Walton County School District Superintendent’s Update

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December 2021

Walton County School District Superintendent’s Update

Winter has emerged, but Walton County School District shows no sign of cooling down in educational excellence! On the contrary, we have had a phenomenal first half of the school year, indicated by the many happenings throughout the District. Teachers, students, and staff have worked diligently to meet academic rigor. They will soon see the fruit of their labor as they rise to meet the challenge of End of Course (EOC) and semester exams while anxiously awaiting the Christmas Holidays.

As we move forward, there are a few important dates to keep in the forefront of your December schedule and family activity planning. December 17, 2021, marks the end of the 2nd nine weeks and first semester. December 20, 2021, through January 3, 2022, is the official “Winter Break” holiday. All students and school district employees will be off on those days to observe the winter break and enjoy the holiday season with friends and family. Teachers will return to work on January 3, 2022, with students following on January 5, 2022. Although students are off for the holidays, we encourage you to keep them mentally engaged and active to avoid the “winter knowledge slide!” Perhaps you might have them read a favorite holiday story or come together to play a fun family game that encourages higher-order thinking skills.

Out-of-this-world thinking occurred during November as each middle school participated in exploring our solar system. The Emerald Coast Science Planetarium Experience, sponsored through a generous grant from the St. Joe Foundation, was showcased to middle school students across the District. Students entered an inflatable dome to view a show highlighting constellations, the solar system, and space exploration. Thank you, St. Joe, for your partnership in the education of Walton County’s students.

The Walton County School Board recognized the Walton County Presidential Scholar nominees in the areas of Academics and Career Technical Education at the November 2, 2021 school board meeting. The Commission on Presidential Scholars accepted nominees from across the state to meet their mission of recognizing and honoring superior high school seniors. Scholars are chosen based on outstanding achievement in one of two categories. Categories include an academic component based on SAT/ACT scores and a Career and Technical (CTE) component demonstrating excellence in career and technical education. This year’s nominees are Mr. Westin Corbin of Walton High School, recognized as the academic scholar, and Miss Alyssa Sutton of South Walton High School’s Magnet Innovations Center/STEAM school as the Career Technical Education Scholar. Congratulations to these candidates!

The District is equally proud to recognize Freeport High School’s Morrigan Burnham. Morgan was recently honored by Governor Ron DeSantis for her PERFECT score on the state Biology end-of-course examination! Congratulations to Morrigan on her recognition and Biology teacher Amy Baker for her work in the classroom!

In addition, Walton County School District recognizes Walton Middle School student Bethany Waites for having her artwork selected to represent Walton County in the Art in the Capitol Competition, a statewide visual arts competition for Florida students grades 6-8. Each district school holds an art competition to select the winning art piece, which lands a space displayed at the Capitol in Tallahassee. Hats off to you, Bethany!

In athletic excellence, huge applause is due to our High School Football programs. Freeport High School, South Walton High School, and Walton High School created a trifecta for gridiron play.

Each school’s team earned a spot in state playoff competitions. Congratulations to the coaches and players of these teams who represented our county in EPIC fashion!

Our Fine Arts programs continue leading students in the mastery of their creative abilities. Many special activities and holiday performances have been scheduled across the District to showcase talent during this holiday month. Stay informed of these activities through your child’s school newsletters and social media platforms. We know you will be delighted when you can see your child progressing academically, creatively, and socially. For your convenience, the current holiday concert schedule is below.

  • December 4 – SophistiCats Sing at Tree Lighting, Freeport City Hall at approx. 6:00 (after the parade)
  • December 7 – Christmas Concert, FHS at 7:00
  • December 7 – ECMS Holiday Concert, SWHS at 7:00
  • December 8 – Christmas Concert, DLE at 5:30
  • December 8 – Christmas Concert, PHS at 6:30
  • December 9 – WHS Marching Braves perform in DFS Christmas Parade, 1:00
  • December 12 – Band Winter Concert, WHS at 6:30
  • December 12 – Holiday Band Concert, SWHS at 7:00
  • December 14 – Holiday Guitar/Piano Recital, SWHS at 6:00

Superintendent Hughes wants to wish each student, family, employee, and community member a happy holiday season! “We look forward to continuing our journey to #1 when we return next year!

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