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  Mission Statement  

F.M. Golson Elementary:  Building Foundations for Academic Success

  About The School  

About F.M. Golson Elementary

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Situated north of Second Avenue and east of Carter’s Mill Road on seventeen acres in Marianna, Golson Elementary encompasses an area of 99,740 square feet for grades Pre-Kindergarten through Second. 

Purchased from the Frank Daffin estate in 1949, Golson was the first elementary school built in Marianna. Originally called Marianna Elementary School, it included Grades 1 and 2 in the east wing. Approximately 250-300 children attended the school under the principalship of Frances H. MacKinnon, who served during the years 1950-1966. As additional buildings were established, Grades 3, 4, and 5 were enrolled in the school. The school was later named Frank M. Golson, in tribute to Frank M. Golson, who was an outstanding educator and school board member.

In 1978, under the leadership of Principal Robert C. Daniels who served 1966-1979, the school plant was renovated and enlarged with the addition of two kindergarten classrooms and a new media center. Ruben B. Gibson, Jr. was appointed Principal in 1979 and served until 1986. In 1981 the two elementary schools in Marianna, Riverside Elementary School and F. M. Golson Elementary School, were paired, thus making this site the K-2 Center and Riverside Elementary the 3-5 Center. This reorganization brought about many exciting changes in both the curriculum and the general atmosphere of the school.

Virginia D. Braxton was appointed Principal in 1986 and served until 1998. By the spring of 1988 construction began on 10 kindergarten rooms, a guidance suite and an ESE classroom; which added much needed space for the growing number of students and programs. In 1989 Pre-Kindergarten classes were added to the school’s configuration making Golson a Pre-K through 2nd grade school, one of the few primary centers operating in the state of Florida. Additional construction in 1994, led to a health room, two ESE classrooms, and a music room.

Sarieta M. Russ was appointed Principal in 1998. Under her leadership, the school plant was again renovated and enlarged with the addition of two new buildings. These two buildings added 11 classrooms, which enabled portables to be moved from the campus and students to be placed into these new permanent buildings. 

Beth A. Westmoreland was appointed in 2001. During the 2001-2002 school year, all buildings were wired for internet and network access. In 2004, construction began on a new cafeteria for our growing student population. Plans were put in place for the old cafeteria to be converted into a large multipurpose room. Due to new construction, the bus loading area was relocated to the west end of campus where they added a covered sidewalk and fencing. A cover was added over the car loading zone and additional fencing was added throughout campus for the safety of the children. 

Lee W. Miller became Principal of F. M. Golson in 2005. He served as Principal until 2008, when he won his election bid for Superintendent of Schools for the Jackson County School District. When he moved to the county office, he appointed Mary Sue Neves to finish the 2008-2009 school year as Principal of Golson. 

The following year, Don Wilson was appointed Principal. He served for two school years and then moved to the district office, as well.  

Diane Long was the Principal of Golson and later returned to Cottondale Elementary, where she retired after receiving the Jackson County Outstanding Administrator award.

Jennifer Hawthorne served as Principal following Mrs. Long.

The current Principal of Golson is  Amy Allen. She was the Assistant Principal at Marianna Middle School prior to coming to Golson.  Mrs. Allen is an award winning band director and also started her teaching career at Golson. We are delighted to have her here!