School Board Approves New Administrators

Kathy Ard was named Principal of Elliott Point Elementary School and Jon Williams was named Principal of Silver Sands School at the January 11th Okaloosa County School Board Meeting.  

Kathy Gates Ard – Principal, Elliott Point Elementary School

Kathy Gates Ard is a product of Okaloosa County Schools.  She attended Elliott Point Elementary, Pryor Junior High School, and Choctawhatchee High School.  While attending the University of West Florida, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, Master’s Degree in Clinical Teaching, Specific Learning Disabilities, and an Educational Specialist Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.  She also has a specialized reading certificate from Georgia State University.

The past twenty-two years of teaching in Okaloosa County has afforded Kathy many different opportunities.  She began teaching a 4th/5th combination class at Plew Elementary.  The following year she was hired as an SLD teacher and taught at Plew, then Oak Hill Elementary.  Then she was selected to attend Georgia State University to become a Reading Recovery® Teacher Leader.  After a year of living in Atlanta, she returned to Okaloosa County to lead Reading Recovery.  When this program ended she held many different positions in the county which all supported teachers and reading instruction.  Kathy went to Liza Jackson and taught 4th grade for 5 years before returning to coaching at Elliott Point as the ELA Instructional Coach.  In 2014, Kathy became the assistant principal at Elliott Point Elementary.

Kathy is on the Board of Directors for the Emerald Coast Science Center.  She volunteers with the Meigs band, her son’s scout troop, and is the secretary for Plie, the parent organization for NFB Academie. Kathy is also a member of Shalimar United Methodist Church.

Kathy has been married to Robert Ard for 16 years.  He is also a product of Okaloosa School District and is a Senior Vice President/Chief Compliance Officer at TSA Consulting Group.   They have two children, Trevor, an 8th grade student at Meigs Middle School, and Kendall, a 5th grader at Northwest Florida Ballet Academie. 

Jon Williams – Principal, Silver Sands School

Jon Williams is a proud product of Okaloosa Schools, having attended Kenwood, Pryor, and graduating from Ft. Walton Beach High School.  He began his career in Okaloosa County Schools as a Classroom Assistant and as a Lunch Room Monitor (Kenwood).  From there he moved to School Counselor (Pryor), a Dean of Students (Pryor), Assistant Principal (Pryor), and most recently served as Principal of Shalimar Elementary School for the last three years. 

Williams holds State of Florida certifications in Guidance K-12, Exceptional Student Education K-12, and Educational Leadership.  Additionally he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from (UWF), Masters in Curriculum and Instruction (UWF), and Specialist in Educational Leadership and Policy (FSU). 

Williams is especially excited at the opportunity to lead Silver Sands School, a place very close to his heart and community having spent time there as a volunteer.  Williams lives in Mary Esther with his wife, Amanda (8 years as a teacher in Okaloosa) and their two children, Ben (5) and Ally (1).