Seaside Neighborhood School 850-231-0396
Seacoast Collegiate High School 850-200-4170

Faculty Members

Kim Mixson, SNS Principal

Kim Mixson completed both her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Kansas. Her undergraduate degree is in Elementary/Middle Education and her Master’s Degree is in Curriculum and Instruction. Kim’s certification areas are in Elementary Education, Middle Grades Science, Middle Grades Social Studies, Integrated Curriculum, and has earned her Reading Endorsement. Kim has been teaching for sixteen years. Fifteen of those years have been at Seaside Neighborhood School.

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Jonathan D’Avignon, SCHS Principal

DAvignonJonathan D’Avignon received his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science Education from Florida State University and both his Master’s Degree in Political Science and Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from The University of West Florida. His teaching experience ranges from sixth grade to college. He has taught at Seaside Neighborhood School, James A Shanks High School, and is currently an adjunct professor at Northwest Florida State College.  He is the current principal of Seacoast Collegiate High School and emphasizes rigor, relevance, and excellence with both his staff and his students.

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Betty Corley, SNS Administrative Assistant

Betty Corley began her career in education in 1979 with the Mobile County School System at Semmes Elementary with 1,014 students. She was employed at Semmes Elementary for ten years as the registrar and assistant bookkeeper. In 1989 her husband’s job relocated their family to Robinsville, New Jersey where Betty was employed by Selective Insurance Company as a worker’s compensation and commercial lines assistant. There she received her Workers Comp and Automotive underwriting license along with computer certifications. They moved back to Mobile in 1992 where she was employed by Smith Barney Financial Institution for eleven years as a financial consultant assistant. She received several certificates in training and computer classes. Betty has been at Seaside Neighborhood School since August of 2004.

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Lori Atlas, SCHS Administrative Assisstant

loriyearbookLori began her career working in the school system in 2005 as a substitute teacher. She quickly transitioned to a teaching assistant in a first grade classroom. In 2006 she began working as the bookkeeper at both an elementary school and middle school. Before working in the school system, she obtained her degree in radio broadcasting. She worked as an auditor for five years before realizing that her true love was working with children. She and her children moved Florida from North Carolina in 2013 to become member of the Seacoast Collegiate High School family. She is currently enrolled as a full time student and seeking a second degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.

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Helga Acosta, SCHS Spanish

helgaHelga graduated from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico in 1986.  She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education and Spanish.  As an army wife, she has taught in many places including overseas in Germany and Hawaii.  Sra. Acosta worked as a military instructor at HAAF for Central Texas College from 1987 until 1992.  In 1992, she worked at Richard Milburn Academy for the Foreign Language Division as a language instructor.  While serving as an instructor for a Military Intelligence unit, she won the overall 1993 Language Olympics Competition for best Spanish team. Sra. Acosta takes pride in her students and her job as a Spanish and her job as a Spanish teacher.  Her greatest satisfaction is watching her students learn and utilize the Spanish language.

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Andrea Alfieri, SNS Dance

alfeiriOriginally trained as a member of Delaware Regional Ballet, Wilkes-Barre Ballet Theatre and Ballet Northeast, Andrea continued her training via Philadanco, The Jazz Dance Center and Pennsylvania Ballet. In 1986, she was awarded a full talent scholarship to the University of the Arts, College of Performing Arts in Philadelphia. She earned her B.F.A. with honors in Musical Theatre and Jazz Dance and was in the last class to perform in Philadelphia’s Shubert Theater. From 1984 – 2009, she danced professionally in venues all over the world with production companies such as Roger Minami’s RABCO, Legends in Concert and had the honor of dancing with Alex Plasschaert in “The Diamonds-Radio Heroes”. She worked as a “Dancer/Singer/Actress” in various shows and industrials on and off Broadway. Her last dance performance was with the Bay Atlantic Symphony in “A Tribute to Benny Goodman” at The Borgata, Atlantic City. She has been teaching for many years and has students who are now dancing professionally. Her greatest joy is sharing her experience and watching her students grow into beautiful performers. Miss Andrea moved to 30A permanently in January of 2010 and is honored to be teaching Ballet, Jazz, and Musical Theater here at Seaside. She takes great pride as Coach of our Stars Dance Team.

