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WDE Teachers in Training

January 7, 2020

West DeFuniak Elementary teachers started off 2020 with preparation for their upcoming AVID Elementary Showcase. Primary teachers learned some hands-on AVID strategies such as “Team Huddle”, “4 Corners”, “Inside, Outside”, and “Quiz, Quiz, Trade” while teachers in grades 3-5 participated in their “LETRS PLC”. After lunch primary and intermediate teachers swapped out for more AVID strategies and LETRS PLC with district Literacy Coach, Shannon Seigler. Teachers in grades 3-5 learned about ways to incorporate “College & Career” into their lessons as well as ways to get their students in the mindset of goal setting for their futures.


Students in the West DeFuniak Elementary Kiwanis Kids Club went shopping for ten children from the Families First Network Angel Tree.

The money that they raised from their Thanksgiving Bake Sale was used to help bring a little Christmas Cheer to those in our community affected by economic hardship, deployment, or unfortunate events. These anonymous families can now share in the joy of the season!


West DeFuniak Elementary is pleased to announce Mrs. Mandy Callahan as Teacher of the Year and Mrs. Dorothy Urban as Educational Support Person of the Year.
Mrs. Callahan is a third grade teacher and has been teaching for seventeen years. She taught third, fifth, and sixth grades and worked at Paxton, Maude Suanders, and West DeFuniak. Her grandmother inspired her to become a teacher. Mrs. Callahan says that one of the things she enjoys the most about her job is planning. We all know that planning helps to make her classroom so successful. When asked about a memorable moment with her students, Mrs. Callahan shared that earlier this year she was able to trick her students into believing that she ate a candle. The purpose of the lesson was to make scientific observations, not assumptions. The students assumed it was a candle, but it actually was a cheese stick! Mrs. Callahan is married to Rickey and has two children, 4 stepchildren, 7 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren! Mrs. Callahan and her husband live in Bonifay and are currently fulfilling a lifelong dream of restoring a historical home!
Mrs. Urban is a fabulous custodian at West DeFuniak. This is her third year working at WDE. One of the things she likes the most about her job is being with the kids. Right before Thanksgiving one of the students gave her a picture and told her that she was her favorite custodian. She says that the kids make her enjoy coming to work every day. She is married to Gary. They have five children and eight grand children with one more on the way. One of her grandsons is a fifth grade student at WDE and she enjoys getting to see him. Mrs. Urban loves decorating for holidays – especially Christmas.
Congratulations to both of you! West DeFuniak is thankful to have you as part of our team!
Pictured (L to R) Darlene Paul - Principal, Mandy Callahan - Teacher of the Year, Dorothy Urban - Educational Support Person of the Year, Rodney Free - Assistant Principal

WDE Science Fair Winners

December 6, 2019

Congratulations to all of the WDE Science Fair Winners!  They had some amazing projects!

3rd Grade

Honorable Mention: “ Ice, Ice Baby” (Hamlett) Ruby George


3rd Place: “ White Rose Infusion” (Thomas) Evangelina Torres

2nd Place: “ Ant Snacks” (Thomas) Liam Adkinson

1st Place: “Grow, Grow, Gone” (Thomas) Katie Susenbach


3rd place: “What Clear Liquid Dissolves Candy Canes Fastest” (Callahan) Finley Kelley

2d place: “A Baker’s Query” (Thomas) Gracie Lawson

1st place: “Anchor or Beam Bridges” (Carnley) Cole Hardee

4th Grade


3rd Place: “Plants!” (Adkinson) Lacey Alford

2nd Place: “Dog Breeds and Behaviors” (Adams) Savana Waggoner

1st Place: “Color vs Taste” (Daniel) Ashton Black


3rd Place: “What Activator Will Make the Best Slime? (Adkinson) Josilynn Clenney

2nd Place: “Which Popcorn Brand Pops the Best” (Daniel) Raylee Gomillion

1st Place: “Skittles Color Science” (Daniel) Kinsleigh Nolen

5th Grade


Honorable Mention:

“Cabbage Patch” (Dickey) Liam Holley

3rd Place: “Boys vs Girls” (Garrett) Mallory Masonbrink

2nd Place: “Which Handwashing Method Kills the Most Germs?” (Stafford) Lucy George

1st Place: “Could You Remember?” (Currid) Calie Brackin

5th Grade


Honorable Mention:

“Environmental Effects on Kinetic Energy” (Stafford) Collin Dunnigan

“How Far Will it Fly?” (Garrett)) Cole Mitchell

3rd Place: “Horrendous Humidity” (Dickey) Mason Shelton

2nd Place: “Planets Orbital Speed” (Stafford) Kadence Houser

1st Place: “A Cloud’s Dripping Point” (Currid) Isabella Adkinson

Principal’s Award:

“The Water Works” (Bush) Dylan Gill

The West DeFuniak Elementary, Kiwanis Kids Club recently sent snacks to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. The Platoon Sergeant for these soldiers, SFC Cole,  just happens to be a local alumnus of Paxton High School.

This event not only helped these soldiers have some nice holiday snacks, it also helped students understand the benefits of helping those who are sacrificing to serve our great country!

In addition to sending snacks to soldiers, Families First Network informed that WDE Students and Staff were able to help 22 families in need with our Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive.   

The Food Drive helped local families have a nice holiday meal, and it also helped students understand the benefits of helping the less fortunate.

A group of people in military uniform standing in front of a building

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On Tuesday, November 19th, fourth and fifth grade classroom winners participated in the Schoolwide Tropicana Speaking Competition.  Parents, students, teachers, and judges were amazed by the well thought out speeches and the students' ability to present them to such a large group of people. Congratulations to each of these students!!!

Fourth Grade Winners

1st- Kyson Allen •••  The Tasmanian Devil

2nd- Makenna Anderson  •••  Addiction

3rd- Charles Allan Brooks  •••  Mad Scientists Throughout History

Fifth Grade Winners

1st- Annabel Hicks  •••  My Geographic Tongue

2nd- Carli Nowling •••  Sharks Anonymous

3rd- Calie Brackin  •••  Crocs


First and second place winners from our school competition will represent West DeFuniak at the District Tropicana Speaking Contest on December 12th at Freeport High School.