School Board Approves New Administrators

Al Gardner was named Principal of Destin Elementary School; Laurren Seegars was named Assistant Principal of Davidson Middle School; and Arden Farley was named Training and Development Specialist at the July 13th Okaloosa County School Board Meeting.

Al Gardner – Destin Elementary School Principal

Born and raised in Valparaiso, FL, George (Al) Gardner is the son of J.C. and Joyce Gardner who were lifelong educators in Okaloosa County.  He has been married to Marti for 39 years (who is also an educator) they have 2 sons, Travis (Austin, TX) and Tray (Destin, FL).  They have lived in and been part of the Destin community for over 30 years.

Al graduated from Niceville High School, OWCC, and the University of West Florida with degrees and certification in business administration, accounting and finance, education leadership, vocational director certification and vocational education.  His career in education has been diversified serving in positions such as:

  • Principal Choice High School and Technical Center
  • Assistant Principal Destin Middle School
  • Assistant Principal Meigs Middle School
  • Assistant Principal Pryor Middle School
  • Assistant Director OATC
  • ESE staffing specialists
  • Teacher DJJ math and science
  • Teacher construction trades

Previous to a career in education, Al was a self-employed General Building Contractor and General Manager/Real Estate Broker in the hospitality trade and real estate business.

Having played golf off and on for over 50 years, Al is an active member of Rocky Bayou Country Club.  His community involvement has included: serving on the Board of Directors for Rocky Bayou Country Club, Youth Village and the Horizon’s Foundation, Baseball Booster Club President, FWB High School, Soccer Booster Club VP, FWB High School, Little League President, Destin, FL, PASA Soccer Club President, Destin, FL, Youth Coach (various sports), Destin FL.

Al looks forward to serving and working with the students, teachers and parents of the Destin Elementary School Community.

Laurren Seegars – Davidson Middle School Assistant Principal

(Ms. Seegars was unable to attend the July 13 School Board Meeting.)

Laurren Seegars has been in the Okaloosa County School District for the past four years.  She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and Human Development from Wheelock College in Boston, MA and her Master of Science Degree in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University.

In 2008, Laurren relocated to Florida and was appointed to develop and serve as a director and teacher of an early intervention development program at a Rocky Bayou Christian School.  She taught Pre-K to third grade students with disabilities and developmental delays.  During that time, Ms. Seegars also served as a Voluntary Pre-K director, kindergarten director, and a supervising teacher.  

In 2011, she joined the Okaloosa County School District and began teaching first grade at Eglin Elementary School.  During her tenure at Eglin, Ms. Seegars had the opportunity to further develop her leadership skills by serving as the leadership team chairman, grade level chairman, and School Advisory Council chairman.  She was an active PTO member and has participated in numerous instructional initiatives and committees.  Twice during her career, Laurren was selected by her peers as Teacher of the Year.

She is passionate and devoted to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to reach their full potential and is committed to empowering students to achieve success.  She is blessed and fortunate to have the wonderful support of her family and is grateful to have worked with such amazing administrators and colleagues.  Ms. Seegars looks forward to joining the Davidson family and is honored to serve as the new Assistant Principal at Davidson Middle School.

Arden Farley – Training and Development Specialist

Arden Farley has over 35 years’ experience at various levels of Human Resource Management.  He is an Air Force veteran who completed two (2) tours in Southeast Asia.  He received a B.S. degree in Psychology from St. Leo’s University and a Master in Guidance and Counseling from Troy State University.  He is a graduate of the Defense Race Relations institute and received 300 hours training in Leadership & Management from the United States Air Force.  He is a certified mediator who has trained over 100,000 personnel in effective human/ diversity relations. 

He is married to Pearl Farley who teaches math at Choctawhatchee High School.  Mr. & Mrs. Farley have one daughter who is an Industrial Engineer in Atlanta.  Farley looks forward to conducting training in Diversity, Customer Service, Managing Difficult People, Anger Management, and Interacting with Difficult Students.