I grew up in Washington County and have lived in the Panhandle my whole life. When I was a kid, I enjoyed hunting, fishing, and working on the farm with my Dad. In school, I was involved in a lot of clubs and extracurricular activities. I went to college at Florida State University where I earned my degree in American Studies. That degree is a combination of many different types of courses in history, literature, political science, religion, an other areas that all involve the American experience. I hope that this background allows me to bring different ideas about how to teach my classes.
The most important part of my life away from school is my family. My wife Pam and I live in Freeport with our 4 kids; Aislynn, Kieran, Sawyer, and Elliott. We also have a dog named Trixie that we all love to play with. In my free time, I love to do things outside. Hiking, biking, and taking the kids to the beach are my favorite ways to get out and have fun. I also really enjoy music. My wife and I try to make it to concerts whenever we can. My favorite band is the Avett Brothers.
I am really enjoying the opportunity to work in our school! I love the way all of the staff and students come together to accept and support one another. I can't wait to get to know all of my students more as the school year goes by.
Mrs. Taylor has more than 20 years experiance in education. She obtained her AA Degree from Chipola College, her BS Degree in Social Science Education from Troy University, and her Master's Degree in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University. She holds a reading endorsement and a ceritification in english grades 6-12.
She enjoys reading, scrapbooking, spending time with family, and watching the Atlanta Braves.
Doralyn Sasser is in her 25th year of teaching, all with the Walton County School District. She has taught kindergarten, second grade, and sixth through twelfth grades exceptional student education (ESE). She loves what she does and has a heart for her students.
She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of West Florida in Elementary and Primary Education. Then later went on to get her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Reading from Concordia University at Portland.
Mrs. Sasser resides in Okaloosa County with two of her three children (Austin who is busy working away for FED-EX and Dayna who is pursuing a degree in teaching from Northwest Florida State College). Her third child, Miranda, lives in Naples and attends law school there.
Her hobbies include spending time with her children, playing with her boxers Jasper and Loki, and reading.
Daniel Scott Varnum is currently in his first year of employment as a teacher at the Wise Center Magnet Intensity & ALC School in the Walton County School District located in Defuniak Springs, FL.
For 16 years, Mr. Varnum has been in education teaching at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. He has taught physical education, outdoor education, science, biology, as well as coached basketball and softball at the middle and high school levels.
He received his B.S. degree in Conservation Management with a minor in Biology from Upper Iowa University. He then completed his education classes from Troy University in Alabama. Currently he is enrolled in the graduate program at the University of South Florida where he will earn his Masters degree in Physical Education. Mr. Varnum is employed as a part-time Real Estate Agent with Merrifield & Pilcher Realty.
He is also an active member of Gaskin First Baptist church where he is a youth leader.
Mr. Varnum resides in Walton County where he lives with his wife of 21 years, Amanda Ellen Varnum, his father Danny Varnum and their four daughters Maddie, Sadie, Cassie, and Hydie.
Mr. Varnum has a passion for working with children as he’s mentored students in the Take Stock for children program.
His hobbies are spending time with his family, friends, hunting, and watching his daughters play basketball and softball at Paxton.
His classroom movie theme is “The Patriot” because as teachers we should:
Fight for the cause daily-Empowering students minds!
Stay the Course-Impose Rigor in each lesson and challenge them to leave their intellectual comfort zone!
Aim small & Miss small to reach the mark: Give them the ingredients and teach them the process so they understand what goes into baking the pie, not give them the whole baked pie and expect them to know what ingredients are in it and the steps it takes to bake it!
Educational Support Professionals
Ms Skalsky is a paraprofessional with over 10 years of experience in all grades K -12. She has worked with children with a variety of needs including those with severe emotional needs and Autism. Ms Skalsky attended the University of Minnesota and is a Certified Life Coach. She is looking forward to becoming part of the community at the WISE Center. She enjoys empowering students by helping them learn new skills and develop a growth mindset, readying them for whatever life path they choose to explore.
At home, Ms Skalsky is married to Jerry and has for grown children and a son-in-law. She has two cats, Slyvia and Mallory, and a dog, Theo. Her hobbies are spending time with family and friends, going to the beach, walking, bike riding, and reading.