• Seaside School, Inc. Board of Directors

    Seaside School, Inc. is governed by a 15 member Board of Directors each of whom serve 3 year terms. Applications for the Board are accepted and new Board members are elected each spring. The Board meets at least 10 times per year, unless there is a need for additional meetings outside of the regular schedule. All Board meetings are open to the public. Notices for each meeting are posted on the school website and at the school campuses. Meetings are generally held on the third Thursday of the month at 5:30 PM. Members of the public are given an opportunity to address the Board at each meeting. If you would like to schedule a special presentation to the Board please email boardsec@seasideschools.net.

    The Board of Directors consists of five committees, each of which has various subcommittees, which carry out the work of the Board. The chair of each committee is responsible for ensuring the committee, and it subcommittees, meet each month and accomplish their ongoing oversight responsibilities and specific annual goals. Committee meetings are posted on the school website and are open to the public. 

    The committee chairs for 2018-19 are listed below.

    • Community Advancement Committee - Meg Norwood, Chair
    • Finance Committee - Marek Bakun, Chair
    • Governance Committee -  Scott Campbell, Chair
    • Strategic Development Committee - Brenna White, Chair
    • Student Excellence Committee - Ronnie Stanley, Chair

     

    Board of Directors

 Dan Buckner, Chairman

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Dan Buckner, Chairman

Dan Buckner, a native of Cookeville, Tennessee, graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1997 with a degree in Business and Marketing.   He relocated to Santa Rosa Beach in 2003.

Dan brings over 15 years of extensive experience and knowledge in the home and association management industry.  Dan is the principal owner and chief operating officer of My Vacation Haven, LLC, an independent full-service vacation rental management company featuring more than 200 vacation rentals in Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort, Tops'l Beach and Racquet Resort and surrounding South Walton areas.  In addition to My Vacation Haven, LLC, Dan is the owner and president of Virtuous Management Group, a full-service association management firm specializing in condominium and homeowner associations.  Virtuous Management Group maintains an elite client base throughout the Southeastern region of the United States.

Prior to his current position, Dan acted as Senior Vice President for FirstService Residential and as President of Emerald Shores Services.

Dan is a strong believer in giving back to community and cares deeply about contributing to the education and wellbeing of the next generation.  He has proudly given time, leadership and financial support to many local organizations serving children in need including the Children’s Advocacy Center, Food for Thought, the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, and several children athletic organizations. 

He and his wife, Stephanie, have two daughters, Hadley and Hayden.

 Elizabeth Forsythe, Vice-Chairman

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Elizabeth Forsythe, Vice-Chairman

Elizabeth Forsythe was raised in Atlanta, GA and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.  After college, Elizabeth returned to Atlanta where she began her career in commercial real estate, working for a commercial development company.  She wore many hats including property management, commercial office leasing, base-building construction management and tenant-interior construction management. 

In 2011, having long vacationed in the 30-A area, she fulfilled her dream and relocated here from Atlanta with her husband, Stephen, a native of Chicago. Shortly after relocating, Elizabeth continued her commercial real estate career, working at The St. Joe Company. Building on her prior work experience, she currently serves as Asset Manager at St. Joe, where she oversees St. Joe’s growing portfolio of lease operations (oversight which includes marketing space for lease, lease negotiations, property management, and tenant relations), pursues and manages various development opportunities/projects, seeks joint venture partners, and markets strategic commercial land for sale. 

Through her work at St. Joe, Elizabeth has been involved with the Seaside School and its annual Half Marathon and 5K for several years. Beginning in 2016, Elizabeth also served as the Seaside Half Marathon & 5K registration co-chair and looks forward to serving in this role for many years to come. 

Elizabeth and Stephen feel fortunate to be raising their two young boys, Will and Oliver, in this beautiful area which has such an incredible sense of community.

 Marek Bakun, Treasurer

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Marek Bakun, Treasurer

Marek grew up in Massachusetts before relocating to Florida where he studied Accounting at the University of Central Florida. He is licensed in Florida as a Certified Public Accountant, Real Estate Broker, and General Contractor. His career spans over 20 years in corporate finance, including over 10 years as a CFO in the real estate industry. Marek is the Chief Financial Officer of The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE), a real estate development, asset management and operating company located in Watersound, Florida. 

Walton County has been his home since 2013 when he relocated with his wife, Kim, and two children, Lauren and Alex, to the picturesque Northwest Florida after spending majority of his career in Orlando.

 Meg Norwood, Secretary

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Meg Norwood, Secretary

Meg Norwood grew up in Richmond, TX and moved to Santa Rosa Beach in 2004 after marrying her husband Austin, a long-time resident of the Destin area. She received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Baylor University and a MBA at the University of Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, she worked in sales and public relations for a school district in the Houston area.