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Katrina Black, SCHS Mathematics, Lead Teacher

McAlpinKatrina Black graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics Education from Florida State University and a Master’s Degree in Mathematical Sciences from the University of West Florida. She began her teaching career in Georgia where she taught for one year before moving back to the panhandle. Back in Florida, she taught high school Math and Physics for three years in Bay County. This is Ms. Black’s fourth year since joining the Seaside faculty as the Math Instructor for the newly opened Seacoast Collegiate High School. She teaches Algebra 1 Honors, Geometry Honors, Physics 1 Honors, dual enrolled Pre-Calculus, and College Algebra.

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Candace Carlson, SNS School Counselor

Candace CarlsonCandace Carlson received her Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Child Sciences with a minor in Psychology from Florida State University. She earned her Master’s Specialist Degree in School Counseling and Education from the University of Florida. Mrs. Carlson is certified in all grades School Counseling and Middle/High Grades Social Science. She has previously been a school counselor in Leon County Schools working at Swift Creek Middle School and Lawton Chiles High School. Mrs. Carlson is passionate about being a part of each students school support team. She enjoys supporting students’ academic, social emotional and career needs. This will be Mrs. Carlson’s fifth year as a school counselor.

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Weidia Coutts, SNS Spanish

CoutsWeidia Coutts is a graduate of the Union University in South Florida. She received her Bachelor’s degree in 1998 in Special Education: Varying Exceptionalities. Her teaching career began with AmeriCorps where she taught reading for two years. Mrs. Coutts also taught at Trinity Methodist Pre-School before joining Seaside School in 2001. Mrs. Coutts moved to San Antonio in 2009 where she taught at the Spanish English Foreign Language Academy preparing Military Linguist on Culture and History of Latin America followed by two years of teaching Spanish I, II and Pre-AP courses at Incarnate Word High School.

Mrs. Coutts returned to Seaside School in 2012 to continue teaching middle school Spanish along with high school Spanish I and II.

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Melissa DiCesare, SCHS Language Arts

DiCesareMelissa DiCesare obtained both her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education (1997) and her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership (2002) from the University of West Florida.  In 2006, she received the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification in English Language Arts: Adolescence and Young Adulthood.  Recently, Ms. DiCesare acquired an English Speakers of Other Languages Endorsement.  She began her career in Okaloosa County where she was presented the Sallie Mae First Year Teacher Award.  During the past sixteen years, Ms. DiCesare has taught all grades and all levels of high school English, from Drop Out Prevention to Advanced Placement, partnering with Troy State University School, piloting a collaborative co-teaching program, presenting writing workshops to educators, and establishing community service opportunities for students, while also earning the honors of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Claus Nobel Educator of Distinction, Teacher of the Month, Outstanding Educator, and Z96 Teacher of the Week.  Beyond the classroom, she has had a myriad of roles, ranging from department chair to cheerleading sponsor to leadership advisor to mentor to committee member.  In June, 2013, Governor Scott recognized Ms. DiCesare with the Governor’s Shine Award, in addition to Jeff Miller’s Congressional Record, acknowledging her attainment of Walton County School District’s 2014 Teacher of the Year.   Excited to instill a genuine love of literature and build a strong foundation of language skills in children, sooner than later, she is dedicated to nourishing the hearts and minds of the ELA students in grades six and seven.  It is a great privilege for Ms. DiCesare to proudly proclaim she is a part of the Seaside Neighborhood School family.

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Christopher Eby, SCHS Algebra I and Technology

EbyChris Eby is from Blountstown. He received his BS in Secondary Mathematics Education from Chipola College and his MS in Mathematics Education from Florida State University. He is certified in MathK-16, Math 6-12, and ESE K-12. Chris has taught in Liberty County for 7 years. He loves math, sports, computers/technology, and helping students grow into successful adults.

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Courtney Krick, SNS Science

Courtney Krick received both her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Florida. Ms. Krick is certified in Middle Grades Science and Elementary Education. She is passionate about fostering a love for science among her students. Before joining the Seaside family, Ms. Krick worked in Leon County Schools as a substitute teacher. She will be commencing her teaching career here at Seaside.

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Billie Gaffrey, SNS Art

Community Faculty Member

Billie Gaffrey is a local artist who has lived in South Walton for twenty years. Art has been her passion since childhood which she turned into a profession when she opened up her first art gallery, Gaffrey Art, in 1994. After serving on the board of directors for Seaside Neighborhood School from 2004-2007, she joined the faculty and began teaching art. The art class provides projects of all mediums and specializes in a folk art style.

