Gov. DeSantis announces program to recruit veterans for teaching roles in Florida Panhandle

DeSantis announced program at Fort Walton Beach High School

Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference in Fort Walton Beach on Tuesday morning. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a new program to recruit veterans for teaching positions at schools in Florida’s Panhandle.

“Today, I’m directing Commissioner Diaz and Florida (Department of Education) to create a first-of-its-kind purple star school teacher leadership program,” the governor said.

The governor was joined by Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. and Okaloosa County Schools Superintendent Marcus Chambers for the announcement at Walton Beach High School.

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A purple star school is a school recognized in the state for going “above and beyond to help children of military families to succeed.”

“The department will work with the purple star schools in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Escambia and Walton counties to set up their own teacher certification and professional development programs,” DeSantis said. “Each school will recruit veterans to take part in the program as they work toward their teaching certificate, with each one given a mentor teacher. They will also recruit veterans to help provide professional development with a focus on the needs of military families.”

The governor also said he is still working with the legislature to determine when there will be a special legislative session, adding that there may be multiple sessions.

“We’re working on the dates in December, we’re going to be tackling a number of different issues there which will be important. We may even end up doing one or two in January, February, potentially,” he said.

The governor previously said he would have a special session to address the state’s property insurance crisis. It is not clear yet what the other special sessions would address.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.