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Walton County School District

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"The Science Fair this year at FMS was a huge success!  It was a difficult process narrowing down the winners to only 3 from the entire school of 5th through 8th grade students.  After deliberation, the top three projects were as follows:  

(Left to Right)

8th grade student Madison Kysel won 1st place with her project on "Tooth Decay."

8th grade student Elissa Rodriguez-Lombardo won 2nd place with her project on "Gas Stations' Underground Secret."  

5th  grade student Shelby Cosson won 3rd place with her project on "Do Video Games Affect the Mind and Body?"  

Congratulations to our winners and to everyone who participated in the Science Fair this year at FMS!"

Submitted by Chelsea Ellison

Elrod Vo recently won the distinction of being an Achieve3000 WorldWide winner in Mrs. Amy Bennett's eighth grade reading class.  He won the most points by completing reading texts and tasks and receiving points for passing scores.  Two years ago, Elrod won the most points nationwide when he was a sixth grader in Mrs. Bennett's class.  This year, Elrod entered the new school year determined to advance from being the nationwide to the worldwide level winner.  Remarkably, Elrod accomplished his goal before the end of the first semester.  Walton Middle School is very proud of Elrod's accomplishments. Submitted by Kristen Rhodes.

VRB had its Tropicana school-level competition this past Thursday, December 1. All of the speeches were so good, it made a very difficult decision for the judges. Our judges this year were Kathryn Youngblood, Bonnie Shelton, and Michelle Curtis. First place went to Ella Ekenseair. Second place was Elysia Koch, and third place was Cole Graham. Congratulations to our winners that will be representing Butler well in the district completition! Submitted by Sherrie Binkowski.

     Russell Hughes began his career as a teacher at Choctawhatchee High School in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida where he taught business law & management, math and keyboarding. Russell was identified by the principal as having excellent classroom management, discipline and instructional skill. Consequently he was appointed dean of students managing discipline for ninth and tenth grades until transferring to Richbourg Middle School in Crestview, Florida. Russell served as Assistant Principal and Head Football Coach at Richbourg from 1997-2000.

     Russell’s career with the Walton County School District began at Walton Middle School in August of 2000. He became principal in 2004 .  Under his leadership Walton Middle School earned their first “A” grade, which was maintained for two consecutive years.   Walton Middle School was selected as one of the top 20 schools in the state, having made the most year to year progress in student learning gains. Additionally, Walton Middle School was the first middle school in the county to make an “A” and achieve AYP in the same year.  In recognition of their academic achievement, the school was awarded funds for their performance from the state and congratulatory letters from former Governors Charlie Christ and Jeb Bush.

     In 2007, Mr. Hughes was assigned to Walton High School as Principal. For the following eight years, Walton High School excelled in academic performance.  The School has been awarded a “B” grade for six years from the state grading system, two of which were more than 100 points above an “A.”  Although, the School’s accumulated points were significant, an “A” eluded them by less than two points in critical areas.  For the past two years, (2014-2015) Walton High has been identified by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best High Schools.  Also, In 2015, they were named one of two schools in the state of Florida and one of fifty in the United States as “Most Inspiring Schools.”  Russell’s individual recognition includes; Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Teacher of the Year Candidate every year while in classroom, Outstanding Young Americans and the completion of the first Commissioners Leadership Academy.

As a first generation college graduate, Mr. Hughes is passionate about encouraging young men and young ladies to obtain post-secondary education. Russell looks continually to uncover strategic methods that will inspire students to unlock their potential to become successful academically, behaviorally, socially and individually.  When Russell isn’t busy inspiring students he can be found inspiring those that attend the church he and his wife founded in 2000.  The church began with seven charter members and has grown to a current membership of more than 150. 

     Russell Hughes is a lifelong learner and educator. He loves his church, enjoys reading, playing golf and spending time with family and friends.  Mr. Hughes makes his home in DeFuniak Springs, Florida with his wife, Lori and daughter, Micah.

The Freeport High School AVID program recently toured the campuses of the University of South Alabama and the University of West Florida. Students gained insight on admissions, campus activities, housing, academic programs, dining options, social clubs and organizations, and much more for each campus. Submitted by Patty Woodard.

Walton High School is pleased to announce our Educational Support Person of the Year, Steve Paulk, and Teacher of the Year, Christy English. 

We appreciate and congratulate these deserving members of the WHS team! Submitted by Christy English.

Paxton School students from pre-k to high school, and even parents, were engaged in exciting STEM activities at the Nov. 29 Science Night. The science themed night was held in conjunction with a home basketball game and students had the opportunity to participate in various science activities throughout the night's games including piloting a flight simulator with the assistance of Major Justin Elliott, a U.S. Air Force test pilot, launching straw rockets with Dr. John Fay, a scientist with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, and trying their hand taking photos with a thermal imaging camera with Rob Wilson, an engineer with FLIR. 

 

In addition, students operated Sphero robots, got their hands dirty with oobleck, attempted to knock cups off a cheerleader's head with an air cannon, made aerospace artwork out of Wikki Stix, and even took science selfies.

 

PHS sends a huge thank you out to the Northwest Florida chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for providing STEM professionals to teach students and donating a Sphero robot to give-away, as well as FLIR for providing a STEM professional and donating a thermal imaging camera as a prize.  Submitted by Kalli McMillan.