School Board Approves New Administrators - Congratulations to Hilary DeMers, Jennifer Beasley, Kayla Nutt, and Jeff Strumeyer
The Okaloosa County School Board approved the following new administrators at the July 26, 2021, School Board Meeting: Hilary DeMers, Specialist, Digital Media and Communications; Jennifer Beasley, Assistant Principal I at Choctawhatchee High School; Kayla Nutt, Assistant Principal II at Ruckel Middle School; and Jeff Strumeyer, Assistant Principal II at Bluewater Elementary School.
Hilary DeMers - Specialist, Digital Media and Communications
Hilary DeMers was born and raised in the Fort Walton Beach area and is a product of the Okaloosa County School District. She attended Combs New Heights and Longwood Elementary, Meigs Middle School, and graduated from Choctawhatchee High School (Choctaw) where her passion for video production was ignited. At Florida State University, Hilary became an active participant in Seminole Productions, the school’s in-house production studio, and was accepted into the prestigious Media Production program graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. After turning down what she thought was her dream job at ESPN, she accepted a part time position at Choctawhatchee High School as a Media Specialist teaching WBGI, the program that started it all. This opened the door to a number of opportunities as she advanced her teaching career, eventually finding her full-time home at her alma mater, adding Digital Design to her schedule. Other courses she has taught include Marketing, Instructional Television (ITV), Graphic Arts and Design, Social Media, Art, Creative Photography, and Yearbook! She coached volleyball for five years, has sponsored multiple clubs, has been Choctaw’s Social Media Manager for seven years and was named Choctaw’s Teacher of the Year in 2018! Hilary has two master’s degrees in Education from the University of West Florida. Her first is in Instructional Design and Technology and her second is in Educational Leadership.
Hilary says, “her favorite part of teaching has been building relationships with the students and having the opportunity to continue doing what she loved in a more impactful environment.” She has also enjoyed empowering her fellow teachers to use technology in the classroom by teaching professional development and providing technology support and guidance when needed. Hilary has been blessed to work for a number of administrators who have mentored her and guided her down the leadership path. “This opportunity would not be possible without these mentors, and the support of her family and friends,” said Hilary. She looks forward to advancing the Okaloosa County School District’s communications efforts and showcasing the amazing things the students, staff, and administrators are doing.
Hilary’s husband Dillon is retired from the Air Force. Their son Cooper is 21 months old and is in for a surprise when his baby sister arrives at the end of September.
Jennifer Beasley - Assistant Principal I (10 Months), Choctawhatchee High School
Jennifer Beasley has spent 25 years in education in Marion County, Florida. She began her career at Dunnellon High School where she taught Social Studies. In 2006, she stepped away from the classroom and was appointed Assistant Principal of Discipline at Belleview High School. She spent the next 7 years as an Assistant Principal of Discipline and Curriculum in Marion County. In 2013 she moved to the Marion County School District Office where she served as a Coordinator in K12 Academic Services and mentored new Assistant Principals. In 2014, Beasley was appointed Principal of Liberty Middle School, two years later she was appointed Principal of Lake Weir High School. Most recently, she has served as the Principal of Marion Technical Institute.
Jennifer is blessed to have five children, three amazing grandchildren and the support of her husband, Frank. Jennifer says she is "excited for the opportunity to join Okaloosa County School District and become part of the administrative team at Choctawhatchee High School and looks forward to continuing to grow as an educational leader and is proud to be a Big Green Indian!"
Kayla Nutt - Assistant Principal II (10 Months), Ruckel Middle School
Kayla Nutt is a proud product of the Okaloosa County School District and is a graduate of Niceville High School. She played softball at Florida State University and Jacksonville State University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. In 2019 Kayla earned a master’s degree in Education Administration from California Coast University.
In 2010, Kayla began her teaching career in Okaloosa County at Bob Sikes Elementary. After leaving to teach in Alabama for four years, she returned back to Okaloosa County in 2015 and taught at Plew Elementary, Florosa Elementary, and Lewis School. Her most recent position was as the guidance counselor at Lewis School.
Kayla is married to Ellis Nutt, a firefighter on Eglin AFB. She has three children, Ryan (8), Davis (3), and Ava (2). Kayla says she is “excited to join the Ruckel family and looks forward to serving the community she calls home.”
Jeff Strumeyer - Assistant Principal II (10 Months), Bluewater Elementary School
Jeff Strumeyer was born in Tucson, Arizona, and moved around quite a bit as part of a military family and ended up here in the Panhandle of Florida when he was a freshman in high school. Later, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of West Florida.
Jeff has been in education for the past twenty-three years serving in Santa Rosa County for nineteen of those years in many different capacities, such as, reading intervention, Career and Technical Education (CTE), Coding, and a 5th - 8th grade teacher. He received a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University in preparation for a move into administration, which is a passion for him.
In 2018, Strumeyer came to Okaloosa County to pursue leadership, working at Pryor Middle School as an intensive reading teacher then moving to Bruner Middle School as a social studies teacher and an aspiring administrator. In order to enrich his administrative development, Jeff has worked at Walker Elementary, briefly at Richbourg School, as well as Baker School, all as Dean of Students.
Jeff and his wife Angie are proud parents of three children, Zach, who runs an online business, Sammy, a rising senior at the University of Central Florida studying Environmental Science, and Chandler, a recent graduate set to attend Pensacola State College in the Fall. He also has two grandchildren Orion and Sawyer. Strumeyer says he “is super excited about moving to Bluewater Elementary, where it feels like home.”