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Janet Stein

Janet Stein has lived in Point Washington for 40 years with her husband Tom. She has three children and four grandchildren. Janet received her bachelor’s degree at Mills College, California in Dance and Psychology, her master’s degree from Florida State University in Special Education and she continued at the University of West Florida studying Curriculum and Instruction for her Specialist Degree. Janet taught grades k-6 for 15 years at Bay, Butler Elementary and was the lead teacher at The Seaside Neighborhood School. She also taught 5th grade History/Language Arts at Bluewater Elementary for five years. During her years in the classroom, she received the district and county SED Above and Beyond award, Teacher of the Year and Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching.  At Bay Elementary she presented a classroom town project to the Florida’s Governor’s Commission. As a teacher Janet Stein excelled in diagnostic-prescriptive teaching, interdisciplinary teaching, community problem based learning and critical thinking skills. 


After her years in the classroom Janet worked in administration as an ESE curriculum specialist in Walton County and then created Bay Middle School, a deregulated school at the Bay Elementary School site. After her Bay Charter School application was approved by Governor Bush and turned down by the Walton County School Board Janet decided to move to Okaloosa County to become the principal of Elliott Point Elementary School. During her tenure at Elliott Point the school was awarded an A for ten consecutive years: a record for Okaloosa County Title One schools.  In 2010 she received the Department of Education Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding leadership. Janet has a passion for teaching and learning. She knows how to implement instruction that meets the needs of all students, instruction that is relevant and engaging. Her dream has always been to start her own school.  The Nature School Cooperative is the culmination of her life-long love  for student learning and student engagement. It is her life’s work, dream, and vision that drives her passion for the creation of The Nature School Cooperative. 


     1994-1996   University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL

    Curriculum and Instruction.  


    1986   Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

    Master of Science, Emotional Disturbances and Learning Disabilities.


    1981   Mills College, Oakland, CA

    Bachelor of Arts, Dance and Psychology 

Teacher Certification:

School Principal k-12, Elementary Education k-6, Emotionally Handicapped k-12,

Psychology 6-12, Specific Learning Disabilities k-12,  Educational Leadership

Work History




Okaloosa County Schools, Fort Walton Beach, FL

Steinway Academy  ages 3-7

Director of Elementary Education

Principal of Destin Elementary School

Principal of Elliott Point Elementary School

5th grade teacher Bluewater Elementary School


Walton County Schools, DeFuniak Springs, FL

Principal of Bay Middle School

Lead Teacher Seaside Middle School

Curriculum and Pre-k Specialist for Exceptional Student Education

3rd-5th grade teacher Bay Elementary School

k-6 ESE teacher Bay Elementary School


3rd-5th grade teacher Bay County Guidance Clinic,

3rd -5th grade Instructional Aide/EH classroom 

Bay County Schools,

Panama City, FL


  • developed early childhood programs for at risk students In Okaloosa and Walton Counties

  • initiated a school wide k-5  Literacy curriculum 

  •  collaborated with the Leadership and Learning Center, creating  Professional Learning Communities across multiple schools

  • designed a learning lab approach which met the needs of all learners

  • wrote the charter for Bay Middle School


  • developing programs to meet student needs using formative and summative data

  • differentiating instruction for all students

  • creating engaging interdisciplinary curriculum units

  • blending various methodologies to achieve student goals

  • developing deep math understanding 

  • writing integrative curriculum using historical fiction

  • questioning strategies that encourage synthesis and evaluation

  • involving students in their community using problem-based learning

  • Using formative and summative date to evaluate programs

  • Engaging the reluctant learner


2015-20       IReady Classroom Award/ 100% AYP/Highly Effective

2015            Danielson Framework Highly Distinguished Calibration

2010            Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership

2009           Parent Involvement / Exemplary Practices Award

2005            Among top ten Elementary Schools in the State of Florida

2001            Charter application approved by Governors’ cabinet

1998            Regional Winner in Disney’s Environmentality contest

1996            Nominated for Presidential, Excellence in Mathematics Teaching

1995            Teacher of the Year

1994            Classroom Town Project presented to Governor’s office


1988-89        SED Network Above and Beyond Award

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