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Students at Mossy Head Elementary, West DeFuniak Elementary and Paxton were treated to a special performance by the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Resident String Quartet on Friday, February 8, courtesy of Sinfonia Gulf Coast!

Founded in Tallahassee, Florida, (Lucky Strings) is a dynamic and evolving ensemble. This quartet features violinists Taylor Giorgio and Tracy Morgan, violist Daniella Isabel Angulo Martinez, and cellist Holden Bitner. With a passion for community engagement, (Lucky Strings) has performed interactive concerts in public schools, college classes, and in community spaces around the North Florida region. The ensemble performs often at Florida State University, where all four members are pursuing graduate degrees in music performance.

The students throughly enjoyed the performances, and learned a great deal from the performers. Special thanks to Sinfonia Gulf Coast for their collaboration with the Walton County School District!

Congratulations to WHS senior Joseph Woods for advancing to the State Science Fair competition! His “Rippin’ Lip” project, which studied the effects of tournament fishing on bass health, earned the top spot in the Earth & Environmental Sciences category at the regional competition.

Joseph has received a 2-year scholarship from Northwest Florida, as well as a 4-year scholarship from Bethel College to be on their bass fishing team.

Congratulations and good luck at the state competition!

Submitted by Christy English

Congratulations to all Walton County School District students who participated in the East Panhandle Regional Science Fair! We are very proud to announce our Regional Science Fair Winners and State Finalist for the 2018-19 school year. The 64th State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida will be held from March 25, 2019 – March 29, 2019 in Lakeland, FL.

Congratulations and best wishes at State!!! 

Emerald Coast Middle School

Sophie Harris – Fishy Pheromones
o First Place in Cellular and Molecular Biology
o State Finalist
o Broadcom Finalist
Astrid Ascanio – It’s all Natural!
o 3rd Place in Biomedical and Health Sciences
Lauren Broussard – A Tea..rible Problem
o 4th Place in Chemistry

Walton Middle School

Aaron Wilmoth – Squishy Robots
o First Place in Engineering
o State Finalist
o Broadcom Finalists
Allie Saunders – Horray for Enzymes
o 3rd Place in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Walton High School

Joseph Woods – Rippin’ Lip
o First Place in Earth and Environmental Sciences
o State Finalist
o North West Florida College – 2 year scholarship
o Florida Association of Science Teachers - $25 Award
o Ricoh Americas Corporation

South Walton High School

Haille Roe – Engineering
o 3rd Place

Paxton High School

Tabitha Snow & Emily Wilson – There’s a good reason these heat packs are numbered honey you just haven’t thought of it yet
o 4th Place in Chemistry
o Drs. Alice and Louis Fay Award for Chemistry - $100 (to split)

Mr. Dennie Smith, 8th grade AVID teacher at WMS, works tirelessly to equip his students for future success.  On Friday, February 8th, his third period AVID class presented about their future career aspirations with a captive audience of their peers and teachers and administrators at WMS.  Mr. Smith began the class period by emphasizing the public speaking standards his students have been learning and practicing.  Students confidently stood in front of the class and provided detailed information about careers they might one day like to pursue.  After each presentation, Mr. Smith asked the audience to offer positive feedback to each brave presenter.  The students offered gracious and constructive comments to each of their peers about the merits of each presentation.  Not only did students explore career pathways that interested them but they also practiced public speaking skills--thereby gaining invaluable knowledge and confidence they will continue to develop as they blaze their own bright and unique paths in life.


