Some of Ms. Norman's duties and responsibilities at Freeport Middle include but are not limited to administrative correspondence, insurance forms, student accident reports, mail distribution, bus/transportation notes, compensatory time records, and other duties as assigned.
Data Control Specialist
Some of Mrs. Shields's duties and responsibilities at Freeport Middle include but are not limited to MIS Information and Focus, grades, attendance, monthly calendar, monthly newsletter, performance matters, free and reduced lunch application information, assistant to the school nurse, and other duties as assigned.
Mrs. Shala Thomas
Mrs. Thomas has been a Walton County resident for 25 years. Shala graduated from Paxton High School in 2008. After graduation, Shala attended Northwest Florida State College on a Performing Arts scholarship, and later graduated from there with her General AA Degree. Before coming to Freeport Middle School, Shala was the Bookkeeper at Maude Saunders Elementary for close to three years. Besides baking, Shala enjoys anything that requires singing or acting. Shala has been happily married for close to 2 years and has one son, Asher, who is her greatest accomplishment. “All it takes is faith and trust.” – Peter Pan
Mrs. Dier has worked at FMS since 2000 as a paraprofessional for ESE. She has one son, Scott, and two granddaughters, Nikole and Katie. Mrs. Dier enjoys watching her granddaughters cheer and play softball.
Mrs. Petrone grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has lived all over the east coast and settled in Freeport six years ago. Mrs. Petrone has four children; three girls and one boy. She has worked in education for thirteen years. Mrs. Petrone has worked in Mrs. Silberman's ESE classroom since 2010.
Lou Ann Schantz
Mrs. Schantz was born and raised in upstate New York. Mrs. Schantz received her Associate of Arts degree in Social Work from Mater Dei College in 1975. Her husband's military career brought them to the Panhandle. They have three children and one grandson. Mrs. Schantz has worked in an ESE classroom for 16 years.
Mrs. Wilburn was born in Great Falls, Montana. She is a graduate of Okaloosa-Walton Jr. College. Before being hired with the Walton County School District, Mrs. Wilburn was employed on Eglin AFB working with several government contractors. She has enjoyed her many positions throughout the years as an administrative assistant, human resources, quality assurance, technical publications, and contract writing. Mrs. Wilburn had the pleasure of working as a paraprofessional for fifteen years at Freeport Elementary School and has thoroughly enjoyed working at Freeport Middle School for the past four years.
Mary Jo Averell
Mrs. Averell is the cafeteria manager for FMS. She is a life-long resident of Walton County. Mrs. Averell attended Paxton School. She has been employed with the Walton County School District for 7 years.
Assistant Cafeteria Manager
Mrs. Tullis was born in Cetnerville, Iowa. She has lived in Florida for twenty years. Mrs. Tullis is married and has three children. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Ms. Certa was born in Saginaw, Michigan, but was raised in western Texas. She has one child. Ms. Certa has been at FMS since 2014.
Mr. Wilburn was born during a hurricane in Pensacola, Florida at the Naval Air Station. He grew up mainly in Niceville, FL; attended Valparaiso Elementary; Ruckel Middle School; and graduated from Niceville High School. He was employed with Coca-Cola in Valparaiso for 19 years and The Lewis Bear Company for 17 years. He is married and has three children. He is currently loving his position as Plant Manager for FMS.
Mr. Allen attended Central High School. After graduating high school, he was a member of the United States Navy. Mr. Allen and his wife have lived in Freeport since 2008.
Mrs. Tullis was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. Mrs. Tullis is a graduate of Freeport High School. She has a son and two granddaughters. Mrs. Tullis has been employed at Freeport Middle School for 8 years.
Mrs. Shari Anderson has lived in Defuniak Springs, Florida most of her life. She graduated from Walton Senior High School. She later graduated from FSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She has worked as a school nurse in the Walton County School District since 2010. She is married, and she and her husband have three sons, one daughter in law and one grandchild! She enjoys spending time with family and friends.
School Resource Officer
School Resource Deputy
Deputy Hicks grew up in Ponce de Leon, Forida. He is a graduate of Ponce de Leon High School and Northwest Florida State College where he completed the law enforcement academy. He worked as a communications officer for the Walton County Sheriff’s Office for four years before accepting a position with the DeFuniak Springs Police as a police officer and traffic homicide investigator.
In 2009, Hicks again joined the Walton County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy sheriff and was assigned to the Patrol Division where he served for one year prior to transferring into the School Resource Deputy Program. Deputy Hicks has been assigned to Freeport Middle School since 2010/2011 school year as the School Resource Deputy.
Being a full time dad to his son and daughter, Deputy Hicks understands the importance of children having the presence of positive role models and mentors. According to Hicks, there is no better way to reach out to the children of our community than by providing daily guidance and encouragement while maintaining order and providing safety within our schools.
Deputy Hicks provides a wide array of services to Freeport Middle School. Although his duties can vary considerably, his most typical roles are safety expert and law enforcer, problem solver and liaison to community resources, and educator.
As a sworn law enforcement officer, Deputy Hicks plays a unique role in preserving order and promoting safety on campus by, for example:
- Assuming primary responsibility for handling calls for service from the school and in coordinating the response of other law enforcement resources.
- Addressing crime and disorder problems, gangs, and drug activities occurring in or around the school.
- Making arrests and issuing citations on campus.
- Providing leads and information to the appropriate investigative units.
- Taking action against unauthorized persons on school property.
- Serving as liaisons between the school and the Sheriff’s Office and providing information to students and school personnel about law enforcement matters.
Beyond serving in a crime prevention and response role, Deputy Hicks is likely to serve as the first responder in the event of critical incidents at schools, such as accidents, fires, explosions, and other life threatening events.
Problem Solver and Liaison to Community Resources
In the school setting, problem solving involves coordinated efforts among administrators, teachers, students, and parents. Deputy Hicks will frequently assist in resolving problems that are not necessarily law violations, such as bullying or disorderly behavior, but which are nonetheless safety issues that can result in or contribute to criminal incidents. Some of his problem-solving activities commonly include, but are not limited to:
- Developing and expanding crime prevention efforts for students.
- Assisting in identifying environmental changes that can reduce crime in or around schools.
- Assisting in developing school policies that address crime and recommending procedural changes to implement those policies.
Deputy Hicks serves as a resource for classroom presentations that complement the educational curriculum by emphasizing the fundamental principles and skills needed for responsible citizenship, as well as by teaching topics related to law enforcement. Deputy Hicks presents to students, faculty, and parents throughout each school year when needed.
As a School Resource Deputy, Hicks enjoys working in the classroom and daily interactions with the students. Hicks’ goal is to provide a safe and secure learning environment for the students and educate them on how to become productive members of society. Deputy Hicks enjoys being a School Resource Deputy because of the daily interactions with the students where he serves as a positive role model and a resource for them.