Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Warrington Middle School in Escambia County. I enjoyed meeting Superintendent Malcolm Thomas, students, teachers, school board members, PTA members and administrators. Warrington is one of the state’s Intervene schools, and during my visit, I saw first-hand the challenges they are facing, and the work they are doing to improve the academic outcomes of their students. I was encouraged to see innovative learning approaches, particularly when it comes to their new National Flight Academy where students will obtain hands-on aviation classroom experiences. The program is a joint effort between the district and Pensacola’s Naval Air Station, and is the first of its kind in the nation. What a great way for students to learn STEM-focused knowledge that will help prepare them for success throughout school and in the workforce. I look forward to hearing more about this program, and appreciate the community’s active involvement in helping this school improve.
I also visited Emerald Coast Middle School in Walton County. This new facility is quite impressive. It was interesting to see the creative approaches they are taking to use technology to aid in their students’ education. One class had students using iPods to listen and view the day’s lesson. I also saw a music class where students were tasked with identifying various musical instruments through the use of a smart board. These represent exciting examples of how our schools are using technology to augment the learning process, and I appreciate Superintendent Carlene Anderson’s leadership and staff for their work in this district.
It was great to see how excited our students and teachers are about making this the best school year yet. I want to continue listening and learning, and will be visiting more schools around the state soon.