School Board Approves New Administrators

At the May 9th School Board meeting, Jeff Palmer was named Director, Elementary Curriculum, Joan Pickard was named the Principal at Kenwood Elementary School, Tracey Lamb was named Assistant Principal of Meigs Middle School, and Stephen Mika was named Warehouse Manager for Food Services.

Jeff Palmer - Director, Elementary Curriculum

Jeff Palmer was born and raised in Okaloosa County.  He is a product of the Okaloosa School District having attended Oakland Heights Elementary School, Bruner Jr, High and Fort Walton Beach High School. He attended Auburn University where he met his beautiful wife Sandy, who taught for 31 years in the district. Jeff and Sandy have two wonderful children, Lindsay and Paul Allen, and a great son in law, Tyler. He is in his 26th year with Okaloosa schools and has most recently been serving as the Principal of Niceville High school.

Joan Pickard – Principal of Kenwood Elementary School

Joan Pickard has been in education since 1978.  She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and her master’s degree from the University of West Florida.  She began as a pre-k teacher before becoming a public school teacher in 1986.  She has taught kindergarten, third, fourth, and sixth grade. Joan has lived and taught in Lee County as well as Dade before working for IBM in their education department.  She began her career in Okaloosa County at Shalimar Elementary, and then taught at Liza Jackson before moving to the Title I Specialist position.  She is currently in her second year as the assistant principal at Kenwood Elementary.

Pickard grew up in Massachusetts, lived and sailed on a boat for three years before moving to Fort Myers and then Miami.  She moved to Crestview in 1999 and recently moved to Okaloosa Island.  Joan has been married for 39 years, and has 2 grown children, Katie Sharon and Matt Pickard both of whom live in Okaloosa County.  When not working, she enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren, Emily and Davis.  She is looking forwarding to continuing to build relationships with the families and faculty of Kenwood Elementary.

Tracey Lamb – Assistant Principal of Meigs Middle School

Tracey Lamb began her education career in 1995 as a high school science teacher in Virginia after earning her B.S. in Biology from the College of William and Mary. She moved to Okaloosa County in 2000 and accepted a middle school science position at Richbourg Middle School.  There she was the Science Department Chair and worked with Northwest Florida AHEC and FSU’s College of Medicine to successfully pilot Okaloosa County’s SSTRIDE program.  After teaching for 10 years, Tracey earned her Master’s in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University.  For the last 11 years, she has served as a school counselor at Baker School, Shoal River Middle School and, currently, Riverside Elementary. 

Over the years, Tracey has served on each of their Leadership Teams, as well as the district’s Pupil Progression and MTSS Committees. In 2014, inspired by her current principal, Tammy Matz, Tracey decided to return to graduate school to advance her education in school leadership.  In 2015, she earned her second Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

Stephen Mika – Warehouse Manager, Food Services

Stephen Mika was born and raised in Crestview, Florida.  He is a product of the Okaloosa County School District, attending Bob Sikes Elementary, Richbourg Junior High School and graduating from Crestview High School in 1977.  He began his path in the Okaloosa School District 28 years ago.  He started at Southside Elementary as a custodian.  In 1994, he started working as Warehouse Personnel in Food Service. 

Mika has been married to his wife Patty, a retired Okaloosa County School teacher, for 25 years.  Together they have two wonderful children; Eric and Stephen, both of whom attend Okaloosa Schools.  He enjoys hunting and fishing.