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Amy Allen – Para to dream come true as principal

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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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Amy Allen – Para to dream come true as principal

America is full of success stories featuring a worker who starts at the bottom of his work and by working hard and preparing further manages to advance through the ranks.  Such success is often connected to the reality of the American dream and gives us all a bit of encouragement that we, too, can work hard and move upward.  

In the public schools, an individual must earn the Bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement for teaching.  That degree, focused on a particular area of study, enables a person to apply for a teaching position.  Teaching positions are available as they open up and are not always available in a given year.  

Amy McNeal Allen, now an experienced teacher, band director and administrator, is very familiar with that circumstance.  When she studied at Florida State University in 1993, she interned at Golson Elementary.  However, with jobs in short supply, she was first hired as a paraprofessional in the science lab at Golson the next year.  In January of 1995, after her service as a paraprofessional, Amy was hired for a teaching position where she worked for the next six years teaching Exceptional Student and basic education classes.   During that time, Mrs. Allen continued her education earning a Master’s degree at Troy in 1999.

 In 2000, she was hired to serve as Assistant Band Director at Marianna Middle School and later served as Band Director for MMS until 2013.  Her tenure as Band Director was one marked by huge success as the MMS band and its members were awarded “superior” ratings in Florida Band Association competitions during 12 consecutive years.  Marianna Middle School band, under Mrs. Allen’s direction, distinguished itself as one of this area’s largest and most talented with over 300 members annually.  The band and its performances fostered a positive climate on the MMS campus while enjoying widespread support from the community at large.  Her program was renowned for the inclusion it offered middle school students at a time of adolescence when they needed it most personally and developmentally. 

That long period of time spent as Band Director at MMS ended when Mrs. Allen was selected in 2013 to return to Golson Elementary for a two year stint as the Assistant Principal before she returned to Marianna Middle School in 2015 for duty as its Assistant Principal.  Currently, she is serving as the Principal at Golson Elementary, the school at which she began her career in Jackson County.

Asked about her work at Golson, she replied that her vision is to help create a positive, nurturing environment to educate our children and grandchildren.  With three children of her own—Shelby, Carley, and Josh—and her grandson Caden, Amy feels that she is in touch with the concerns and desires of parents with regard to schooling for their children.  She notes her desire “to build a bridge” between the school, community, and parents so that all can work together to best meet each student’s needs.  Personally, she credits her own experiences with great teachers and principals because they have had a tremendous effect upon her own development as an educator.  Asked about her return to the school where she first began, Amy enthusiastically responded that it is her fervent prayer that she can now, after all these years, give back some of what she has been given in her educational experiences over the years.   Accustomed to leading by example and fully using all her talents, Mrs. Allen embraces the fact that we can only lead if we are willing also to serve others.  During the recent storm, she was one of the key helpers serving the evacuees who came to Marianna.

Given that Mrs. Allen has been privileged to “do” school from the perspective of student, parent, paraprofessional, teacher, band director, assistant principal, and principal –Amy Allen was a natural choice for administration at Golson Elementary. Allen truly believes the work she completed obtaining her Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership in 2006 was instrumental in preparing her for where she is today.

Danny Lipford – making Marianna proud 20 years and going

Danny Lipford could never have envisioned when he graduated from Marianna High School in the 70s of where he would be today.  He is known as the guru of home improvement and proof is in the pudding.  This year, Lipford starts his 20th season of Today’s Homeowner.  

Today’s Homeowner broadcasts to more viewers than ever before, covering 91% of the United States.  It is among the most respected, longest-running home improvement shows in the United States.

In a press release about the 20th season, Lipford says of the show, “Today’s Homeowner’s impressive reach and top ratings are remarkable, and show just how far we’ve come in 20 seasons.  Growing up, I had an interest in making old things new again, but never imagined Id’ be sharing that with millions on national television.”  

The press release goes on to show the bridge with Lipford’s daughter, Chelsea Lipford Wolf, sees herself as a bridge between her expert dad and the average do-it yourself, being able to ask questions for the viewers of Today’s Homeowner, “I enjoy learning new skills from my dad and know that will continue both on – and off – the show,” she comments. “But what I’m looking forward to most in this new role is teaching him a few things! When I’m not trying to keep dad in line, some of my favorite projects include upcycling, incorporating technology into the home, and keeping up with new trends. So, you’ll see me introducing dad and our awesome homeowners to a few of my own tricks this season.”

