SCHOOL SCOOPS: Niceville spring concert slated


Sharon Dooley | Daily News Contributing Writer

Close out the academic year on a musical note by attending the Niceville High School Eagle Pride band program spring concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Mattie Kelly Arts Center auditorium on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College.

This free public event features instrumental arrangements by the superior-rated ensembles of the NHS musicians.

Several Ruckel Middle School artists entered works in the annual Okaloosa School District art show. In all, the Ruckel students brought home 66 ribbons.

The recipient for Best in Show 3-D category was Leilani Ledford for her piece, “The Raven.”

Marleigh Moore’s work will represent Okaloosa County at the inaugural Art in the Capitol contest.

Lauren Vestel earned the Van Porter Artist of the Year recognition.

In early April, the Rocky Bayou Christian School high school academic team earned 28th out of the 139 participating high school teams in the nation, and second out of six Florida teams, in the spring 3-2-1 Online Academic Challenge Competition.

Team members included Capt. Ben Esses, Elijah Suh, Garrett Lewis, Ariel Schesniak, Kyle Wyn, Devon Lewis, Josh Barkman, Gideon Riches, Alicyn Grete and Adam Mistretta.

At the Okaloosa District Art Show, first-place awards for RBCS went to Emily Bishop, Anna Thorpe and Rebekah Sung.

Artists who earned second-place recognition included Sarah Whaley, Sam Barkman, Anna Mooney and Steven Zhu. Third-place awards went to Alicyn Grete, Rachel Barnick, Rebekah Sung, Victoria Johnson and Destiny Johnson.

Alicyn Grete also received an honorable mention for one of her works.

Each year, several Saint Mary students participate in the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser to combat heart disease and stroke, and to promote healthy lifestyles. Athletic director Serra Abel recognized two first-grade students for raising the most money: Gabe Caywood ($562) and Cora Cullen ($135).

Four students earned recognition in the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra art show. Cadyn Grace placed first, with Haley Sposato taking a second, and honorable mentions awarded to Elise Bowie and Macy Sexton.

Sixth and seventh graders demonstrated their writing skills in the annual Knights of Columbus Great American Patriot Essay Contest in March.

Winners include Grace Hebson with “Gen. Henry Knox”; Ethan Cormier with “Audie Murphy”; David DeWitt Kessler with “Desmond Doss.”

Without much fanfare, the Walton School District’s all-star academic team won the state championship Division 3 of the 32nd Commissioner’s Academic Challenge, which was held in Orlando in late April.

Team members Sean Brown, Malcolm Griffith, Jordan Nichols, Evan Cowie, Kier Teves and Griffon Murphy scored more points than any other team in the final competition on the team bonus questions.

The Commissioner’s Academic Challenge began in 1986, providing a format for academic scholars to demonstrate competitive knowledge of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, the fine arts, world languages (French and Spanish), physical education, health and technology.

Carla Griffith and Glen Harrison served as all-star coaches on the trip.

In addition, Evan Cowie, Walton High School, earned a place on the Team Florida academic team, which will compete nationally.

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