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Mary Walter

Mary Walter

DR. MILLICENT BRAXTON – Improving children’s lives one day at a time

Administrators and teachers have the ability to be some of the most influential people in not only our lives, but our children’s lives. We entrust our ‘babies’ to them for more waking hours than we sometimes have with them on a daily basis. They, like children, come in all shapes and sizes, all demeanors, strong areas and weak areas, but for those who work with children with special needs, they have a halo above their heads.  Jackson County is so richly blessed to have one awesome educator/administrator who gives ‘Hope’ where there was none previously - Dr. Millicent Braxton, principal at Hope School in Marianna is the light of many children’s eyes every day.

Braxton is a graduate of Chipola College, Troy State University with a BS degree in Psychology and Human Services, an MS degree from Troy University in Counseling and Psychology, and Eds from the University of West Florida in Educational Leadership.  She obtained her EdD from the University of West Florida with a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Diversity.

If you look at Dr. Braxton’s page from Hope School, she says, “I worked as a mental health counselor prior to working at Hope School. I began teaching at Hope in 2003. I taught a Primary class for nine and a half years and then became the TSA at Hope in January 2013. I was trained by former principal, Mrs. Macaluso, for three years in administration. I love the students at Hope and will strive to continue our tradition of success here at Hope School.”

She has done nothing short of that, providing the students who attend there with a nurturing and learning environment conducive to their special needs.  She has developed a staff that is above the bar in caring for their students.  She makes no bones about how special Hope School is and that although most schools operate on a regular clock for time, Hope School has its own time. Recently, they held yet another celebration of a great accomplishment by their students. Their two basketball teams, cheerleaders, coaches, and staff were recognized for another pair of State Championships. In addressing the crowd, Braxton said, “Some might say we are running a little late, but we operate on Hope School time here.”  Her devotion to her students goes far above what could possibly be expected of a day-to-day administrator. When her basketball teams were so closing to bringing home state championships, she added a little motivation to the pot. Braxton let the teams know when they both won state, she would do a cartwheel and as the medals were waiting to be handed out, Braxton was on the hardwood, living up to her offer of a cartwheel.  This action delighted the players and cheerleaders.

Don Holland has worked at Hope School for 13 years and has the utmost respect for Braxton as an administrator, “She is amazing and Hope School is blessed to have her as a principal.  She always comes to work smiling and with a positive attitude and always puts the kids first.  The kids recognize her as a positive person and their eyes and hearts light up when she enters their room or the cafeteria. “

As a teacher under Braxton’s administration, Tanya Wiggins has the highest praise for her, “She is wonderful. The kids and staff love her.  She is so caring and the kids recognized that immediately. They love it when they see her because she always has a big smile and a ‘Hello, how are you today, Sydney?’ for them.  She knows every child by name and they know it.”

Brandi Harris has a child who attends Hope School, “Dr. Braxton is very supportive as far as academics and she’s very involved with the programs at the school. The kids love her.  Every time I’ve been there for any reason, she always stops and hugs and calls every child by name when she passes them.”  

The programs at Hope School are evidence of the level of skill and education that is provided under her leadership.  Braxton has returned cheerleaders to the court to support their six-time state champions basketball team.  Students arrive eager to be on campus and leave with a smile offering proof in the pudding that they have had a great day!  

Sydnee Goodson –Excelling on the court, diamond and in the classroom

  • Published in Sports

Sydnee Goodson is a junior at Marianna High School. She has been on a diamond since she was five years old and can’t imagine not being there.  At five and six she played tee ball, changing to coach pitch baseball when she was seven.  At age eight, she transitioned to softball and fell in love with the sport.  Nine years later, the love is still there.  Since that time, she has added volleyball and once again, she found a new love.  With all that being said, Sydnee never lost sight of the big picture.  Academics have always come first.

Sydnee maintains a 3.96 GPA (grade point average), while playing two sports for five years.  She is an active member in the Beta Club, National Honor Society, and Juniorettes.  She is dual enrolled at Chipola College, adding six college hours to her resume on top of her already full schedule.  

