Sandra Averhart

Senior Producer/Host

Sandra Averhart has been News Director at WUWF since 1996. Her first job in broadcasting was with (then) Pensacola radio station WOWW107-FM, where she worked 11 years.  Sandra, who is a native of Pensacola, earned her B.S. in Communication from Florida State University.

For several years, Sandra was co-host of “Inside UWF” on WUWF TV. Also, she has partnered with WSRE TV to serve as co-host of their “Rally” candidate forums, most recently in 2012. Sandra also lends her voice to the University of West Florida athletics program.  She has worked as public address announcer for Men’s and Women’s Basketball, and continues to “work the mic” at UWF Volleyball and Softball games. Along the way, she has been P-A announcer for four NCAA Division II national championships, to include two each in volleyball and softball.

In her spare time, Sandra continues to enjoy playing softball. She lives in Milton with her husband Charles and two dogs, Beau and Mollie.

Ways to Connect

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Perdido Key and Innerarity Point were among the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sally in southwest Escambia County. The storm made landfall at nearby Gulf Shores, leaving property ravaged by wind and water - due to storm surge and more than 20 inches of rainfall.

Driving through the area, it’s clear that a storm has been here. Vegetation on the barrier island has turned brown from the salt water that washed over, trees are down or leaning due to the sustained wind, and there are blue tarps scattered about.

Holm Elementary

Five days after Hurricane Sally came ashore on the Florida-Alabama Gulf Coast, dumping more than 20 inches of rain, schools in Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties reopened today. However, Escambia County schools remain closed until Wednesday.

Monday evening update:

Quinn Evans/Sandra Averhart / Brentwood Elementary School/WUWF Public Media

After a late start due to the pandemic, all public school students in Northwest Florida are back in class, whether in-person or via Remote Learning. To find out what both approaches look like, from the student perspective, I’m checking back with two of my young relatives on their return to school in the Escambia County School District. One is reporting for face-to-face instruction and the other has opted to stay at home.

Choices, Anxiety and Preparation

WUWF is observing the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Our first report explored the decades-long battle for women’s suffrage, culminating with certification of the amendment on August 26, 1920. Today, a focus on the progress of women’s participation in elections, by voting and holding political office themselves.

Library of Congress/National Woman's Party

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. It was on this day in 1920 that the measure was certified. In observance of the centennial, WUWF looks at the long road to women’s suffrage.

In an excerpt from the PBS documentary, One Woman, One Vote, narrator, Susan Sarandon describes the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Procession, “Washington had never seen anything like it. Eight-thousand women from all over the country, flooding down Pennsylvania Avenue, demanding the right to vote.”

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

It's back to school time for students in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. The fall semester begins Monday. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a later start than usual and things will be a lot different this year.

In advance of this first day back, WUWF visited a local elementary school to check on final preparations for both in-person and at-home learning.

Photos courtesy of Lumon May and LuTimothy May

The Democratic race for Escambia County Commission District 3 is a family affair. Incumbent Lumon May is being challenged by Rev. LuTimothy May, his younger brother.

It’s an awkward situation, but the candidates are forging ahead with their campaigns.

Photos courtesy of Lane Lynchard and Colten Wright

In Santa Rosa County, three seats on the Board of Commissioners are up for grabs. In Districts 1 and 3, the incumbents face multiple challengers.

For the first time in 12 years, voters heading to the polls in the Santa Rosa County will be choosing a new Superintendent of Schools.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Early Voting in the August 18 Primary Election in Santa Rosa County begins Monday, almost a week ahead of neighboring counties, which start Saturday.

With the earlier start, Santa Rosa voters will be the first to head to the polls and the county will be the first to roll out additional measures to ensure voter safety, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Salzman

The race for Florida House of Representatives District 1 features both Democratic and Republican primaries. On the GOP side, political newcomer Michelle Salzman is mounting a challenge against one-term incumbent Mike Hill. Today, WUWF checks in on the Salzman campaign. 

“It’s been going fantastic. It’s just been very humbling,” says Salzman, describing her first run for political office and the boost she’s gotten from talking to many local people who share her views and concerns. 

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The race for Florida House of Representatives District 1, which covers the vast majority of Escambia County, features primaries on both sides of the political aisle. One the Republican side, one-term incumbent Mike Hill faces a challenge from political newcomer Michelle Salzman.

Today, WUWF’s series on the 2020 election highlights Hill’s re-election bid.

Photo courtesy of UWF Athletics

The start of fall sports at the University of West Florida and other universities in the Gulf South Conference has been delayed. That means student-athletes participating in volleyball, soccer, and football are now set to begin play the last week of September or the first week of October.

Jennie McKeon/WUWF Public Media

Florida’s 2020 Primary Election is now about a month away, set for Tuesday, August 18. To help Escambia and Santa Rosa county voters prepare, the League of Women Voters of the Pensacola Bay Area has launched its non-partisan online election resource, was launched by the League of Women Voters Education Fund in 2006.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The future USS Tripoli will be placed into active service during a brief administrative commissioning Wednesday in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Even though the ship will not be getting the grand Pensacola ceremony that had been planned for later this month, the push is on to ensure crewmembers get a special memento in honor of the occasion. 

“We had the coins in separate boxes. We had the plaques and the name tags in separate boxes,” said Harry White, a member of the Pensacola Commissioning Committee, explaining the final steps required to assemble the plank-owner plaques.