PACE — Sims Middle School held its first annual Amazing Shake event this month with the winner announced April 18 at a dinner held at Jackson's Steakhouse in Pensacola. The winner of the month-long event was Meghan Winterberry.  

The top three students in the event were Winterberry as well as Ainsley Parnell and Emma Tetreault.

The Amazing Shake is a nationally recognized event designed to teach students interpersonal skills in business, such as giving a firm handshake, acting with self-confidence, beginning an engaging conversation, showing adaptability and having a professional appearance. Currently Sims Middle School is the only middle school in Santa Rosa County involved in this event. Participants were taught these skills in school and then put to the test in four rounds. The top finishers in each round were awarded with a cash prize sponsored by Mitchles and Booth Law Firm and would advance to the next round.   

The initial event took place April 6 at Sims Middle School. From there, the top 10 students went to the Michles and Booth lawfirm in Pensacola where a panel of attorneys interviewed them and asked job-interview questions. The top five students moved on to Naval Air Station Whiting Field where they mingled with the officers who evaluated how the participants were able to smoothly begin, engage in, and end conversations. The officers then announced the top three contestants culminating in the final round at Jackson's.  

“This has been a great competition," Sims guidance counselor William Taylor said. "The kids have really bought in. They have enjoyed every minute.” 

Stiudents interested in next year's Amazing Shake should sing up as soon as the information goes to the Beta club. 

“We are going to open it up further next year further next year to even more students and we just want them to not be intimidated by the fact that are getting to learn these skills.” Taylor said.  “It’s just going to be a fun environment and I truly believe every student we have would truly enjoy this experience.”  

Sims history teacher, Ashley Carter oversaw planning of the event. Carter said she wants to find sponsors for future events.

“I would love to have more students participate in the future," Carter said. "Our goal is to have a group of students travel to Atlanta to participate in nationals.”  

Principal Emily Donaldson said she was excited for the experience and the opportunity to watch children grow.  

Guest Judges for the event were Superintendent of Santa Rosa Schools Tim Wyrosdick, Milton City Councilwomen Peggi Smith and Sharon Holley, County Commissioner Sam Parker, State Representative Jayer Williamson, Baptist Healthcare CEO Mark Faulkner, Lakeview Center President and CEO Allison Hill, Pensacola State College President Ed Meadows; BAE Systems Head of Recruiting Command Sergeant Major Christopher Luchsinger and Gulf Power CFO Robin Boren.

Students of round two included McKenzie Baker, Jenna Birch, Brent Bradley, Bria Goad, Ainsley Joslyn, Ainsley Parnell, Grace McNally, Anna Morgan, Emma Tetreault, Kathryn Turner, Blakely Tyer, Jack Tyner, Megan Winterberry

Students of round three included: Jack Tyner, Jenna Birch, Megan Winterberry, Ainsley Parnell, Emma Tetreault