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New Teachers at WDE

August 12, 2022

Principal Darlene Paul welcomed new teachers to WDE with some back to school goodies! This EPIC group is excited to “Get On and Go On” as they begin their journey working in the Walton County School District!

Mrs. Allen has been employed by the Walton County School District since 2009. She earned her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University, a master's degree in Counseling and Psychology from Troy Univeristy , and a master's degree in Educational Leadership from American College of Education. Over the last 13 years, Mrs. Allen has taught third, fourth, and fifth grade at West DeFuniak Elementary. She has also served as the Title 1 Contact, School Improvement Chair, Kiwana's K-Kid's Advisor, School Advisory Council Chair, and in many other roles. 

Mrs. Allen is known for her enthusiam and positive attitude. She is always doing what she can do to assist students, faculty, parents, and community members. Mrs. Allen is innovative and always looking for new ways to support WDE! She is excited to continue her journey in this new role! 

Recently, West DeFuniak Elementary was afforded the opportunity to host Mrs. Wendy Rodrigue, the widow of the late George Rodrigue. Mr. Rodrigue is the artist for the Blue Dog series and The Life and Legacy Tour is a program exploring his life and art.
Art teacher, Mrs. Benefield and her 4th grade students thank Mrs. Rodrigue so much for taking the time to visit our school. We enjoyed hearing her share more about her husband and Blue Dog. We were honored to be the first to see the specials pieces of art taken right off the walls in her home. These pieces had never shared before on tour but were chosen to celebrate the month of love!
Students in Mrs. Benefield's classes had recently completed their own Blue Dog art projects and the
students thoroughly enjoyed seeing the original pieces of artwork by Mr. Rodrigue.
This program is brought to the schools by the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation.
Please visit for more information.
Happy School Counselor Week! West DeFuniak Elementary is blessed to have Mrs. Dawn Barone as our school counselor. Every day she can be seen assisting students, parents and teachers. Whether she's helping with state testing, encouraging students in the hallways, finding resources for students in need, assisting with enrollment of new students, or being an advocate for students, Mrs. Barone always has a smile and an encouraging word for those on our campus. Mrs. Barone - We love you! Thank you for being an important part of our team!
First grade students at WDE are celebrating Black History Month by learning about Contemporary artist, Reggie Laurent. They are identifying and using Geometric and Organic shapes for these paper collages inspired by Reggie's bright, beautiful work.

Congratulations to Mrs. Darlene Paul for being named Walton County School District's Principal of the Year. Mrs. Paul has been the principal at West DeFuniak Elementary for the past 13 years and has been an educator for 20 years.  Every day she puts forth extra effort to make our school the best that it can be.  She believes in her students and her staff and desires for each of them to be successful! Without a doubt, she deserves this tremendous award!  We are so proud to call her our own!  Join us in congratulating her!

West DeFuniak Elementary’s 4th and 5th grade students went on a Math & Science Safari last night at WDE’s annual Math/Science Family Night. Students received WDE Safari Transit Passes from their teacher at school on Tuesday, February 1st. Students brought those passes to Math/Science Family Night to use as their admission ticket into the Safari. Students had boarding passes that got stamped as they visited classrooms, the music room, the art room, and the cafeteria. These stops featured science activities relevant to animal adaptations. Students and families had lots of funs creating things, playing games, and figuring out how different animals live, eat, and survive.

Students also visited a math station on their grade level where they learned to play fun math games aligned with grade level standards. Students were able to take home these math packets to play with their parents and families at home.


Parents, please take a few minutes to watch this very informative video to help support your young readers! Mrs. Carla Sconiers is one of our district reading coaches and was gracious enough to create this video to assist you in supporting your child at home. We value parent engagement and love to see families partnering with schools to help their child succeed! Please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher if you have any questions. We appreciate you! Enjoy!