The Foundation’s primary mission, is to take a long-term approach to raise, invest and spend funds in support of The Seaside School, Inc. (“School”) and to steward those funds so they provide support in perpetuity. The Foundation raises money and grants funds to the School to help the School fulfill its mission and educate children.
Board of Directors
Teresa Horton has been Director of the Seaside School Foundation since October 2018. Teresa hails from Cincinnati, Ohio and has been a resident of Walton County for almost two years—living in Dune Allen Beach with her husband, Jimmy and 3 yr. old son, Grayton. Her experience includes work at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, The University of Cincinnati Alumni Association, and most recently at the Sacred Heart Hospital Foundation. Teresa attended the University of Dayton in Ohio with a B.A. in Communications and Psychology. In her spare time, Teresa enjoys spending time on the beach with her family.
Patrick’s professional career has drifted between law, real estate development, and entrepreneurial endeavors. As a result, he has a unique and broad background with hands-on practical experience in a variety of areas. Patrick is co-owner of 850 Properties, a local real estate brokerage, where he focuses primarily on real estate development.
Since moving to Walton County in 2002, Patrick has co-developed six large scale multi-family and mixed-use developments between Destin and Seacrest Beach in which he managed all areas of project development, including land acquisition, due diligence, regulatory approval, site and building design, financing, marketing and sales, and construction management. Through the years, Patrick has also been a practicing attorney focusing on litigation and consulting in the areas of real estate and commercial contracts, business disputes, landlord tenant, civil rights litigation, and corporate governance. He continues to represent select clients and serve as general counsel for startup companies.
Patrick was appointed to the Board of Directors for The Seaside School, Inc. from 2015-2018, on which he served as Vice-Chairman during his last year.
He received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from University of South Carolina-Aiken in 1994 and his Juris Doctor from University of South Carolina School of Law in 1997. Patrick is licensed to practice law in Florida and South Carolina, and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court Mediator.
He resides in Walton County with his wife Jennifer and two young children, both students at Seaside Neighborhood School.
Dave is the owner of three restaurants in Seaside Florida as well as a bakery and catering company in Grayton Beach and at the Hyatt Grand Boulevard, Sandestin Florida. His flagship restaurant, Bud & Alley’s is a winner of numerous awards and is the longest established restaurant (34years) in the area. The restaurants are located on the beach in the heart of the town of Seaside, Florida.
In 2010 Dave founded and directed a state-wide and later a worldwide initiative called Hands Across The Sand to discourage the expansion of offshore drilling and championing the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy options.
Dave is also the founder and chairman of Florida Beaches for All, a state wide and local initiative to keep all of Florida’s beaches open to the public.
Dave recently rolled off the Board of directors of the Seaside School after serving a three-year term and has been a passionate supporter of the school for decades.
Dave lives with his wife, Carol and their 10 year old and 3 year old daughters, Carlin and Lauren.
Michael “Mike” Ray spent most of his career with Vera Bradley. He joined the company in 1998, held various positions in Finance, Sales, and Marketing, and was the company’s CEO from 2007 to 2013.
From 2006 to 2015, Mike was a member of the Riley Children’s Foundation Board of Governors. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation and the Ball State University Foundation.
Mike earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Ball State University in 1983, and began his career with Coopers & Lybrand.
Mike and his wife, Amy, have four children and split time between their homes in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Seaside, Florida.
Suzanne Rester Watson
Growing up on Amelia Island, Florida and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Suzanne always knew she would raise her own family at the beach. She attended Sweet Briar College and Middlebury College earning a degree in Art History, and after graduation moved to Atlanta. Here she followed her passion for design and received another BA in Interior Design. She then joined the firm of prominent designer Monique Gibson where she managed interior design projects from coast to coast for several years. Suzanne started her own firm Inside, Inc. in 2000. Primarily working with architects in Atlanta and New York she continued to design residential and commercial projects for clients throughout the country.