Episodes are being planned for Houston and Tulsa, Oklahoma this year, with more locations in the works for 2018.  

Danny Lipford outlines his beginning to where he is now, “I was born in a small town, down in the Panhandle of Florida called Marianna. Marianna is just North of Panama City, 50 or 60 miles, and yeah, I spent a little time in Panama City and Panama City Beach when I was growing up. I had a great time in the small town and have some wonderful, wonderful friends there that I get to see from time to time. Certainly, all of my friends and family from my hometown have supported everything that I’ve done over the years. I moved through and grew up in that environment and it was a great family life. My father really showed me a lot of things about repairing things around the house. He also loved building little pieces of furniture even though he was a school teacher and school administrator. I really kinda got the bug, to the point that I had to save some money just to buy my first power tool. I was only nine years old, and was in the third grade, and of course back then you had the old Sears and Roebuck catalogs that you would look through. I found this little jigsaw or saber saw I liked and decided I wanted to buy one. Well, the only way I could make money was to sweep this very long concrete driveway, and this was back before the leaf blowers and all the fancy things we have now for that. Every time I would sweep that with the old broom, I would get a quarter. Well, with all the squirrel we had in the yard and all it needed it quite a bit. I had me a little cup on my night stand that I would put that money in. Any little thing I could do, and it took me a little while of sweeping to get me to my $11.41 that I needed. I took that money and gave it to my mom and had the page out of the Sears catalog and said, “I want to buy this saw.” I’m even surprised to this day that they let me buy this pretty aggressive saw. I can remember waiting every day at the mailbox for my little saw to come in and it finally came in. As a matter of fact, it’s on my wall in my little shop that I have here that we do a fair amount of taping in. It is very symbolic to me that it was the start for me. I used that saw for a long, long time. I didn’t know what you were supposed to use a saber saw or jigsaw for. I mean I made baseball bats, and that didn’t work out too well. I would make all kinds of little plaques out of a piece of paneling. I would cut these little heart shaped plaques and I would take my wood burning tool and write in there “World’s Best Mom” or “World’s Best Dad” that kind of thing. I found some of those recently, stuff I was going through at my late mom and dad’s place. It was pretty cool to see those things. Must have meant a lot to them to hold on to them for all those many years. I moved along and got through high school and as soon as I graduated from high school, I moved to where I live now, Mobile Alabama to go to school at the University of South Alabama. One thing I realized and it was kind of unusual for me and a little bit of a surprise was that when you live in a small town, you never have to learn to meet anybody. You grow up with them from kindergarten all the way through twelfth grade. You’re not having to let’s say, learn the skills of meeting people. So, when I moved here the only person I knew in this town was my older brother Bill. Of course, he had a few friends he introduced me to here and there. When I went to the University of South Alabama it was a much smaller school than it is these days. It was a cliquish kind of thing, because a lot of the people had gone to high school around the Mobile area. I didn’t know anybody, so it took me a while to figure out how to meet people and how to do things here and there. It’s worked out pretty well. I learned that and was able to develop a wonderful group of friends here, and of course I’m raising my family here.” 

The Today’s Homeowner 20th season kicked off the week of September 18 with its first episode, “Renter’s Renovations.” Though it can be challenging to personalize a rental space, Danny and Chelsea help a trio of roommates in Birmingham, AL, boost the style and security of their rental home. The beauty is that the fixes are temporary and can move with the roommates when they graduate to first-time homeowners.

Today’s Homeowner is a trusted home improvement authority delivering fresh, original, practical advice to consumers across diverse media platforms including the top-rated, nationally syndicated Today’s Homeowner television show, entering its 20th season and its radio counterpart, the nationally syndicated Today’s Homeowner radio show. Additionally, the media brand hosts the top home enthusiast destination website, TodaysHomeowner.com, drawing nearly two million monthly visitors, robust social media channels and the award-winning lifestyle blog and web series, Checking In With Chelsea. 3 Echoes Productions, the professional production arm of the brand, serves an impressive national clientele with expert video services.

Host and founder of the brand, Danny Lipford, is among the most sought-after home improvement experts in the country. The seasoned remodeling contractor and media personality served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade and has made more than 180 national television appearances on FOX&Friends, Inside Edition, Morning Express with Robin Meade, FOX Business Channel, Rachael Ray and more. He travels the country making appearances as a brand ambassador and spokesperson, and contributes expertise to hundreds of popular magazines and online media outlets each year.

The publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times congratulates Danny Lipford on his continued success and his loyalty to his roots in Jackson County.  

Cottondale Hornets sting Lighthouse Stingrays

  • Published in Sports

The Cottondale Hornets are 3-0 to start the 2017 season under coach Tyler Addison and that’s given the Hornet fans something to shout about.  Friday night, their offense made a statement that they are the real deal as they hammered Lighthouse Academy of Pensacola 54-18.

In the Hornets’ first possession, Cameron Brooks led the way, capping off the drive down the field with a six-yard run into the end zone. Lighthouse answered quickly with a long pass play for a touchdown and made good on their two-point conversion to take the temporary lead 8-6.  

Cottondale’s Dominique Pittman lit up the crowd and the scoreboard up with an electrifying run into the end zone.  Pittman converted the two points and the Hornets were in the lead 14-8 with three minutes left in the first quarter.

Levi Davis picked up a fumble recovery at the end of the first quarter and with less than a minute off the clock in the second quarter, Jimmy Price was in the end zone.  Pittman converted on the two points and the Hornets were in control 22-8.  The Hornets had a Pittman touchdown called back but it did not dismay the Hornets drive to make it a 3-0 start to their season.  Jimmy Price was called on for the next touchdown with Pittman making good on the conversion.  The Hornets were cruising 32-6 with 5:47 left in the first half.  

Lighthouse capitalized on a fumble recovery for a touchdown to narrow the lead to 32-12.  The Hornets didn’t rest though with Cameron Brooks finding Dalvin Barnes and quickly it was 38-12 at the half.

In the third quarter, Brooks found Amari Banks on a 65-yard touchdown pass with the conversion right on the money.  The Hornets lead was 46-12.  Both teams managed another touchdown but it was decidedly a Hornet night with the 54-18 victory.  

Cottondale will be working hard in practice this week as they host the Chipley Tigers Friday night.  Coach Addison will have his team ready with the prospect of 4-0 looking them in the eye.  

Bulldogs maul the Seahawks for first win

  • Published in Sports

The Marianna Bulldogs picked up their first win of the season Friday night in dramatic fashion.  The 31-3 victory says it all for the Dog offense and defense Friday night.  After falling in their first two games by a combined five points, the Bulldogs were ready for a win and were not going to settle for anything else.  Hurricane Irma sidelined their game against Blountstown last week, and subsequently took two practice days from them.  That mattered not when they hit the field Friday night.

An afternoon downpour had the field wetter than either team would have liked but that didn’t dampen the Bulldogs drive to pick up the win.  After both teams were three and out on their first possession, Marianna found the end zone on an 18-yard run by Marquis Kelly.  Len Nobles was right on the money with the extra point through the uprights and the Dogs had a 7-0 lead with 29 seconds left in the first quarter.  

The Bulldogs next scored on a 33-yard field goal by Nobles with time running out in the first half.  The Bulldogs held a 10-lead at the half.

South Walton kicked off to Marianna to start the second half and it was Werlean Pollock bringing the crowd to their feet with a 58-yard touchdown run.  Nobles sent the pigskin through the uprights and the Bulldogs were in business with a 17-0 lead early in the third quarter.

Werlean Pollock was a man on a mission when he hit the field Friday night, picking up his third touchdown of the night with four minutes left in the third quarter.  Pollock went 66 yards to find the end zone and Nobles kept it a perfect night with the point after going through the uprights.  The Bulldogs led 24-0.  

Malachi Adeyolette joined the touchdown party with a two-yard run and Nobles added his fourth extra point of the night.  Marianna was in the driver’s seat with a 31-0 shutout of the South Walton Seahawks.  

The shutout came to an end with just four minutes left in the game when the Seahawks opted for a field goal after Marianna held them on three downs.  

On the night Marianna tallied 337 yards with Werlean Pollock leading the way with 19 carries for 193 yards with two touchdowns. Marquis Kelly had nine carries for 52 yards and a touchdown.  Jeremiah Castro had seven carries for 47 yards, with Malachi Adeyolette having two carries for three yards and one touchdown.  Len Nobles made four extra points on the night and a 33-yard field goal.  

Marianna will next host Walton Friday night, looking to go 2-2 on the season.  Kickoff is at 7 p.m. 

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