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Taylor Griffith, SNS Mathematics

Taylor GriffithTaylor Griffith graduated from the College of Education at Florida State University. She received her certification in Middle Grades Mathematics. Ms. Griffith teaches fifth grade math, intensive math, and technology at Seaside Neighborhood School.

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Holley Handley, SCHS Director of Advising and Student Success

langilleHolley Langille received both her Bachelor of Science Degree and Master of Science Degree from Auburn University and is pursuing her Doctorate in Administrative Studies: Curriculum and Instructional Design from The University of West Florida. Her professional experience includes working with Merck Pharmaceuticals as an executive professional representative, University of Georgia- Warnell School of Forestry as a genetic researcher, Walton County school District in various teaching roles, and Northwest Florida State College as an advisor, campus director, and adjunct professor. She is published in the peer reviewed scientific journals: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Journal of Crustacean Biology. She has presented in several national professional conferences including American Society for Cell biologists, International Society for Performance Improvement, and Association for Educational communications and Technology. She is the current Director of Advising and Student Success of Seacoast Collegiate High School. Holley thoroughly enjoys being able to work directly with students, parents, teachers, and administrators on behalf of each student’s personal growth and academic success.

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Marianne Lance, SNS Secretary

MarianneLanceMarianne Lance began her career as a recruiter in Atlanta Georgia for 12 years for Excel Technical Services. After commuting in Atlanta traffic all those years, she went to work for the school system in Forsyth County closer to home. She worked as the front office secretary for Big Creek Elementary and later transferred to a new school in the county, Brookwood Elementary for the last nine years. Most recently, she moved to Santa Rosa Beach, where her husband took a new position in the area. She worked at Northwest Florida State College as a staff assistant initially, and now works at Seaside Neighborhood School in the front office.

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Sharon Martin, SNS Eighth Grade Math and High School Algebra I

sharon martinSharon Martin graduated from Arkansas State University in 1984. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. She worked several years in the financial and technology fields. She received her certification in education in 2004. She taught eighth graders for three years in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Ms. Martin moved to 30-A and joined the Seaside faculty in 2007. She teaches eighth grade math and Algebra I for high school credit.

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Brian Michie, SNS Social Studies

MichieBrian Michie is a graduate of the University of Georgia. He graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in both History and Social Studies Education in 2008. He received his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of West Florida in 2014. Brian possesses certifications in Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum and Social Studies grades 5-12. He is also AP US History certified by the CollegeBoard. This school year will be Brian’s fifth year as a teacher in Walton County and his second as a member of the Seaside faculty. This school year, Brian will be teaching Civics and American History for 7th and 8th grade students. He looks forward to helping students become active and informed citizens of the community through social studies.

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Marilyn Misulia, SCHS Biology, Marine Science, and Chemistry

marilynMarilyn Misulia graduated from Plymouth University in Marine Biology and decided that she wanted to move to the United States to study sharks. After moving to the states she studied for one year at The Ohio State University. She obtained her Master’s degree at Auburn University. After studying marine biology she discovered a passion for teaching. She has taught Biology for 9 years to high school students.

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Serena Richard, SNS Health and Physical Education

Serena Richard graduated from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education in 1997. Before teaching, she worked as a fitness instructor at the Crystal Beach Fitness Club in Destin, Florida. In 1998, she was hired as the first Physical Education instructor for Seaside Neighborhood School. When Ms. Richard first started at SNS, there were no after-school sports. In the first seven years as the Physical Education instructor and Athletic Director, she worked tirelessly to create an athletic department that would provide students with opportunities to participate in after school sports that were competitive with surrounding counties.  Now, Ms. Richard teaches PE and Health.

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Cathy Richter, SCHS 11th & 12th AVID teacher & Guidance

Ladue School DistrictDr. Cathy Richter started her work as guidance counselor at Seacoast Collegiate High School and Seaside Neighborhood School in July, 2014. Dr. Richter has worked as a teacher, a guidance counselor, a school principal, and has taught courses as an adjunct faculty member in Missouri before relocating to Florida. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Education and her Masters in Educational Counseling from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University.

