SCHOOL SCOOPS: AF cadet speaks to Ruckel student body

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Sharon Dooley |

In December, former Ruckel Middle School student Hudson Pearce addressed the current student body during its winter assembly.

In his junior year at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Cadet Pearce spoke to the students about opportunities with all service academies, highlighting the importance of academic focus, community service and good citizenship.

During the winter assembly, students were recognized as the school’s Core Value honor recipients: Jack Messmore, Mary Louise Dodson, Sharren Wimer, Elaina Hayes, Bailey Tate, Nick Zagaruyka, Ryan Donaldson, Anna Beth Ottesen, Ava Floro, Chloe Hall, Kyle Kelly and Phillip Nguyen.

Freeport High School earned recognition from Gov. Rick Scott as a Florida top 10 percent school in mathematics and science achievement and for improvement in mathematics and English language arts.

Incorporating the escape room craze into a family event for Literacy Week, Freeport Elementary School held a night of reading and math challenges.

Nearly 300 students and their parents solved problems and puzzles to escape from grade-level rooms.

January’s Literacy Week also incorporated school-hour activities designed to foster reading:

The first- and second-graders enjoyed a performance by the Atlantic Coast Theater group.

Guest readers visited classrooms to share favorite books.

Students sought literacy posters that were hidden throughout the school as part of the Great Literacy Week Race.

More than 100 students participated in the READ-O challenge.

In January, Lewis School eighth-graders Bianca O’Keefe and Deeana Quitugua were selected for the all-state chorus honors program. Becca Campbell earned a ticket to the all-state honor band.

Physical education teacher Liz Berry earned the Lewis School Teacher of the Year honor, while support staff selected Dwight Eddings as its Educational Support Person of the year.

Fort Walton Beach High School’s Viking Band sent several members to the Okaloosa All-County Honor Band: Jason Albert, Lyndsey LaBorde, Jeremiah Best, Melissa Leathem, Hannah Brownsberger, Kayla Lemak, Grace Earles, Riane Neal, Jaylen Eason, Jeremiah Ogilvie, Jakob Hockman, Marina Tobias, Clayton Jowers, Jennifer Zapotocky and Bethany Jowers.

Kenwood Elementary School’s annual Jump Rope for Heart raised $3,327 for the American Heart Association and heart health research.

School Scoops appears Mondays and Saturdays during the school year. Email school items for publication to

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