One of Florida's first public charter schools turns 20

SEASIDE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - One of Florida's first charter schools is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Dr. Rosemary Williams spearheaded the movement to open a small tuition-free neighborhood school for middle school students in Seaside. The land was donated by Seaside's founder Robert Davis and the homeowners of Seaside donated the location fees from the making of "The Truman Show" starring Jim Carey to build the school's first building.

The school began with just 36 students and two teachers, and today there are 330 students in grades 5th through 12th on two campuses.

"Well it's just such a great milestone and accomplishment to celebrate, so we just wanted to invite everybody to come out. We actually have a time capsule in the wall of the third building that we put there I think in 2003," said Seaside's Principal Kim Mixson. "We thought that would be a fun thing to do is go ahead and open it and try to remember everything we put in there."

Seaside Neighborhood School was recently honored by the Florida Department of Education as a "pioneer charter school." It is one of only two Florida charter schools continuously operating since 1996.