Her accolades on the volleyball court, she excelled three years at Marianna Middle School.  Her seventh and eighth grade years, she was awarded the Best Server Award.  Her eighth grade year she was also awarded MVP.  

The awards did not stop on the court but moved to the diamond where she was named Defensive Player of the Year for seventh and eighth grade, as well as MVP and Captain award in eighth grade.  

Moving to the high school had no adjustments for Sydnee.  She was an integral part of both the junior varsity and varsity softball team and the varsity volleyball team.  She was name MVP of the MHS junior varsity softball team her freshman year.  

Looking back on her years of playing and her most memorable game, Sydnee says, “The game against Chipley when I hit a walk off double for us to win the game, it was great.”  

Sydnee wasted no time in saying her favorite subject was math and her favorite math teachers, “Mr. Goodwin (Jamie) and Mr. Tocci (Bennett), I couldn’t pick just one.  I had Mr. Goodwin in fifth grade and them Mr. Tocci in sixth and seventh.”

Sydnee knows readily she is blessed to be where she is in life, “I have to thank God and my parents.  They have always been there for me.”

Accolades from teachers are nonstop.  Tocci says of her, “Sydnee was an awesome student, very bright, and extremely well mannered.  I could teach till I was 100 if all my students were half the person she is.  My pleasure to have had her in the classroom for two years.”

Coach Scott Wiggins at Marianna High School says, “Sydnee is a great young lady on and off the field, always gives her best!  It is a pleasure to be her coach.”  

Danielle Baggett coached Sydnee for two years at Marianna High School, “I have coached her two years now and have been amazed at the outstanding job her parents have done with her. She works hard on and off the court. Sydnee has a wonderful heart, great morals, and is such a positive presence. She always gives 110% and genuinely cares whether it’s about school, family, friends, or athletics. She has helped me to continuously step my own game up to become a better coach for her. Sydnee just has that effect on people and doesn’t even realize it.”

Jamie Goodwin taught her math in fifth grade, “The great thing about Sydnee is that you are always going to get her best.  She doesn’t know anything else.  She’s very driven in everything she does, whether it’s sports or school.  It’s easy to teach a kid like Sydnee.  Teaching kids like her make teaching fun.”

Congratulations to Sydnee Goodson on her accomplishments in her short life time. The Jackson County Times will be watching for big things to come.


  • Published in Sports

The Bulldog golf team is ready to challenge for another district title under the leadership of Tyler Wilson.  Four district titles in a row proved to be pretty sweet for Wilson and his team that included four standout seniors but this year’s team wants to make it number five.  Those seniors lost to graduation included Kiley Bryan, Avery Evans, Steve Spence, and Aaron Williams.  

This year, the Bulldogs will have Ric Gable, Will Johnson, and Tanner Mulder representing the senior class.  The junior class will be Henry Knowles, Hunter Mitchell, Tristan Mulder, Ethan Sapp, Dante Sonaglia, and Nick Walker.

Sophomore class is small but ready to make an impression with Corey Akerson and Will Saunders.  The freshman class is looking for success from Ben Knowles, Austin Malloy, and John Mitchell.  

The Lady Bulldogs will be represented by Jordan Sapp and Annika Beebe. 

Coach Wilson is optimistic about this year’s team, “They’re eager to learn, they have been playing on their own which is always a good thing.  The three seniors have been on these courses before and that always is a plus.  The juniors are pretty good and I think we are going to be competitive.”  

As for the girls, Wilson says, “They like the game, and show promise of being ready to compete.”

The Bulldogs will open up August 23 in Holmes County with a 3:30 tee off before returning home to Indians Springs Golf Course on August 25 with a 12 noon tee time.

Jail Report, September 3, 2015

  • Benjamin Nobles (39) – Violation of conditional release
  • James Pumphrey (22) – Violation of county probation
  • Cynthia Alverez (36) - Trespass after warning
  • Adrain Morales (24) – Driving without a driver’s license
  • Quashawn Perry (17) – Violation of state probation
  • Michael Miles (20) – Violation of state probation
  • Greg Carver (54) – Failure to appear
  • Justin Paradise (29) – Violation of state probation
  • Keleisha Stricker (19) – child neglect
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