Camelot Leader Recently Recognized as “Rising Star” by Pensacola Magazine
Christopher Wooten, Director of Operations at Camelot Academy of Escambia in Pensacola, Florida, has been recognized by Pensacola’s Inweekly magazine as a “Rising Star” in 2020. The selection speaks to Mr. Wooten’s commitment to Camelot students and to his adopted city of Pensacola.
Inweekly created the “Rising Stars” initiative, “…to help the greater Pensacola community put faces to the names of young professionals seen by their peers, clients and bosses as up and coming leaders in their fields and the community.”
Like so many Camelot Education staff members, Wooten is committed to community service, Camelot students, and community leadership. For him, that means working as a Camelot Director of Operations and as the Founder of the nonprofit he started, Thoroughly Immersed Incorporated.
Thoroughly Immersed provides educational supplies to ease burdens and eliminate barriers for educators and students.
“As an administrator, I’ve witnessed teachers send home school supply lists and those students come back to school empty-handed day after day,” said Christopher. “I’ve watched those same teachers reach into their own pockets and spend their own money to purchase the essentials for their student’s success. That is one of the main things that motivated me to start Thoroughly Immersed. We want to ease that burden.”
Thoroughly Immersed helps provide teachers with a wide variety of needed supplies. This includes items such as hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, composition notebooks, and headphones for Chromebooks. The nonprofit also provides a significant amount of book bags, binders, folders, dry erase markers, and glue sticks for the elementary schools.
Thoroughly Immersed has adopted two schools, held several fundraisers, and launched successful initiatives in just one year of operation.
The organization’s Tools for Teachers initiative has helped teachers across the region, like elementary school teacher Ms. Jennifer Mayhair from Bagdad Elementary in Santa Rosa County, who expressed her heartfelt gratitude to Chris. “I just want to thank Chris and all his good people that have sponsored students, believed in schools, and have generously given to my classroom. It just means so much to have so many people who are champions for education.”
Christopher is not the first Camelot staff member recognized as a “Rising Star” in the region. Last year, Executive Director Andrew Maxwell won the recognition for his work in service of Camelot students and the Pensacola community for starting the Lamplighter Program in 2018.
Christopher moved to Pensacola to work for Camelot at Andrew’s urging. The two are fraternity brothers and close friends. Christopher knew he wanted to work at Camelot after discovering the sense of belonging that exists there and the tight-knit community environment at the school. Every day, he has the opportunity to serve students who need his time, attention, and support.
Camelot Education partners with Escambia County School District to provide two distinct programs for vulnerable students. Camelot Academy of Escambia County serves middle and high school students who were removed from their home campus due to disciplinary violations or truancy. The goal of the program is to transition students back to their home school with the ability to tackle challenges positively and be academically successful.
KAPS Academy of Escambia County serves K-5th graders who are beginning to express disruptive behaviors in the classroom or need social-emotional support and coaching. KAPS Academy excels at providing behavioral, academic, and therapeutic assistance to young students in a supportive, safe environment – helping them correct their academic trajectory early in their education and minimize future hardships.
Working with students is personal for Christopher, who says that he was a troubled, vulnerable kid growing up. “I love being able to look kids in the face and tell them that they can break the cycle; they can break out of it.”
Christopher has been working with vulnerable youth and young professionals his entire career. He holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and previously worked as an educational advocate in New Orleans, focusing on uplifting exceptional student education and students with prescribed Individual Education Programs.
Thoroughly Immersed is approaching its one-year anniversary. Wooten envisions expanding the foundation’s events and activities to encourage and motivate teachers. This includes creating a Teacher of the Year award for elementary, middle, and high school teachers, as well as do more to give back to the community.
Christopher, who originally grew up in Cleveland, Ohio is honored by the “Rising Star” recognition and feels that “this accomplishment was especially significant because I am not from Pensacola. That is what made the award and acknowledgment that much sweeter.”
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