Gulf Coast State College will honor two of its finest graduates at the Fourth Annual Distinguished & Rising Star Alumni Awards event, to be held April 11. The celebration includes a reception, dinner, silent auction and program showcasing these outstanding alumni who began their education at GCSC.
The 2013 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year is Bill Husfelt, Superintendent of Bay District Schools. Husfelt earned his Associate in Arts degree from GCSC in 1978 before earning bachelor's and master's degrees from Florida State University. During Husfelt's educational career, he was a teacher at Rosenwald Jr. High School and principal at Mosley High School, Bay County's first "A" high school. He was elected superintendent in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. Husfelt implemented Bay High School's Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), Mosley Advanced Placement Program for Success (MAPPS) and other successful programs and advancements to education in Bay County.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Husfelt has contributed much to the community through Hiland Park Baptist Church, Panhandle Educators Federal Credit Union, Governor's FHSAA Recruiting Task Force, Teen Court of Bay County, the GCSC Career & Technical Education Task Force and more. Husfelt's wife and three daughters are also Gulf Coast alumni.
Panama City native Morgan Burleson is the 2013 Rising Star Alumnus of the Year. The 2003 Magna Cum Laude graduate is now the project administrator for the Homeless and Hunger Coalition of Northwest Florida. After earning her Associate in Arts degree at GCSC, Burleson continued to Florida State University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communications in 2005 and then spent three years as the marketing coordinator of F&H Solutions Group, LLC, in Atlanta.
Returning to Bay County in 2008 allowed Burleson to focus on her interest in non-profit community-focused organizations. She was the business and church relationship manager for the Panama City Rescue Mission before moving to her current position. Community work is part of Burleson's off time too, and she volunteers her time and skills to the Emerald Coast Business Women's Association, Panama City Rescue Mission, Bethel Village, Office of the Public Garden and more.
The silent auction and a reception for the honorees begin at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at Capt. Anderson's Restaurant, Panama City Beach, followed by dinner at 6 p.m. The 2012 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, Maria Baugh, will be the guest speaker. Baugh, a 1983 graduate of GCSC, is managing editor of Food Network Magazine and co-owner of Butter Lane Cupcakes in New York.
Reservations for the Alumni Awards Dinner are required by April 8. Please contact Loel Davenport at (850) 873-3583 or firstname.lastname@example.org .