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Walton County School District

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As part of an initiative to keep our community stakeholders informed of the accomplishments across our district, Superintendent A. Russell Hughes gave the first annual State of the Schools address on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. During this presentation, he recognized the School Board of Walton County, and the many people in the district who have helped to facilitate the high level of success accomplished since he took office. He shared his commitment to the children of our district, and stated, “Everything we do is all about the children. It has been, and forever will be…that will never change. That is why we do what we do…our children deserve it!”

Sonya Alford, Director of Human Resources welcomed the audience and special guests to the event, followed by an invocation by Rev. Wayne White. Facilities Director, Mark Gardner introduced the Walton High School Jr. ROTC who presented the Colors; 2018 Teacher of the Year, Joan Kennett who lead the Pledge if Allegiance; and Casey Clark from Freeport High School who sang the National Anthem. Kay Dailey, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, introduced Superintendent Hughes.

In his address, Superintendent Hughes shared his vision for Walton County School District, and highlighted significant areas of progress and success experienced in the district since he came to office. Among these include our district ranking (WCSD is an A+ school district for the first time since 2014); marked academic improvement; accelerated graduation rates; accommodation of increased student enrollment (now over the 10,000 student threshold); facilities growth; district fiscal responsibility; forward momentum of our Fine Arts programs; improvements and expansion in our Food Services program; development of innovative programs in Career and Technical Education; advances in our Technology department; and increased student safety and mental health training.

Mr. Hughes recognized his special guests, School Board members, Cabinet members, District administrators, School Advisory Council members, and students from schools across the district. Refreshments were provided by the Walton High School Culinary department.

You may view the State of the Schools address at https://youtu.be/SdoNj4QOhqY

Congratulations to the Walton County School District students who participated in the State Science and Engineering Fair March 25, 2019 – March 29, 2019 in Lakeland, FL!!

Aaron Wilmouth, 7th grader at Walton Middle School, impressed the judges at the State competition with his project "Squishy Robots" which placed second in its category. Aaron was also awarded a special certificate from ASM Materials Education Foundation!

Aaron's project is also a Broadcom Masters Nominee: 
https://sspcdn.blob.core.windows.net/…/Flyers/Program-Overv…
WCSD is extremely proud of 
Aaron and this EPIC accomplishment!

Congratulations also goes to Joseph Woods – Walton High School; and Sophie Harris – Emerald Coast Middle School, for their success at the Regional Science Fair, and were also state finalists!

State Science and Engineering Fair

State Science and Engineering Fair

South Walton High School musicians competed at the Florida Bandmasters Association State Solo & Ensemble Competition recently. Congratulations to Rocky Villanueva, Emma Marks and Joe Sills for earning Superior ratings. Both Rocky and Emma earned Superiors with Distinction for their piano solos, which is the highest rating any student can earn at this event.
Submitted by Barbara Stratton
 

Every month, Mr. A. Russell Hughes, Walton County, Florida Superintendent of Schools, will share a video message with an update on the exciting things happening in the Walton County School District, Walton County, Florida. Check back often to stay informed on all the activities, events and accomplishments of teachers and students in the Walton County School District.

This month's video was recorded at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center on Hwy 20 in Freeport, Fl. We are proud to be partners in education with this amazing facility, and grateful for all they do to impact the students of Walton County.

In this video, Superintendent Hughes shares information about upcoming events during the month of April, as well as important dates and recognitions.

Our fifth graders visited the beach last week and learned that the life of a Sea Turtle is not an easy one! Thanks to the Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles Volunteers for organizing fun, educational activities for our students. Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles volunteers are dedicated to promoting sea turtle conservation through awareness and education for the residents and 3 million+ visitors to Walton County, Florida. Now that our students know the challenges that Sea Turtles face, we consider ourselves lifelong friends of sea turtles too! Submitted by Krisy Spence

Turtles

Turtles

Turtles

Paxton High School's Gaetz Aerospace Institute students enjoyed a beautiful day at the ninth annual Marvel of Flight Fly-In held last week at the DeFuniak Springs airport. Students had the opportunity to view vintage aircraft, speak with several pilots, and view a rocket launch. They also volunteered their time to assist students from  West DeFuniak Elementary School learn about airplanes and rockets. Submitted by Kalli McMillan

Superintendent A. Russell Hughes is proud to announce the opening of a second Walton County magnet program, Walton County’s Magnet Innovation Center at St. Joe, WaterSound. The Magnet Innovation Center will focus on STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics and will help high school students become college and career ready, especially in the area of Engineering and Robotics. This new, EPIC endeavor, which is a partnership between the school district and the St. Joe Corporation, will involve the business community and distance learning as students will participate in hands-on learning in laboratory settings.

A parent night has been planned for Wednesday, April 3rd at 5:30 p.m. at South Walton High School to take questions about this exciting new program. Please attend if you are interested or feel free to contact Jennifer Hawthorne at [email protected] for more information.

Submitted by Jennifer Hawthorne

Freeport Middle School dads and students participated in the 1st annual "Watch D.O.G.S Pizza Night" on Thursday, March 28th to kick off the implementation of the Watch D.O.G.S. program. Watch D.O.G.S. is an acronym for Dads of Great Students. The program allows fathers and father-figures to make a positive impact on hundreds of children by volunteering in their school. FMS is excited to welcome our new Watch D.O.G.S. to our campus! If you are interested in learning more about the Watch D.O.G.S. Program at FMS, please contact Ms. Leavins at 850-892-1221 ext. 3251.

Submitted by Sharie Smith

Watch Dog Dads 2

This past week, Paxton Baseball honored former player Jesse Whitemire. The 2014 graduate was in a car accident last year that paralyzed him from the waist down. However, Jesse now has movement in his arms and legs. He was able to throw out the first pitch against Laurel Hill, which was caught by his former coach, Jeff Bradley. Submitted by Kalli McMillan