With a passion for non-profit organizations, Meg knew that she wanted to work with an organization based on a mission, and she found that in Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, where she worked for 12 years in marketing and project management. During her time with the hospital, she helped promote new service lines, physicians, and foundation events, in addition to serving as the project manager for several major expansions at the hospital. She also had the opportunity to serve as the liaison between Sacred Heart and the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, which helped raise over $2M for children’s services at the hospital. In 2017, Meg joined Recreation Investments (d.b.a. The Track Family Fun Park and Fat Daddy’s Arcade) to lead the marketing initiatives at five parks and three arcades throughout the Southeast.

Meg has been involved in a variety of community organizations through the years, including serving on the board for the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, Mentoring Emerald Coast, Walton Education Foundation, Florida’s Great Northwest and Career Source Okaloosa Walton. She also served as a founding member of the Gulf County Health Improvement Partnership and the Walton County Health Improvement Partnership to increase access to healthcare for the underserved population in our community. Most recently she had the opportunity to volunteer and support the Seaside School, and she and her family look forward to serving and supporting the continued growth and development of this organization for years to come. 

 Dewalt Alderman

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Dewalt Alderman

K. DeWalt Alderman is a native of Columbia, South Carolina. He graduated from The Citadel Military College of South Carolina in Charleston, SC, with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He also graduated with Highest Academic Distinction from Air University in Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama with a Masters degree in Military Operational Arts and Sciences. DeWalt is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and currently works in the 28th Intelligence Squadron on Hurlburt Field. Immediately following graduation from The Citadel, DeWalt received a commission in the United States Air Force and served at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. DeWalt remained on active duty and transferred to Eglin Air Force Base in 2002. In 2004, he moved to South Walton, continuing to serve on active duty until 2007. Since joining the South Carolina Air National Guard in 2007, then the United States Air Force Reserve in 2009, he has served in multiple permanent and temporary duty assignments on Eglin AFB, Tyndall AFB, and Hurlburt Field. Additionally, DeWalt won the Air Reserve Component Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Field Grade Officer of the Year Award in 2012 while assigned to the 84th Test and Evaluation Squadron on Eglin AFB. He resides in Santa Rosa Beach with his wife and daughters.

 Scott Campbell

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Scott Campbell

Scott grew up in the Florida panhandle and graduated from Walton High School in DeFuniak Springs in 1994. He then attended Northwest Florida State where he played baseball and graduated from the University of Florida receiving his degree in Public Relations. Scott then attended Stetson University College of Law and graduated in 2002, with honors. Upon graduation Scott moved back home to the panhandle to practice law and has been working with the law firm of Clark Partington since 2004 where he is now the managing shareholder of the firm’s Destin office. Scott is board certified in real estate law by the Florida Bar and represents various banks, developers, companies and individuals involving their legal needs, specializing in real estate and finance. Scott additionally serves on the executive board for Habitat for Humanity in Okaloosa County and is involved with various bar and legal associations. Scott spends his spare time playing golf and spending time with his wife, Ellie, and their four children.

 Grove Fisher

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Grove Fisher

Grove Fisher is a native Floridian who grew up in Jacksonville, FL. She graduated from The University of the South in Sewanee, TN with degrees in U.S History and Fine Arts. After gradation she was the college counselor, swim coach and dance teacher at the prestigious Texas Military Institute in San Antonio, TX. After three years of teaching, she followed an opportunity in the non-profit world as the director of the American Forest Alliance campaigning for clean water and air in Appalachia. In 2007, when her tenure as director was over, she and her husband, Adam relocated from Birmingham, Alabama to Santa Rosa Beach.

In 2008, they opened Fisher’s Flowers, a full-service design company specializing in weddings and special events along the Emerald Coast. They lend their talents and services to many non-profits in Walton County including the Alys Foundation, the Cultural Art’s Alliance, The Children’s Volunteer Health Network, the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, the Emeril Lagasee Foundation, Food for Thought and the Seaside Foundation. They are honored to work in support of the incredible services these organizations provide in our community.

Grove is passionate about education and committed to the schools in our area. She is a parent volunteer at Bay Elementary, volunteers on the Seaside Half-Marathon and 5K Committee as cochair of the Taste of the Race Event. She and her family look forward to serving on the Seaside Board furthering their goals to be a positive influence in this amazing South Walton community they have chosen as their home.

 Lindsey Hoppe

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Lindsey Hoppe

Dr. Lindsey Hoppe was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and grew up vacationing along the emerald coast.  She and her husband Dirk dreamed of raising their family in this beautiful small town. That dream became reality with their relocation to the 30A area in early 2014.

