New Destin Middle School principal to be named at school board meeting Monday

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Destin Middle School will have a new person at the helm starting next school year. 

Grant Meyer, who served as principal for the past five years, has taken the position of Director 1 Operational Services at the Okaloosa County School District Office. 

“Although I will miss my work with our Marlin family, I look forward to the challenges this new position has to offer,” Meyer said in a post on the Destin Middle School Facebook Page. 

Grant Meyer, who served as principal of Destin Middle School for five years, has taken a position with the Okaloosa County School District Office. His successor is expected to be named at Monday's School Board meeting.

Meyer was the school's eighth principal in its 24-year history. 

Others who led the Destin Marlins from the front office were Fran Gerstman, Ann Killets, Alexis Tibbetts, Tommy Britt, Sherri Houpe, Diane Kelley and Charlie Marello. 

The interviewing process for a new principal has been underway this week, with a recommendation coming forth on Monday, June 28, at the Okaloosa County School Board meeting. 

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“We have had substantial interest in the position,” said Lee Hale, assistant superintendent for human resources at the district office. 

Interviews of prospective applicants began Tuesday. 

When asked how many people applied for the position, Hale said, “We have more than we typically have. The pool of candidates is exciting,” he said. 

District 2 School Board Member Marti Gardner, who represents the schools in Destin, was not surprised at the good turnout of candidates for the Destin Middle position. 

Grant Meyer, who served as principal for five years at Destin Middle School, speaks to the fourth-grade class at Destin Elementary during their recent graduation. It was one of Meyer's last events for 2020-2021.

“Why wouldn’t you want to come to Destin? I wouldn’t expect anything less for Destin,” Gardner said.  

Gardner said the Destin community and businesses are very supportive of the schools in the area.

“It’s truly a partnership,” she said. “The new principal will be fortunate to be at Destin. I’m excited.”

Hale said he felt “confident” they will have a great recommendation to bring forth to the board at Monday’s meeting. 

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Destin Middle School opened its doors in 1997 with 27 teachers and 507 students in grades sixth through eighth. 

Today, it houses grades fifth through eighth and has about 760 students and 40 teachers. 

Eight principals in 24 years, soon to be nine, sounds like a lot to some. However, Gardner pointed out that some of the principals moved away, retired or moved up. 

“We’ve had outstanding people that have decided to advance their careers,” she said. 

Either way, Gardner said the new principal of Destin Middle will be “very blessed to be in Destin … the community rolls out the red carpet.”