Picture of 2016 TSIC graduates with Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson, Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation President David Braithwaite and Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Executive Director Henry Kelley

Okaloosa County Schools Honors Take Stock in Children Scholars

More than 160 parents, mentors and scholarship program contributors joined Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson and Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF) President David Braithwaite and Executive Director Henry Kelley in honoring the Take Stock in Children (TSIC) Scholars on May 19, 2016.  The recognition ceremony, held at the Niceville Community Center, celebrated both the accomplishments of the ten Okaloosa County Take Stock graduates and the potential of sixteen new Take Stock Scholars.

Foundation President David Brathwaite recognized the scholarship donors and program sponsors that support Take Stock through the Foundation.  He remarked on the partnerships that assure the success of Take Stock Scholars, stating that “…taking stock in these students represents a great investment in our community.”  He also thanked Foundation Board Members, Okaloosa County School Board Members and District administrators and guidance counselors for their on-going support.

Prior to recognizing each student, Superintendent Jackson spoke about the commitment of the students’ families and of the time and support represented by the Take Stock Mentors.  She then reminded the Take Stock Scholars that the community has made an investment in them and their future.  Speaking to the class of 2016, she prompted them to remember that “…As you graduate from high school and begin your college careers, you have an opportunity to prove that our investment has been a wise one.  You can now go on to pursue a career that will make our community a better place.”  Mrs. Jackson assured the incoming Scholars that they should hold fast to their dream of going to college and “…never give up.  You have a family of counselors and principals and teachers who will join your family and mentor in providing you with the support you need to reach your goals.”

Picture of 2016 TSIC graduates with Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson, Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation President David Braithwaite and Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Executive Director Henry Kelley

2016 Scholar Graduates:

  • Kelcy Baker, Niceville High School - Katie Mathews White / City of Niceville Scholar
  • Courtlyn Barrow, Baker School
  • Alex Devoid, Choctawhatchee High School - Mid-Bay Rotary Scholar
  • Rebecca Havard, Niceville High School - CareerSource Florida Scholar
  • Kyle Jagielski, Crestview High School - Pearl Tyner Memorial Scholar
  • Alyssa Matthews, Crestview High School - Panhandle Job Fair Foundation Scholar
  • Leilanie Monrouzeau, Choctawhatchee High School - CareerSource Florida Scholar
  • Kierra Moore, Choctawhatchee High School - Dr. Mabel Jean Morrison Memorial Scholar
  • Janelle Tribue, Fort Walton Beach High School - CareerSource Florida Scholar
  • Desmond Tucker,Niceville High School - Dr. Thomas and Elizabeth Spence Scholar

Picture of Incoming 2016 TSIC Scholars with Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson, OPSF President David Braithwaite and OPSF Executive Director Henry Kelley.

2016 New Student Scholars:

  • Jailynn Bacon, Shoal River Middle School - CareerSource Florida Scholar
  • Riley Baker, Crestview High School
  • Kelby Barfield, Lewis School
  • Ernest Burns, Bruner Middle School -  Dr. Charles Aplin Memorial Scholar
  • Sam Crowson, Baker School
  • Kayla Cuff, Crestview High School - CareerSource Florida Scholar
  • Jaynie Darby, Davidson Middle School - Panhandle Job Fair Foundation Scholar
  • Zaniyah Davis, Pryor Middle School - Victoria Gaetz Scholar
  • Serena Elsharrawy, Niceville High School - CareerSource Florida Scholar
  • Kaytlyn Finnegan, Meigs Middle School - CareerSource Florida Scholar
  • Amara Harris, Liza Jackson Preparatory School
  • Tabatha Mathews, Baker School - CHELCO Scholar
  • Brody McGregory, Okaloosa STEMM Academy - Panhandle Job Fair Foundation Scholar
  • Miranda Moore, Crestview High School - CareerSource Florida Scholar
  • Cody Morton, Crestview High School
  • Emily Nguyen, Destin Middle School - Dr. Christopher Reid / Renalus Scholar
  • Tyler Riggs, Niceville High School - Kit Edwards Memorial Golf Scholar
  • Solomon Scanlan, Ruckel Middle School - Mid Bay Rotary Scholar
  • Annabel Slaughter, Laurel Hill School
  • Sara Stone, Fort Walton Beach High School - CareerSource Florida Scholar
  • Reece Woerner, Choctawhatchee High School

In closing, Foundation Executive Director Henry Kelley emphasized the collaboration of community, schools, mentors and families that provides a strong framework for the Take Stock Scholars throughout their high school careers and beyond.

The ceremony and reception were sponsored by the City of Niceville Community Center and Publix Supermarkets, Inc. 

Scholarships were sponsored by:

Four Year

  • Dr. Christopher Reid / Renalus
  • Panhandle Job Fair Foundation (2 scholarships)

Two Year

  • CareerSource Florida (6 scholarships)
  • CHELCO
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz and Ms. Erin Gaetz
  • Kit Edwards Memorial Golf Scholarship Inc. 
  • Mid-Bay Rotary Club
  • Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation

Scholarship and Program Contributions

  • Bank of America
  • City of Niceville
  • GFWC Fort Walton Beach Woman’s Club, Inc.
  • Gulf Power Company
  • Okaloosa County Teachers Federal Credit Union
  • Publix Supermarkets
  • Society for Human Resource Management – Emerald Coast Chapter
  • Twin Cities Woman’s Club
  • Wells Fargo

To see a photo gallery of this event, please visit the OCSD Facebook page.