LIndsey earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Texas A&M University in 1999.  She earned her Doctorate in Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston in 2003 where she received numerous awards, including 2 scholarships and publication in a major medical legal journal. Lindsey has studied in some of the most elite post-doctoral programs in the country and was awarded the prestigious Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2012. After a brief associateship in a dental practice in The Woodlands, Texas, Lindsey took over a small dental practice in Austin, Texas, and owned and operated it for 10 years, more than doubling its annual production and patient base in her tenure.   During that time, Lindsey was honored to be designated a “Texas Monthly Superdentist” every year from 2009-2013. This award is peer-nominated and elected by other doctors and dental professionals in Texas, and gave Lindsey statewide recognition.

Upon relocation to the 30A area, Lindsey immediately stepped into the role of Dental Director for the Children’s Volunteer Health Network, treating over 1,000 children and providing over $300,000 in free dental care for underprivileged children in Walton and Okaloosa Counties. While fulfilling her role at CVHN, Lindsey simultaneously planned and executed the opening of her state of the art comprehensive care dental office, 30A Smiles, which she co-owns in the Inlet Beach area.Lindsey still serves CVHN and the local children through her position on the CVHN Board of Trustees. She has a special interest in community involvement and serves in a number of additional roles in our community, including teaching Sunday School, volunteering for local schools and shelters, and volunteering and fundraising for many of our local beloved charities.

In her spare time, Lindsey enjoys being outdoors in our beautiful area as much as possible; deep sea fishing, college football (especially the Texas A&M Aggies), reading, writing and bicycling. Lindsey resides in Santa Rosa Beach with her husband Dirk, their son Hunter and their Golden Retriever Annabelle.

 Philip Justiss

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Philip Justiss

Originally from south Florida, Philip moved to South Walton in 2003 soon after receiving both his BS degree in Finance and his MBA from Auburn University. 

Philip is a Managing Director of Sales & Trading at Mission Capital, splitting time between his Seagrove and New York offices. He has over 15-years experience and several billion dollars in transactions in commercial real estate finance, loan sale advisory, underwriting and asset management. His primary responsibilities include sourcing and executing the sale of REO, commercial, C&I and residential loans on behalf of banks, special servicers, private equity funds and other financial institutions worldwide. Philip also originates and executes commercial debt and equity raises for Mission’s Debt & Equity Finance Group.

Philip is active in his community and serves on several non-profit boards.  He resides in Point Washington with his wife, Lauren, and their four children.

 Will Palmer

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Will Palmer

Will Palmer is a native of Thomasville, Georgia, and a graduate of Auburn University with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Family Business.

Will is currently the Managing Broker and Owner of Coast Properties, a local boutique Real Estate firm. Previously Will has been the Broker Associate for Beach Properties of Florida, and Pelican Real Estate & Development. Prior to moving to the panhandle in 2005, Will was the Director of Sales for the Bradley Company, a student-home development company based out of Roanoke Va. Will lives in South Walton with his wife Morgan and 10 year old son, Fordham.

 Dave Rauschkolb

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Dave Rauschkolb

Dave Rauschkolb has lived in South Walton for 30 years and is the owner of 3 restaurants in Seaside and a bakery/catering company in Grayton Beach. His flagship restaurant, Bud & Alley’s is the longest established restaurant in South Walton County located on the beach in the heart of Seaside.

Dave has been a passionate advocate for the South Walton community since moving to South Walton in 1886. Dave has been active in community affairs in the following leadership roles: The Scenic 30-A Business Association, Seaside Merchants Advisory Board, Seaside Institute Board of Governors, Seaside Town Council Merchant Representative, Board Member of The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Northwest Fl. Chapter and founded the 30A Scenic Pride Initiative. Dave currently is Vice President of A Better South Walton, an organization seeking local governance and stewardship solutions for South Walton County.

Dave’s vested interest in community building naturally brought his efforts in support of the Seaside School. Dave has been an active supporter of the school for many years and is very pleased to have the opportunity to direct his energies to serving as a Board Member of the Seaside School.  Dave lives in Watersound Beach with his wife, Carol and 6 year old daughter, Carlin. They are expecting their second daughter in September, 2016.

