Women's Hall of Fame 2013

Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women

Women's Hall of Fame 2013

Patricia Payne & her sister Cheri

OCCSW Historian Jeanne Rief

Sam Seevers

Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women

2013 Honorees

Mary Burnette – Education Award
Rogene Anchors Hasty – Pioneer Award
Sarah “Sam” Seevers – Contemporary Award

Mary Burnette – Education Award

Mary E. Burnette was recruited after her 1951 graduation from Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University as the first female African-American teacher in Okaloosa County, where she oversaw the start-up of the county’s segregated schools. She later led the fight for school integration, and became one of the first African-American teachers in the formerly all-white public schools. She lobbied for a local Head Start Program in 1967, and directed it for 22 years. She also provided property for the Burnette-Harmon-Wood community center that now operates within the Sylvania Heights Front Porch community. Pioneer, educator and activist, Mrs. Burnette truly made a positive impact on our community.

Rogene Anchhors Hasty – Pioneer Award

Fourth generation Okaloosa native, Rogene Anchors Hasty exemplifies community service. Whether welcoming new residents and merchants as Crestview’s first Newcomer Greeting Hostess or working with local business and civic leaders as the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Rogene has been committed to promoting growth and opportunity. Hasty increased Chamber memberships from fifty to over three hundred, coordinated events, such as the annual Christmas Bazaar, and was appointed by Govenor Bob Graham and former Okaloosa-Walton Junior College President J.E. McCracken to special education committees.

Sarah “Sam” Seevers – Contemporary Award

Sarah “Sam” Seevers is a long-time resident of Destin and highly active community leader. Since 2002, she has served as a Destin City Council member and in 2010 was elected the first female Mayor of Destin. She has also served as President of the Northwest Florida League of Cities. Sam is currently the President of the Okaloosa County League of Cities. She has received the “Destin Council Member of the Year” award, the “Ann Gibson Community Service Award,” and the Destin Area Chamber “Volunteer of the Year” award. Sam volunteers her heart timelessly for positive, beneficial results wherever life and circumstances lead her.