Meet Our Teachers
7th Grade - Terah DeFore
Returning for her fifth year at Gulf Pointe Latin School, Mrs. Murray has an extensive history of successful teaching with a specialty in mathematics. She graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Mrs. Murray is formally trained in working with gifted and talented children and has taught many Honors courses in mathematics. She has served as Department Chairperson, Curriculum Development & Alignment Specialist. Mrs. Murray has two sons ages 17 and 15.  Both attend Fort Walton Beach High School. Last Spring, Mrs. Murray's class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

We are pleased to welcome Mrs. DeFore back for her third year at Gulf Pointe Latin School. In addition to teaching seventh grade, Mrs. DeFore will also instruct the GPLS Art Club. Mrs. DeFore received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia and managed a successful career with a mid-west commercial design firm for 14 years. She and her husband Kory, have been married for 16 years. Kory served for 10 years in the US Navy and is currently a simulator instructor at Eglin AFB. Both of Mrs. DeFore's children attend Gulf Pointe Latin School. Last spring, Mrs. DeFore's class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

6th Grade - Sheila Murray
Returning for her fifth year at Gulf Pointe Latin School, Mrs. Murray has an extensive history of successful teaching with a specialty in mathematics. She graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Mrs. Murray is formally trained in working with gifted and talented children and has taught many Honors courses in mathematics. She has served as Department Chairperson, Curriculum Development & Alignment Specialist. Mrs. Murray has two sons ages 17 and 15.  Both attend Fort Walton Beach High School. Last Spring, Mrs. Murray's class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

Returning for her sixth year at Gulf Pointe Latin School, Mrs. Murray has an extensive history of successful teaching with a specialty in mathematics. She graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Mrs. Murray is formally trained in working with gifted and talented children and has taught many Honors courses in mathematics. She has served as Department Chairperson, Curriculum Development & Alignment Specialist. Mrs. Murray has an 18 year old son who attends the University of Colorado at Boulder and a 16 year old son who attends Fort Walton Beach High School. Last Spring, Mrs. Murray's class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

5th Grade & Dean of Students - Claire Haas

Returning for her third year at Gulf Pointe Latin School, Mrs. Claire Haas continues as a 5th grade teacher and resumes her role as Dean of Students. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Communications and Philosophy. She also holds a Master's degree in Education-Curriculum and Instruction from Belmont University. Mrs. Haas has been in the education field for over 20 years as a teacher, mentor, athletic coach and administrator. Mrs. Haas has taught in private and parochial schools in Tennessee and Maryland, as well as worked in charter and public schools. Last Spring, Mrs. Haas’s class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

Returning for her fifth year at Gulf Pointe Latin School, Mrs. Murray has an extensive history of successful teaching with a specialty in mathematics. She graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Mrs. Murray is formally trained in working with gifted and talented children and has taught many Honors courses in mathematics. She has served as Department Chairperson, Curriculum Development & Alignment Specialist. Mrs. Murray has two sons ages 17 and 15.  Both attend Fort Walton Beach High School. Last Spring, Mrs. Murray's class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

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are very excited to have Mrs. Claire Haas join the Gulf Pointe Academy teaching staff and take the reins of our inaugural 5th grade class. Mrs. Haas received her Bachelors of Science degree in Broadcast Communications and Philosophy. She also holds a Master's degree in Education-Curriculum and Instruction from Belmont University. Mrs. Haas has been in the education field for 19 years as a teacher, mentor, manager and coach. Mrs. Haas has taught in private and parochial schools in Tennessee and Maryland, as well as worked in charter and public schools. Mrs. Haas recently relocated from Baltimore and now lives in Gulf Breeze with her husband and two 
5th Grade - Leah Hooks
We are excited to welcome back Ms. Hooks in her fourth year of teaching at Gulf Pointe Latin School. After two years teaching 1st grade, Ms. Hooks is looking forward to begin her first year teaching 5th grade. Ms. Hooks graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She is a gifted artist and co-leads the GPLS art program. Ms. Hooks has one brother, and loves being an aunt to her two year old nephew. Last Spring, Ms. Hooks’ class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
4th Grade - Susie Howell
We are pleased to welcome Mrs. Howell back for her fourth year of teaching at Gulf Pointe Latin School. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado, Mrs. Howell served as a Director of Wellness in the health care industry. Before coming to Gulf Pointe, she was a patient care coordinator at Andrews Institute. In addition to co-founding Live Oak Church with her husband Pat, Mrs. Howell spent over 20 years in children's ministry and has extensive experience developing and teaching Sunday school, discipleship courses, and Bible study groups. Mrs. Howell and her husband have one married son serving in the Air Force, a son attending Mississippi State University, and a 13 year old daughter. Last Spring, Mrs. Howell's class finished the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in the top 1% of the country..
4th Grade - Toni Hall

