Music Suite At Ransom Middle Named For Late Band Director Janie Newbold Walker

May 19, 2022

The music suite at Ransom Middle School has been named the “Janie Newbold Walker Music Suite”.

She was honored this week by the Escambia County School Board, with a board resolution accepted by her husband Chris Walker, son Andrew Walker and mother Kathy Newbold on behalf of her family.

Walker passed away in May 2021 at the age of 47 after complications from surgery.

Walker started her teaching career in the fall of 1997 when she became the band director at UMS Wright Preparatory School in Mobile. While living in Mobile, she played in the Mobile Pops Orchestra.

In the fall of 1999, Walker moved back to Pensacola and became the band director at Ransom Middle School. During her time at Ransom, her symphonic and jazz bands received consistent superior ratings at District Music Performance Assessments, and she had 18 students selected for participation in Florida all state bands. She also served as guest conductor for Middle School Honor Bands in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. She was selected as the Ransom Middle School Teacher of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year.

She was born March 26, 1974, in Pensacola and attended Cordova Park Elementary, Workman Middle School, and Washington High School. Walker and her family were active members of First Baptist Church in Pensacola where she was baptized and married and she served as a Children’s Camp Counselor. She also played the trumpet in the church orchestra.

Following graduation from high school in 1992 with honors, she attended the University of Alabama where she received a Bachelor of Music Education in 1997. While at Alabama she was a member of the Million Dollar Band, Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Quota Brass Quintet and Mu Phi Epsilon. Walker and her future husband, Chris Walker, met at Alabama and they were both members of the Million Dollar Band.

Several of Walker’s former students are in teaching positions at middle school and high school band programs in the Florida Panhandle, and several former students are professional musicians.

Walker began her career with the Escambia County School District in 1999. She service in multiple capacities including Ransom Middle School band director and music department chair, lead middle school band director for the Escambia County Fine Arts Department, and guest conductor for middle school honor bands in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

She was posthumously awarded the Oliver Hobbs Award by the Florida Bandmasters Association. which recognizes FBA members who have consistently done an exceptional job year after year in the position of band director.


4 Responses to “Music Suite At Ransom Middle Named For Late Band Director Janie Newbold Walker”

  1. Chriz on May 20th, 2022 7:22 pm

    She was my band teacher for 6th grade

  2. Jessica McMillan on May 20th, 2022 6:12 pm

    I remember when Mrs. Walker began at Ransom when I was a 7th-grade band student. She was so kind, patient, and knowledgeable. I’m very saddened to hear of her passing, but I’m so grateful that I had the honor of being her student. It’s great to know that her legacy will live on at Ransom.

  3. Bonnie Exner on May 19th, 2022 1:22 pm

    Janie is so deserving of this honor..she was an exemplary teacher and a kind and loving soul..she is missed by all who knew her.

  4. EMD on May 19th, 2022 9:46 am

    What an accomplished lady. What a legacy! I feel sure she is missed. Nice article..

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