSparren, thanks for all you do! Go Dolphins!!!


Ruckel Banner

Paul Whiddon, Ruckel Middle School

Paul Whiddon, Ruckel Middle School

Mr. Whiddon is in his 8th year as Principal of Ruckel Middle School.

Student and Staff Shoutouts

"Nice, Smart. Every day is going to be a hard day, but it is a brighter day with Mr. Whiddon as our principal. Every time we smile, he smiles! We wish we had a smart, nice, outgoing principal......oh wait, we do! Mr. Whiddon!"
-LF and SS, Students

"Wow! There is so much I could say about our Principal, Mr. Whiddon! He is thoughtful, compassionate and truly cares about his faculty and staff! He is a great communicator and is knowledgeable on educational issues and trends! He is very welcoming and is a great listener! We are very blessed to have him as our leader!"
-Penny Parmer, Teacher

Mr. Whiddon, thanks for all you do! Go Rams!


MEES Banner

Jason McClelland, Mary Esther Elementary School

Jason McClelland, Mary Esther Elementary School

Mr. McClelland is in his 5th year as Principal of Mary Esther Elementary School.

Student and Staff Shoutouts

"Mr. Mac is cool. He makes us laugh."
-CH, 5th Grade

"Mr. McClelland is an excellent leader. He is wonderful with children and great with staff."
-Lindsey Rodrigue, Teacher

Mr. McClelland, thank you for all you do! Go Thunderbirds!!


NHS Banner

Charlie Marello, Niceville High School

Charlie Marello, Niceville High School

Mr. Marello is in his 5th year as Principal of Niceville High School.

Student and Staff Shoutouts

“Throughout my four years at Niceville, Mr. Marello has had a great influence on my life. He always has high energy and is such a positive person. His leadership is like no other. I have never seen a principal as involved with their students as he is. Thank you, Mr. Marello, for everything you do for this school.” 

-DM, 12th Grade 

 “Mr. Marello is energetic, enthusiastic, and efficient; he truly cares for our students, teachers and staff, parents and community beyond the walls of Niceville High. He puts emphasis on academics, athletics, and the well-being of all. He is always out and about and accessible 24-7, he is a quick responder, he keeps us informed, and he takes care of our students' needs. New members of our school, whether they be student, faculty or parent, are welcomed into our nest. NICE is the norm of Niceville and our school, and Charlie Marello exudes our mission of building minds and character in our students.”

-Pauline Buis, Teacher

Mr. Marello, thanks for all you do! Go Eagles!!!


Bob Sikes Banner

Vicky Hayden, Bob Sikes Elementary School

Vicky Hayden, Bob Sikes ES

Mrs. Hayden is in her 11th year as Principal of Bob Sikes Elementary.

Student and Staff Shoutouts

“Mrs. Hayden is the best principal because she keeps us safe. She makes this school an amazing place to be every day. We love Mrs. Hayden, and we know she loves us.
-GH, 5th Grade

She is a principal that always wants what is best for students. She realizes that all students are unique and different. She works hard to meet the different needs of students.
-Kassy Johnson, Teacher

Mrs. Hayden, thanks for all you do! Go Bullpups!!!


Choctaw Banner

Michelle Heck, Choctawhatchee High School

Michelle Heck, Choctawhatchee High School

Mrs. Heck has been the Principal of Choctawhatchee High School since 2019.

Student and Staff Shoutouts

“I’ve known Mrs. Heck since Meigs and she was always there to help. Even when she had to discipline me, she made sure I knew what I did wrong. You can tell she cares. She’s the best principal I’ve ever had!”
-E.E. 10th Grade

“ I am truly blessed to be a part of the Big Green Indian Family, working under the guidance of principal, Mrs. Heck, especially during this challenging time. With all that she has to deal with, she is still present for the students and the teachers. I am grateful knowing that I have the support of Mrs. Heck and her administration team to turn to for whatever situation may arise.”
-Tasha Bates, CTE Instructor

Mrs. Heck, thanks for all you do and Go Big Green!


Destin Elementary School

Joe Jannazo, Destin Elementary School

Joe Jannazo, Destin Elementary School

This is Mr. Jannazo's third year as Principal of Destin Elementary School

Student and Staff Shoutouts

“He's always being funny and making kids laugh and that's why he's the best principal in the entire world!"
-MS, 3rd Grade

“Mr. Jannazo is the best! He's here for the students...oh- and for the food!”
-Lisa Brown, Teacher

"Mr. Jannazo can always find the bright side of any situation.”
-Mary Noser, Teacher

Mr. Jannazo, thanks for all you do! Go Dolphins!


Edge Elementary School

Dr. Samantha Dawson, Edge Elementary School

Samantha Dawson, Edge Elementary School

Dr. Dawson is in her 9th year as Principal of Edge Elementary School.

Student and Staff Shoutouts

“Dr. Dawson is really nice and kind. She reminds us every day to be kind, too.”
-DD, 5th Grade

“I realized, not through a great epiphany, but slowly, sometimes even unbeknownst to me, my heart and my things had moved into this place she created… and it was home.”
-Donna Peters, Teacher

Dr. Dawson, thanks for all you do! Go Tigers!


 Shoal River Middle School

Craig Miller, Shoal River Middle School

Craig Miller, Shoal River Middle School

Mr. Miller is in his 2nd year as Principal of Shoal River Middle School.

Student and Staff Shoutouts

“Mr. Miller is a positive principal. He is calm and kind. I feel he is friendly. He respects beliefs and helped me to get pretty settled here. I can confidently say he will bring great years to come.”
-CC, 7th Grade

"When the going gets tough, the tough gets going." This is the perfect quote to describe our principal, Mr. Miller. He has faced the most usual challenges during his first year as principal at Shoal River. However, he successfully got us through it all. We admire and appreciate his efforts in making our school safe and maintaining a positive atmosphere.”
-Crystal Scott, Teacher

Mr. Miller thanks for all you do! Go Mustangs!