We are excited to welcome Mrs. Hall back for her third year at Gulf Pointe Latin School. Mrs. Hall will once again lead our 4th grade students. Mrs. Hall received her Bachelor of Science degree from Valdosta State College and taught for several years in a private school. Mrs. Hall has a classical teaching background prior to GPLS through her teaching history with the local Classical Conversations program. Mrs. Hall and her husband have been married for 25 years and have two children, ages 23 and 16. After traveling for many years with the military, the Halls are happy to make their permanent home in Navarre. Last Spring. Mrs. Hall’s class finished in the top 1%of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

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3rd Grade - Stephanie Bowman (Master Teacher, Training Specialist)
Returning for her sixth year, Mrs. Bowman will lead our third grade class and continue as our training teacher in charge of training a new teacher for next year. After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in biology, Mrs. Bowman began her career in the field of Cytology at Wilford Hall Medical Center. Mrs. Bowman has been married for 16 years to her husband who recently retired from active duty service in the Air Force at Hurlburt Field. She and her husband have three children who are 14, 11, and 10 years old. Mrs. Bowman has two children who attend GPLS. Last Spring, Mrs. Bowman's class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

3rd Grade - Brandy Lockhart
We are excited to announce that Mrs. Lockhart has joined GPLS as the 3rd grade assistant teacher. Mrs. Lockhart graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in BioMedical Science from the University of West Florida, and is completing her graduate studies in Public Health Administration. Mrs. Lockhart previously taught in a university lab setting and has extensive research experience, most notably with her 2nd and 3rd authorship in Alzheimer’s research and classification of a new shark species. Mrs. Lockhart served in the USAF for 11 years and holds a number of medals and awards for her work with the community and within her career field. Mrs. Lockhart has been married to her husband for 10 years, who is stationed at Hurlburt Field. The Lockhart’s have three children and their two youngest attend GPLS.
2nd Grade - Michelle Collins
We are pleased to welcome back Michelle Collins for her sixth year as a GPLS second grade teacher. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a Master’s degree in Administration, she spent ten years in finance, banking and corporate trust administration. Mrs. Collins returned to school and earned her second Master’s degree in Education. She has a passion for children’s classical literature and fondly reminisces about her own high school days when she studied Latin. Mrs. Collins has been married to her husband for 31 years and they have two children. Her husband is an attorney and has served in the US Army Reserves for 35 years. Last Spring, Mrs. Collins’s GPLS class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
2nd Grade - Sara Rice
We are pleased to welcome back Ms. Rice for her seventh year at Gulf Pointe Latin School. Ms. Rice has a very strong track record in private elementary education, consistently producing students who are better prepared and more successful than their counterparts. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, during which time she also studied European civilization and French in Limoges, France. Ms. Rice has taught for 21 years in many capacities, including teaching Thai children at the International Community School in Bangkok, inner-city public schools, and private Christian classrooms. Last Spring, Ms. Rice's class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
2nd Grade - Susie Frew
We are pleased to welcome Mrs. Frew to her first year at Gulf Pointe Latin School. Mrs. Frew graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a Bachelor of Science degree in Tourism, Food, and Lodging and a minor in Business Administration. Mrs. Frew then continued here education and received her state of Florida teaching certificate. She has taught both third and fourth grades for seven years. Most recently, Mrs. Frew served as the Children’s Director of Christian Education at Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church. She lives in Gulf Breeze with her husband John and their two dogs. Their adult son, Colin, lives in Chicago.
1st Grade - Julie Kneen
Returning for her fifth year, we are pleased to welcome back Mrs. Kneen as a first grade teacher. Mrs. Kneen began her undergraduate work at California State, Fullerton, where she met her air force husband and lived several years abroad in Germany. Mrs. Kneen continued her education at Azusa Pacific and Wayland Baptist University. Prior to joining GPLS, she taught internationally through the Department of Defense and then taught 1st - 6th grades for ten years at an area private school. Mrs. Kneen also served as a Religious Education Teacher for 11 years. She and her husband have been married 24 years and have four children. Last Spring, Mrs. Kneen's class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
1st Grade - Mandy McDiarmid
We are excited to welcome Mrs. McDiarmid back for her third year at Gulf Pointe Latin School. She was Gulf Pointe’s first teacher leading our inaugural 2011 kindergarten class, now our 7th graders. Mrs. McDiarmid and her husband, Derek, have two sons who attend GPLS. After graduating from the University of West Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Mrs. McDiarmid went on to complete the Graduate Entrepreneurial Certificate Program at University of West Florida. Last Spring, Mrs. McDiarmid’s class finished in the top 1%of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
Kindergarten - Heather Bergman
We are pleased to welcome back Mrs. Bergman for her fifth year as a Gulf Pointe Latin School teacher.  Mrs. Bergman graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence and nominated for the National Dean’s List. Mrs. Bergman has international teaching experience in Baumholder, Germany and also taught elementary school in Minnesota. Mrs. Bergman is married and has two children who attend GPLS.  Her husband is a systems engineer at Hurlburt Field and a communications officer in the Air National Guard. Last Spring, Mrs. Bergman's class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
Kindergarten - Sarah Draughon
We are pleased to welcome Mrs. Draughon to Gulf Pointe Latin School. Mrs. Draughon graduated from Ashford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education.  Mrs. Draughon was named to the Dean’s list all four years of her college enrollment.  She did her student teaching in Southern California and later home schooled her two oldest children using a classical curriculum. In addition, Mrs. Draughon served as an English teacher to children in China.  Mrs. Draughon and her husband have been married for 9 years and are the parents of three children, ages 8, 5, and 3, who attend GPLS.  Mrs. Draughon’s husband currently serves in the United States Air Force and is stationed at Hurlburt Field.
Pre-kindergarten Teacher - Laurie Matthews
We are excited to have Laurie Matthews back for her sixth year as our lead pre-kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Matthews is a specialist in early childhood education and brings many years of experience in teaching at a private preschool. Prior to joining GPLS, she spent 10 years as a lead preschool teacher of the four year old program at Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool in Gulf Breeze. Mrs. Matthews has been married for 23 years. She and her husband have made Navarre their home and are raising their children here. They have a son who is a junior in college, another son who is a recent graduate of Navarre High School, and a daughter in 7th grade at GPLS.
Pre-kindergarten Teacher - Stephanie Howell