1--Cynthia Ramirez (Translators and Interpreters)

2--Cerina Smith (Science, Technology, and Electronics)

3--Magen Duke (Singer)

4--Logan Potts (Logging)

Submitted by Kristen Nelson

Kindergarten registration for the 2019-20 school year will be held at all Walton County elementary schools during weekdays from Monday, March 4th, 2019 to Friday, March 15th, 2019 between the hours of
8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

To be eligible to enter Kindergarten, a child must be five (5) years of age on or before September 1, 2019.
An official proof of birth is required at the time of registration. Hospital certificates are NOT official birth records. Parents who do not have their child’s birth certificate can obtain a certified copy by making a request to the state in which the child was born. Because this is often a lengthy process, parents needing to obtain a certificate are urged to do so now in order to receive it prior to this registration period. Children born in the state of Florida may obtain an official birth certificate at the Walton County Public Health Unit, 362 State Highway 83, DeFuniak Springs.

Before entering school in August, each kindergarten child must have the following:
• official birth certificate (required for registration)
• health examination**
• current immunization record (DOH 680)**
**Parents will need to see their child’s health provider for a current exam and immunization update.

Walton Middle School hosted "Hearts for the Arts," another successful Title 1 parent training night on Thursday, February 7, 2019.  The event featured a dinner slideshow of creative artwork by Ms. Brittany Grant's art students from the Rosemary Beach Foundation's "Music in Pictures" project.  Artwork from the project also adorned the WMS hallways.  Throughout the night, parents and students rotated through three literacy-themed stations.  One station, led by Ms. Alex Rhodes and Mr. Brendon Murphy, allowed participants to explore the impact of descriptive details on mood and tone through a collaborative lesson.  A second rotation in the library media center, led by Mrs. Kip Baker, informed families about the school's Dave and Buster's reading challenge and all the e-books now available in the LMC.  Families also visited the computer labs and had an opportunity to give their invaluable input about the school by completing the Advanc-Ed parent survey.  In this rotation, Mrs. Gaby Brown and Mrs. Sandy Love showed families how to access the FSA and EOC practice tests and materials on the online Florida Standards Assessment Portal.  Mrs. Diana Gillis and Mrs. Makala Ellenburg, with the assistance of WHS Anchor Club and WMS Builder Club members, graciously entertained young children in the child care center so parents could spend time learning with their older children.  Many WMS teachers and faculty members gave of their time to work together to make the night a meaningful opportunity for celebrating literacy and the arts at Walton Middle School with parents and students.

Submitted by Kristen Nelson

Congratulations to Jessie Miller, South Walton High School, for her successful completion of the Digital Information Technology Certification! 
Jessie is pictured here with South Walton High School's Technology instructor, Richard Komando.

Submitted by Barbara Stratton

Walton High School student, McCaid Paul, spoke to education classes at Chipola College on February 6th,
McCaid shared his journey in becoming an author, discussed the writing process and the impact that teachers on students.
McCaid has recently released his second novel, “Secret Trust.” It is the sequel to “The Forgotten Headline,” his first book which debuted last year. They are both available in paperback, hardcover, or ebook through
“Secret Trust” is the second in a series of four books which takes place in a small, southern town known as Summersville. The sequel revolves around the main characters, Mick and Billie, who are each confronting their own family mysteries, uncovering hidden truths and decades old secrets.
To learn more about McCaid and his writing, check out his website,,, or locate him on Instagram and Twitter.

Greg Garrett is congratulated by South Walton High School Principal Dr. Alexis Tibbetts for being named a candidate in the U. S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Gregory Garrett, a graduating senior at South Walton High School, has been named one of approximately 4,500 candidates in the 2019 U. S. Presidential Scholars Program.  He was selected from nearly 3.6 million students.  Gregory is President of the South Walton High School Student Government Association, a National Advanced Placement Scholar, and a 2018 Sunshine State Scholar


Inclusion in the U. S. Presidential Scholars Program is based on superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities. 


Up to 161 U. S. Presidential Scholars will be chosen from this year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth.


Scholars will be invited to Washington, D.C. for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities.


Gregory is the son of Robert and Anna Garrett of Freeport, FL.  He plans to attend the University of Florida majoring in Computer Science and Business.

Submitted by Barbara Stratton

Photo by Barb Stratton, SWHS