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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
 
Walton Middle School invites the families of next school year's sixth grade students to attend "Middle School Jump" on Thursday, May 2, 2019, from 6:00-8:00. At this Title 1 parent training event, WMS administration, faculty, and even students will help incoming sixth graders get a jump-start on what it takes to be successful middle school students. Free dinner and childcare will be provided. WMS can't wait to meet the families of its new Warriors!
Submitted by Kristen Nelson

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.

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

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