District Selects New Administrators

The School Board unanimously approved the selection of Jerry Sansom as Principal at CHOICE High School and Technical Center and Lindsay Maxey as the HR Specialist at the September 22, 2014 School Board meeting; Brandon McSween as the Instructional Technology Specialist at the September 8, 2014 School Board meeting; and Tami Ellis as the Science Specialist at the October 13, 2014 School Board meeting.          

Jerry Sansom – CHOICE High School and Technical Center Principal 

Jerry Sansom is a Fort Walton Beach native and product of the Okaloosa County School District.  He graduated from Choctawhatchee High School in 1975 and received his Bachelor’s Degree of Science Physical Education from the University of West Florida.  He earned his Master’s Degree in Education Leadership in 1995.

Married for 37 years to former Brenda Fortune, Sansom and his wife have two children, son, Rocky married to former Abigail Taylor and daughter, Katie married to Tommy Thillett.

Before coming to the CHOICE High School and Technical Center as Principal, Sansom served as a Teacher /Coach at Meigs Middle School in 1988; Teacher/Coach at Fort Walton Beach High School in 1989; Dean of Students at Fort Walton Beach High in 1995; Assistant Principal of Fort Walton Beach High School in 1998; Assistant Principal of Meigs Middle School in 2005; Coordinator of Student Services in 2006; and Assistant Principal of Choctawhatchee High School from 2012-2014.

Lindsay Maxey - HR Specialist

Lindsay Maxey was born and raised in Fort Walton Beach and is also a product of the Okaloosa County School District.  She graduated in 2008 from Choctawhatchee High School and is the daughter of Jeff and Sandy Palmer who have both worked for the Okaloosa County School District. Sandy retired after 31 years of teaching this past May and Jeff is currently the Principal of Niceville High School.

Maxey attended Auburn University and graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Human Resource Management in May 2012.  After college she worked for Jacobs Technology as the HR Assistant for 2 years and received her PHR certification this past spring.   

She recently got married in February and she and her husband, Tyler, live in Navarre, Florida.

Brandon McSween – Instructional Technology Specialist

Both Brandon McSween’s parents were teachers.   He graduated from Crestview High School in 1987 and received his B.A. in Religious Studies from Southeastern College and a Masters of Divinity from AGTS. 

McSween started teaching at Crestview High School in 1994 in the dropout retrieval full time performance based program.  He also taught World Geography, World History, and Algebra 1 at Crestview. 

In 2001, McSween became a guidance counselor at Crestview High School; and in 2003 he was named the Dean of Students at Laurel Hill which was changed to an Assistant Principal in 2004.  He stayed at Laurel Hill until February 2013 at which time he was appointed the API at Crestview High School.  Then in May of 2014 he began working in Student Intervention Services.

Tami Ellis – Science Specialist

Tami Ellis has been an educator for twenty-four years.  Her experience began in Alabama, as a Science and Mathematics teacher.  She moved to Okaloosa County Schools in 2001 and began teaching at Fort Walton Beach High School where she taught 9th grade biology and AP Biology.  She took a full time position teaching biology at the Florida Virtual School in 2005.   Before leaving Florida Virtual School, Ellis transferred to the Curriculum and Development department where she co-authored a biology course and physical science course.  She also represented the science department at several national STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and Model School conferences in various states.  Ellis’ passion reaches beyond the content of science as it expands to helping students understand the plethora of education and career options in their future.  

In 2009, Ellis accepted a position at Pryor Middle School teaching 8th Grade Science with a unique opportunity be the coordinator of the school’s honors program called SAILS.  Through this program, she worked with administration to continue to build a program that incorporated rigorous advanced courses, specialized homeroom sessions which incorporated an emphasis on STEM, literacy, and leadership through a community service component. 

Ellis grew up in Hayden, Alabama, a rural area north of Birmingham.  After graduating high school, she attended Auburn University and the University of Alabama in Birmingham.  She received her bachelor’s degree in education (comprehensive science & mathematics major) in 1990, followed by a master’s degree in chemistry and biology education in 1994.  It is the combination of her love for science and dedication to students that drives her each day to continue learning and working towards the goal of helping equip students with 21st century skills and become future leaders.   Ellis and her husband Shaun have two daughters, Cali and Peyton.  They are active members of Beachside Community Church and currently live in Ft Walton Beach. 

Pictured above are left to right: Brandon McSween, Instructional Technology Specialist,  Lindsay Maxey, Human Resources Specialist, Tami Ellis, Science Specialist, and Jerry Sansom, CHOICE High School and Technical Center Principal.