Women's Hall of Fame 2016

Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women

Hall of Fame 2016 Honorees

2016 Hall of Fame Honorees Dr. Alexis Tibbetts, Linda Evanchyk, Almut Flentge-Parker, Shirley Pigott, Mary Lou Reed, and Elaine Tucker

HOF Alumni in attendance

Past Honorees along with their 2016 Inductees

Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women

 

2016 Honorees:

Linda Evanchyk- Education Award

Almut Flentge-Parker – Carolyn Spencer Humanitarian Award

Shirley Piggott – Military Award

Mary Lou Reed – Pioneer Award

Alexis Tibbetts – Contemporary Award

Elaine Tucker – Mattie Kelly Cultural Award

 

 

Linda Evanchyk – Education Award

The 2016-2017 school year will be Linda Evanchyk’s 38th year as a high school teacher- with 33 years teaching in Okaloosa County at Choctawhatchee High School. Linda was educated in Okaloosa County. A 1974 graduate of Choctaw High School. She earned degrees from Okaloosa Walton Junior College (NW FL State College now) and the University of West Florida. In 1984, she returned to Okaloosa County taking the position as an English and journalism teacher.

Evanchyk believes the students should use their talents for good in the community. Since 1989 they have had a mentoring program with local elementary students as a way to promote literacy with the younger students.

The newspapers caught the eye of then-Okaloosa Supervisor of Elections Pat Hollarn, and Evanchyk and her staff were “hired” to create a tab issue for the Kids Vote, Too! Program.  The students created a cartoon character named Will U. Vote to use in the tab. It was such a hit that the character and some of the activities the Choctaw students created were distributed to election offices in the other Florida counties.  Evanchyk organized Choctaw High School’s 50th and 60th anniversary celebrations (2002 and 2012). This past year she was on the Okaloosa County Commission’s Centennial celebration committee and organized events for the Okaloosa County School District’s 100th anniversary celebration, including designing the logo the school district used.

 

Almut Flentge-Parker – Carolyn Spencer Humanitarian Award

Since 1970, Almut Flentge-Parker has contributed immensely to the local area through her selfless community involvement, humanitarian services and acts of kindness for over 45 years.  Almut is instrumental in the success of the Animal Protection League (APL), a non-profit organization whose primary focus is to help people sterilize and care for their pets and pay veterinarian bills.  Under her leadership as board chairman and president, APL has collected and disbursed over $1 million for this worthy effort. She remains very active on the Board of Directors for APL and also serves on the Board of Directors for Panhandle Animal Welfare Society. Almut routinely works 60 hours each week obtaining grants, writing proposals, handling veterinarian clinic billing, and keeping a close eye on APL’s tax status.

Almut has been called “a woman with a creative brain and a caring heart!”  She has mentored and tutored students in German, and sponsored exchange students. She nurtures the elderly by taking residents grocery shopping each week.  She spends hours caring for abandoned animals at PAWS while personally feeding feral cats throughout the local area.  If Almut’s schedule wasn’t busy enough, she has room for more!   Almut has a caring heart for this town and for the elderly in our local community.   She nurtures the elderly by taking two residents grocery shopping each week.  This selfless act is just her way of giving back to folks who have helped her along the way.

 

Shirley Pigott Image

Shirley Piggott – Military Award

Shirley Piggott is a Tireless advocate, holding leadership positions in the Eglin Chapter Air Force Association, Eglin Air Force Association Education and Scholarship Foundations, Emerald Coast Military Affairs Council, Veterans Memorial Board and Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, Inc. as well as membership in various Chambers of Commerce, Military Affairs Councils, Advisory Boards and church affiliations.

A public affairs specialist, with more than 31 years of civil service working for the military, she serves as secretary for the Air Force Association’s Eglin Chapter, their Education and Scholarship Foundations, is Director of Administration for the Emerald Coast MAC, Fisher House Secretary and Past President, member of four chambers and is active with her church, volunteering over 3,000 cumulative hours annually, helping raise nearly $500,000 for high school scholarships.

In 2008 – Okaloosa County Board of Commissioners proclaimed that the 5th Day of August, 2008 was “Shirley J. Piggott Day.”.

Mary Lou Reed – Pioneer Award

Mary Lou Reed has devoted herself to helping people who are seeking a better life.    As the founding director of the Workforce Development Board of Okaloosa and Walton Counties, Reed used her training and expertise to develop programs that help people – particularly women – successfully navigate the transition from receiving public assistance to finding employment. Her leadership and innovation have made Okaloosa County a model in the state and the nation for programs that produce measurable results. At the same time, her volunteer leadership efforts with programs designed to help homeless women and children have helped to provide safe shelter for the most vulnerable members of our community.

As the director of the Workforce Development Board for 28 years, Reed built relationships and forged partnerships with organizations and employers across Northwest Florida to create innovative programs to help women, youth, and other vulnerable populations improve their job skills and increase their options for employment. This includes partnering with the Okaloosa County School District to create the CHOICE Career Education Program.

Alexis Tibbetts – Contemporary Award

Dr. Alexis Tibbetts is well known as a local educator, having served in many capacities, from classroom teacher to Superintendent of Schools. In addition to her passion for all students to achieve to their individual potential, Alexis has a burning commitment to all things science.  More than 25 years ago, her enthusiasm was the driving force behind the Junior League investigating, funding and manning the FOCUS Center (Families of Okaloosa Understanding Science), now the Emerald Coast Science Center.

Dr. Tibbetts was instrumental in the opening of the STEMM Center. She recognized early on the plight of our country, from both defense and economic standpoints, in falling behind in all STEMM-related fields.   The STEMM Center is for select sixth, seventh and eighth graders who show a high aptitude for math and science.  This school has had the highest grades in math and science in Florida, making it the top ranked middle school in the state. Before the first student was selected, Dr. Tibbetts made sure girls were encouraged to apply. The school has consistently had almost 40% female students enrolled.

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Elaine Tucker – Mattie Kelly Cultural Award

Elaine currently serves as Director of Events and Operations- Sinfonia Gulf Coast, a nonprofit orchestra entering its eleventh season of innovative musical programming, designed to entertain, educate and inspire Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast community.  Sinfonia Gulf Coast has presented more than 450 concerts and events, has collaborated with numerous nonprofits and businesses throughout the community reaching more than 90,000 children through its Sinfonia Guest Artists in the Schools program/music education outreach initiatives in both Okaloosa and Walton counties. More than 1,000 families have benefited from Sinfonia’s Students4FREE program, which provides complimentary tickets to live orchestral performances and musical events. Sinfonia also supports a sixty-member youth orchestra program, maintains a partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute of Music with the LINK UP program for third through fifths graders, and continues its partnership with Sacred Heart Hospital along the Emerald Coast in their Arts in Medicine program.

Elaine has contributed to our community in many, many ways. As a commissioner of both the town of Shalimar and Okaloosa County, she worked to better our everyday lives through countless projects and community goals.