The Niceville High School robotics team competed at the FIRST Rocket Center Regional in Huntsville, Alabama, early in March, when the team competed with and against 43 other high school teams.

Some teams came from Michigan, Texas and even Brazil.

Coach Ben Shuman said the NHS team ranked first after its first qualifying match, and it went undefeated until the end of the first day of qualifiers.

Because of its success the first day, the team made it to the semifinals on the second day of the event.

“As fate would have it, in the finals we faced the No. 2 team that had given us our only loss in the qualifiers,” Shuman said. “We won the first best of three; lost the second; regrouped and dominated the tiebreaker and won the tournament.

“This is the first regional championship our team has earned and as far as I know the first for any school in North Florida,” Shuman continued. “Next stop is Houston in April, where we will go against 400 of the best teams from around the world.”

FIRST, founded in 1989, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designed to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology, and to motivate them to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields. For information, visit


The Paxton School track and field team, as well as coaches Laurie Gilbert and Maryllyn Zessin, honored its seniors with a gathering of family members, friends, educators and track and field fans. Congratulations and best wishes to seniors Shaleigh Geoghagan, Savannah Burke, Kenna Jordan, Bryson Kimmons, Hailey Myddelton and Macon Roberts.


Cox Communications has announced that its employees will award nearly $56,000 to public and private schools in its Southeast region through the Cox Charities Innovation in Education grants.

Grant applications are available to teachers of grades pre-kindergarten through 12 with an April 9 deadline.

For information, visit

Applicants will be notified of their funding status before the close of the 2017-2018 school year. Grant recipients will receive payments at the start of the 2018-2019 school year. 

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