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Joy Robbins, SNS Language Arts

robbins/Joy Robbins graduated from Fordham University in 2003 with a BA in English.  After graduation Mrs. Robbins joined the New York City Teaching Fellows and taught 7th and 8th grade ELA  while earning her Masters Degree in Teaching Secondary English with a concentration in adolescent literacy from Fordham University.  In 2006 she moved to the Washington, DC area and taught high school humanities in Arlington County Public Schools for three years.  Before moving to the Seaside area Mrs. Robbins was living in Nashville, TN. While in Nashville she taught Advanced Placement Language and Composition at an independent school and completed an education-entrepreneurship fellowship with 4.0 Schools.  Mrs. Robbins and her husband moved to Old Seagrove in June of 2013; they are thrilled to become active members in the community.

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Balder Saunders, SNS Music

Community Faculty Member

Balder Saunders enlisted in the United States Marine Corps to be a bandsman and graduated first in his class at the John Philip Sousa School of Music in Norfolk, VA. Saunders served in New Orleans where the musical milieu was rich, and in Okinawa Japan, where he traveled to Hong Kong, Vladivostok, Russia, Iwo Jima, Thailand, and Australia. He was a member of the Jazz Big Band where he played trumpet and sang on certain selections. One of his most memorable performances while serving in the military was a 4th of July concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles for a sold out audience. After four years of service, he attended Georgia Tech on the GI Bill. There he played Trumpet in the Georgia Tech Jazz Ensemble, which performed at the Super Bowl that year. He formed the band Dread Clampitt, which has been touring the country for nine years. Dread Clampitt is an original band in which Saunders demonstrates outstanding skill as he plays mandolin, is a lead and harmony singer as well as a contributing songwriting to the group.

Balder joined the staff of Seaside Neighborhood School in 2011. He teaches three classes, a nine week wheel class for sixth graders, beginning band, and advanced band.

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Charlotte Sause, SNS Reading and Gardening

Charlotte Sause graduated from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education in 1982. She has taught at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels. As director and head tennis pro of the Seaside Swim and Tennis Club, Charlotte developed the physical education program for the school along with the Swim and Tennis Club where she worked for ten years. Charlotte has completed her reading endorsement and has been teaching at Seaside Neighborhood School for the past five years.

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Laurel Sink, SNS Language Arts

Laurel SinkMrs. Sink graduated in 2006 from Covenant College with a bachelor’s degree in Education. She has had many exciting teaching opportunities in Hungary, South Korea, Scotland, Illinois, and Florida. She’s enjoyed teaching all subject areas and many grade levels, but currently looks forward to teaching fifth grade Language Arts and Social Studies each day at Seaside Neighborhood School.


Martha Stroop, Technology and Math

Martha Stroop graduated from the University of Georgia in 1983 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree specializing in Management Information Systems. She worked for 10 years as a computer programmer and systems analyst at Georgia-Pacific Corporation in Atlanta, GA. She then moved to Pulaski, TN where she worked as a business system’s consultant. In 2010, Mrs. Stroop received an elementary education and business education certification from Gulf Coast Community College. Mrs. Stroop is the technology adviser for both campuses.

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Jim Sumpter, Duke of Edinburgh Facilitator

Jim SumpterJim Sumpter is a certified Award Leader in the Duke of Edinburgh International Award program (DofE), and the founder and leader of Seaside’s DofE chapter. Jim began his DofE journey in 2009 in Europe as a leader in the program at the British International School of Stavanger (Norway). He joined Seaside in 2013 and launched our school’s chapter, the first for a charter school in Florida. Jim brings an extensive background in mountaineering and trekking to the program’s Adventurous Journey component with worldwide wilderness experience. In 2008, he joined the small group of westerners who have completed Bhutan’s Snowman Trek across the Himalayan Mountains. Jim is a Distinguished Military Graduate from Tulane University in 1989; subsequently he served for 5 years as an officer in the U.S. Army’s prestigious 11th Cavalry. Jim has worked the past 21 years in the finance industry and is currently a senior executive for a global fund manager headquartered in Europe. He is a Certified Investment Management Analyst, a designation he earned through The Wharton School and IMCA in 2003.

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Leslie Wood, SNS Spanish

Leslie WoodLeslie Wood received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Elementary Education / Spanish 5 – 9 from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. In 2009, she received her Masters of Science in Adult Education TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). She has 10 years of teaching elementary, middle, high school, and adult students, both overseas and in the public school system. She is excited to instill in her students a lifelong passion for languages and cultures.

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