 Ronnie Stanley

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Ronnie Stanley

Ronnie earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, where he studied speech communication with an emphasis on advanced persuasion. After accepting a position with Northwest Florida State College in 2002, he relocated to the area where he currently teaches public speaking and interpersonal communication courses. Awarded twice as the college’s “Professor of the Year” in 2006 and 2010, he has also served on various campus committees including co-chair of the General Education Task Force, the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, and the Equity Committee. Furthermore, he is a former advisor for the Forensics team and a graduate of the college’s Leadership Program. As an instructor of the Costa Leadership Institute, Ronnie has been the key speaker for a wide variety of civic and service organizations in the community, including the Rotary Club, United Way, Walton County Young Professionals, Emerald Coast Association of Realtors and several college-based organizations. In 2002, he served as the commencement speaker for Wood College’s graduation ceremony. Notably, he has also consulted for several companies, including Gulf Power and the Joint Special Forces Operations at Hurlburt Field.

Ronnie currently serves as a board member for Sandcastles Kids, a 501 (c)(3) not for profit organization that provides an opportunity for children who have endured a challenging battle with cancer a time for reunion and relaxation with their families on the beautiful beaches of the Emerald Coast. He has also served as Vice-President of the Thrivent Financial Regional Board from 2012-2014.

He resides in Santa Rosa Beach with his wife, Nancy, and their daughter Chloe.

 Aleis Tusa

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Aleis Tusa

Born and raised in Louisiana, Aleis and her family had the opportunity to relocate to their go-to vacation destination, Walton County, and make it their home in 2016.

With over 25 years experience in public relations and marketing for industries including nonprofit, corporate and hospitality, Aleis has represented clients such as: Ruth’s Chris Steak House, LCMC Health, Peoples Health, International Paper, Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken, Stewart Enterprises and Planet Hollywood New Orleans. She served as the Communications Director for New Orleans Habitat for Humanity in the immediate post-Katrina era.  Currently, Aleis is the Public Relations manager for HUB, an integrated marketing agency, servicing the tourism marketing accounts for the City of Clearwater and River Parishes Tourist Commission.  She is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, having served previously as president of the New Orleans Chapter. In 2016, she was recognized by the Public Relations Association of Louisiana with the Professional Achievement Award. 

As a native of South Louisiana, Aleis truly bleeds purple and gold. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Journalism from Louisiana State University and is an avid Tigers fan. Aleis and her husband, Jay, have two children, William and Katie.

 Brenna White

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Brenna White

Growing up in a military family, Brenna was frequently on the move as a child; but Clearwater, Florida was always home. After spending several years in north Alabama, she and her family relocated to Santa Rosa Beach in 2010 as her husband, Heath, was expanding his communications cabling business.

Brenna and Heath are the proud parents of three children. As her children have worked their way through the public school system, Brenna has been an active supporter, serving as PTO president and vice president, homeroom mom, a member of several advisory boards, a substitute teacher, and countless other roles. She has also served as a volunteer and committee chair for the Seaside Neighborhood School Half Marathon and 5K since 2011. With two children now in college and one entering middle school, Brenna has been involved with classroom and school projects from kindergarten through the high school level on almost a daily basis. Volunteering has allowed her to help each school continue to touch the lives of children, just as her children’s lives have been so positively affected.

Professionally, Brenna holds a Child Development Associate, and called on her education and experience in childhood development while serving as a preschool teacher. Now Brenna spends her time managing the family business, Resort Maintenance Partners, which provides maintenance, cleaning and repair services to a large number of rental homes and condominiums in the Panhandle area.

 Shannon Widman

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Shannon Widman

Shannon graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Political Science from Syracuse University.  She earned her Juris Doctor at the University of Miami School of Law.  Upon graduation, Shannon moved from her hometown of Palm Beach Gardens to Santa Rosa Beach where she was admitted to The Florida Bar in 2000 and the Federal Court Northern District of Florida in 2001.  Shannon is the founding attorney of Porath & Associates, P.A. a law firm specializing in real estate transactions across the state, but specifically on Florida’s Emerald Coast.

Shannon is on the Board of Trustees for Attorney’s Title Insurance Fund, Inc., which has provided support for Florida real estate attorneys since 1948.  Shannon has always been an active member of the South Walton community, sponsoring many events, including the Annual Seaside School  Half Marathon and 5k Run, Via Colori benefiting the Seaside Institute, the Flutterby Festival and the local school athletic teams.  She has served as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for foster children in the area since early 2001. In 2002 the State of Florida Guardian ad Litem Program recognized Shannon’s outstanding volunteer service.  In that year, she was awarded Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for the First Judicial Circuit, from Governor Jeb Bush.   Shannon served on the board for The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, Inc. and she is proud to support Habitat for Humanity for Walton County, Inc. over the years by providing pro bono title services for their new home closings.  Most recently, Shannon has been a strong advocate and supporter of Food for Thought Outreach, Inc., an organization that helps provides food security to area school children in need.

Shannon has lived in Santa Rosa Beach since 1999, where she enjoys tennis and going to Grayton Beach with her husband, Brian, and their two children.

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