We are excited to welcome Mrs. Stephanie Howell back for her second year as a lead pre-kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Howell has 12 years of experience teaching preschool children. Prior to GPLS, she was a music teacher for three years and then served as lead preschool teacher for seven years at First United Methodist Preschool in Fort Walton Beach. Mrs. Howell lives with her husband of 19 years and has three grown children.

Preschool Teacher - Becky Aldrich
We are pleased to welcome Mrs. Aldrich back for her second year at Gulf Pointe Latin School. Mrs. Aldrich has over 20 years experience teaching preschool aged children. Prior to GPLS, Mrs. Aldrich served for 11 years as a preschool teacher at Navarre United Methodist Church Preschool. She and her husband of 30 years live in Navarre and are parents to five grown children and grandparents to one granddaughter.
Preschool Teacher - Samantha Finney

We are pleased to welcome Mrs. Finney to the Gulf Pointe Latin School. Mrs. Finney received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and her Master of Education degree in Early Childhood Education, combined with a Reading Specialist Certification from Northern Arizona University. She began her teaching career in Arizona and has served as a substitute teacher at GPLS for two years. She has been married 14 years to her husband Zach, who is based at Hurlburt Field. They have three children who attend GPLS..

Piano Teacher - Tianna Rogers
We are delighted to welcome back Ms. Rogers for her third year as our full-time piano and group theory music instructor. Ms. Rogers teaches private piano instruction, preschool choir, and develops new music performance programs at GPLS. She is an accomplished musician with a Masters of Music Degree in Piano Performance from University of Southern Mississippi. Ms. Rogers completed her undergraduate work at Belhaven University; earning two degrees - a Bachelor of Arts in Music in Collaborative Piano with a Piano Pedagogy Emphasis and a Bachelor of Arts in History. Ms. Rogers is the oldest of five children and her family lives in the Dallas, TX area.
Choir Director & Piano Teacher - Gran Jer
Returning for her sixth year as GPLS Choir Director, Mrs. Gran Jer is an accomplished pianist and choir instructor who brings a wealth of classical chorus knowledge and experience to the school. Mrs. Gran Jer graduated with honors from DePauw University, where she developed a passion for classical education and history while studying abroad. She then launched her very successful career as Republican Staff Director at the Indiana State House. Mrs. Gran Jer is married to Big Geo, lives part-time in Italy, and enjoys spending time with her six grandchildren.
GPLS Board Members:

President & Director of Operations - Dianne J. Hamer (Mayer)
Vice President - Robert S. Hamer
Treasurer - O. Andrew Covington
Secretary - Sheila S. Murray