Picture of the Bay Area Office Building

School Board Approves New Administrators

At the June 13th School Board meeting Grant Meyer was named the Principal at Destin Middle School, Cheree Davis was named the Assistant Principal of Fort Walton Beach High School, Pamela Tisza was named the Assistant Principal at Wright Elementary School, Stephanie Thetford was named the Math Specialist for the Curriculum Department, and Pat Pickens was named the Cafeteria Manager for Riverside Elementary School.

Grant Meyer – Principal of Destin Middle School

Picture of Grant Meyer, DMS Principal, Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson and Meyer's family.

Grant Meyer began his career in education 20 years ago as a high school teacher and coach at Fort Walton Beach High School.  Since then, he has had the opportunity to teach at the high school and middle school levels.  In 2001, he was able to transfer to his high school alma mater, Niceville High School, to teach and was later appointed Assistant Principal.  After 8 years as an administrator at Niceville High School, Meyer was named the Principal at W.C. Pryor Middle School. He holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from The University of West Florida.

Meyer is committed to the success of all students and supports educators throughout Okaloosa County. He encourages teachers to improve in areas of teaching practice and professional development.  He is married to his wife Amy, who is also a teacher.  They have two sons, who are currently in college.

Cheree Davis – Assistant Principal of Fort Walton Beach High School

Picture of Cheree Davis, AP FWBHS, her family, and school administrators.

Cheree Davis has been a resident of Okaloosa County for 13 years.  She is a graduate of The University of West Florida and Florida State University.  During her tenure in education she has served as a high school English and reading teacher, a literacy coach, an area coordinator for the Just Read! Florida office, a Title I specialist, and a school based administrator at multiple levels.

Her husband, Eric, is a science teacher at Davidson Middle School. Her son, Dylon, is a graduate of Crestview High School and is now serving in the United States Marine Corp, and her daughter, Savannah, is a student at Davidson Middle School. 

Pamela Tisza – Assistant Principal at Wright Elementary School

Picture of Pamela Tisza, AP Wright ES, her family and school administrators.

Pamela Tisza is a native Floridian and began her teaching career at Meigs Middle School in 2006.  While there, she taught Math, Language Arts, and Art Appreciation to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.  She also served as the WWIN sponsor and assistant basketball coach.  In 2014, her WWIN crew won first place in the state for their Just Read Florida! promotional video entry.

In 2014, Pamela moved to Destin Middle School where she served as an Assistant Principal.  Among her duties included overseeing the i-ready program for 5th grade, the Think through Math program and the MTSSS committee.

Tisza earned her Associates Degree from Northwest Florida State College (OWCC), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Educational Studies from the University of West Florida.  She earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University; is certified in Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum (5-9); and is ESOL endorsed.

Pamela is married to Marc Tisza, who is also an educator, teaching AP Human Geography at Choctawhatchee High School and a basketball coach at Meigs Middle School.  They have been married for 25 years and have four children Tyler 23, Olivia 22, Moriah 18 and Bethany 16.    

Stephanie Thetford – Math Specialist for the Curriculum Department

Picture of Stephanie Thetford, Math Specialist, her family, and school administrators

Stephanie Thetford has taught all levels of mathematics for more than 20 years.  Her true love is for calculus, where she spent more than 10 years successfully helping students pass the Advanced Placement Exam.  She still serves as an Advanced Placement reader for the calculus exam.  Stephanie’s love of math is further evident in both of her degrees; she obtained both her Bachelor’s and her Master’s in Mathematics Education. 

Thetford currently creates and develops secondary math professional development for the district in her current role as an Instructional Math Coach.  She also provides vital support to all secondary math teachers.  Furthermore, she has worked on state level mathematics content committees.  While on these committees, Stephanie has used her knowledge of math to help with test development for Florida’s students.  Stephanie has also received numerous awards. She was named Okaloosa County’s Teacher of the Year and a top 5 finalist for Florida’s Teacher of the Year in 2012.  Stephanie’s extensive knowledge of math content has allowed her to successfully present at both state and national conferences.  She has been a consultant for College Board for the past 5 years.  Stephanie’s educational mission is to spread her love of math to students because she believes all students can have success with mathematics.

Patricia Pickens – Cafeteria Manager, Riverside Elementary School

Patricia (Pat) Pickens has been with the Okaloosa County School District since 1992.  She started as a Cook Chill Supervisor.  Born in Defuniak Springs, she was married to her spouse for 32 years before his passing.  She managed Shoal River Middle School when it first opened. 

Pat has been a Floating Food Service Manager for food services for the past 9 years and has worked in almost all the schools in the district.  This past year Pat worked at Silver Sands and learned a lot about special needs students and what it takes for the teachers and assistants to care for these special children.  Pat wants to thank the School Board for their trust in her and this great opportunity.  She will give her all at Riverside Elementary to all students and staff.