Walton County has been Suzanne’s home for nearly twenty years. She and her husband Tom moved here in 2001 when he went to work for the St Joe Company. Her roots in this area run deep, as her parents have been active members of the community for 30 years. Suzanne has been involved with several local non-profits including leading fundraising efforts to rebuild homes for Habitat for Humanity after Hurricane Katrina, working with the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County producing special events each year for the 30A Songwriters Festival, serving on the board for the Seaside Repertory Theatre, and currently working with the Point Washington Medical Clinic to build a new clinic. A passion for the future of Seacoast High School and the Seaside Neighborhood School is a family affair. Her husband Tom is a former board member of the Seaside Neighborhood School, and her son Wyatt is a rising 7th grader.
Shannon L. Widman
Shannon graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Political Science from Syracuse University. She earned her Juris Doctor at the University of Miami School of Law. Upon graduation, Shannon moved from her hometown of Palm Beach Gardens to Santa Rosa Beach where she was admitted to The Florida Bar in 2000 and the Federal Court Northern District of Florida in 2001.Shannon is the founding attorney of Porath & Associates, P.A. a law firm specializing in real estate transactions across the state, but specifically on Florida’s Emerald Coast. Shannon is on the Board of Trustees for Attorney’s Title Insurance Fund, Inc., which has provided support for Florida real estate attorneys since 1948.Shannon has always been an active member of the South Walton community, sponsoring many events, including the Annual Seaside School Half Marathon and 5k Run, Via Colori benefiting the Seaside Institute, the Flutterby Festival and the local school athletic teams. She has served as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for foster children in the area since early 2001.In 2002 the State of Florida Guardian ad Litem Program recognized Shannon’s outstanding volunteer service. In that year, she was awarded Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for the First Judicial Circuit, from Governor Jeb Bush. Shannon served on the board for The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, Inc. and she is proud to support Habitat for Humanity for Walton County, Inc. over the years by providing pro bono title services for their new home closings. Shannon has been a strong advocate and supporter of Food for Thought Outreach, Inc., an organization that helps provides food security to area school children in need. Most recently, Shannon served on The Seaside School, Inc.’s Board of Directors. Shannon has lived in Santa Rosa Beach since 1999, where she enjoys tennis and going to Grayton Beach with her husband, Brian, and their two children.
Rosemary Williams is the author of the original charter for the Seaside Neighborhood School and was the school’s first principal, 1996 through 1999. She has been a homeowner in Seaside since 1991. She was awarded The Robert and Daryl Davis Town Builder Award by the Seaside Town Council for her efforts to create a school in Seaside.
Rosemary earned a doctorate in Education Administration from Penn State University, Division of Education Policy Studies.
Now retired, she began her career in education as a classroom teacher, grades seven through twelve, in New York and Pennsylvania. She has served as a junior-senior high school principal in central Pennsylvania.
As the Associate Chair of the Education Department of Wilkes College, now Wilkes University, in Pennsylvania, Rosemary was Director of Graduate Education Programs and taught in the graduate and undergraduate teacher education programs. While at Wilkes, Rosemary administered a consortium of twenty two basic and higher education institutions, business and industry partners, and community service organizations known as Project L.E.A.R.N. ,recognized by the Middle States Association as one of the four best educational partnerships in Pennsylvania.
Rosemary has designed and delivered staff development programs for schools throughout northeastern Pennsylvania.
Prior to her retirement, she served on numerous executive and governing boards for professional educators including the Pennsylvania Association of Curriculum and Supervision, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Writing Council, and the North Central Pennsylvania Lead Teacher Center.
In Florida, Rosemary was a member of the Board of Governors of the Seaside Institute. She currently serves on the Seaside School Foundation Board.
Rosemary divides her time between Seaside and her home in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband, David, and their English Setter, Zeke.
Rick grew up in the Washington, D. C. area. He spent time in the Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago areas during his career. After retirement in 1997, he and his wife Jan moved to this area. Rick is a founder of the Seaside School Foundation and the Seaside School Half Marathon and 5K.