New Administrators Named at School Board Meeting

The School Board unanimously approved the selection of Dexter Day as the Principal of Crestview High School, Jeff Palmer as the Principal of Niceville High School, and Michael Martello as the Principal of Baker School at the February 24 School Board meeting.

Dexter Day Named Principal of Crestview High School

Dexter Day (third from left) is a lifelong native of Crestview and has deep roots in the community.  He attended Bob Sikes Elementary School, Richbourg Junior High School, and graduated from Crestview High School in 1978.  He attended William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree.  His earned his Masters of Education in Educational Leadership at the University of West Florida.  Day was also drafted into the Minor Leagues and played for the Reds and the Cubs.

Day has been in the educational system for 26 years.  He taught at Chipley High School in his first year.  While at Richbourg Middle School, he taught alternative education, PE, and coached football and baseball.  He served as the Athletic Director at Davidson Middle School and coached football, girls’ softball, and soccer.  He has served as the Assistant Principal of Discipline and Facilities at Crestview High School from 2006 to the present.  He has a deep love for Crestview High School, its’ students and staff.

Dexter is an active member of Woodlawn Baptist Church and when he is not involved in school activities, he enjoys hunting, fishing, weightlifting, running, camping, and spending time with his family.  He has been happily married to his wife, Rhonda, for 26 years.  They have two beautiful daughters, Lauren and Hannah, who also graduated from Crestview High School.

Day will replace Bob Jones who will be retiring in at the end of the school year.

Jeff Palmer Named Principal of Niceville High School

Jeff Palmer (far right) is a lifelong resident of Okaloosa County.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Auburn University in 1984 and his Master of Science degree in Education Leadership from the University of West Florida in 1996.

Palmer is in his 23rd year working in the district having taught math at the middle and high school levels and the AVID program at Choctawhatchee High School.  He coached baseball and basketball during his career and has been an administrator for the past 10+ years serving as an Assistant Principal at Choctawhatchee High School, Principal of Mary Esther Elementary School, and Principal of Pryor Middle School.  Jeff states often that, second only to serving in the military, educating our children is the most patriotic job there is.  He takes seriously the responsibility of providing a quality education to every student in his charge.

Jeff has been married to his lovely wife Sandy (also an Okaloosa teacher) for 29 years.  Together they have two wonderful children, Paul Allen and Lindsay, both of whom are products of Okaloosa Schools.  The whole family enjoys the outdoors, especially boating and fishing on our beautiful waterways.

Palmer will replace Rodney Nobles who will be retiring in at the end of the school year.

Michael Martello Named Principal of Baker School

Michael Martello (second from right) has been in the Okaloosa County School District for twelve years.  Ten of those years were spent as an ESE teacher, two years at Laurel Hill School and 8 years at Baker School.  Previously, Martello served as Assistant Principal at Baker School. 

A product of the Okaloosa County School District, Michael is a proud 1988 graduate of Baker School.  He completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of South Florida and his Master’s degree with the University of Texas at Arlington.

Martello comes from a long line of Baker Gators.  Older brothers, Vince and Chris, as well as, sister Tena, are all graduates of Baker School.  His father, Gerald Martello, also held the position of Assistant Principal at Baker School from 1972 - 1995.  His father and mother, Bernice, still live in the Baker community.

Michael has been married to his wife Lee for almost 20 years.  Lee, also a fellow educator, was recently appointed Principal at Laurel Hill School.  They have one daughter, Carson, who following in the Martello footsteps, will be completing her freshman year at Baker School this year.

Martello will replace Tom Shipp who will be retiring in April.