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ECMS Science Geeks blasted out of the 2016-2017 school year with a lot of fun.

5th Grade Science Teacher, Ms. Tonia Murray reported the last meeting of the year was filled with bubbles, balloons and a super cake! With special thanks to Mrs. Forsgren (parent of ECMS & BES students), for helping out with all the fun. The Science Geeks were bubbling over with excitement, and if they could have been plugged in to an outlet...they could have powered the school for a month! Submitted by Angela Vance.

Superintendent A. Russell Hughes and the Walton County School Board celebrated the academic team's win at the State Competition in Orlando, FL during the Tuesday, May 2, 2017, School Board meeting.  Team members, coaches and families were recognized for this awesome accomplishment.  The Walton County School District Academic Team presented their trophy to Superintendent A. Russell Hughes. Congratulations!

Press Release - The Walton County School District Academic Team has won the State Championship in Division 3 of the 32nd Commissioner’s Academic Challenge in Orlando, Florida with 188 points!

In the final competition Saturday morning, April 29, team Members Sean Brown, Malcolm Griffith, Jordan Nichols, Evan Cowie, Kier Teves, and Griffon Murphy were behind 1 point after the 5 point round, and behind 3 points after the 15 point round. They played smart and conservatively and made their way back up to the lead, which they maintained throughout the rest of the competition. As a team, they scored more points than any other team in the final competition on the Team Bonuses.

The Commissioner's Academic Challenge is a highly academic statewide high school tournament inaugurated in 1986. The districts are placed in three divisions based on the fall FTE summary provided by the Florida Department of Education. Each team consists of six members (a maximum of four players during each of the three rounds and two alternates) and a coach. A maximum of six teams may compete in one competition round. This is not a quick response, trivial pursuit contest. Instead, it is a slower-paced tournament in which players are asked questions from the areas of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, the fine arts, world languages (French and Spanish) physical education, health, and technology. The questions are written by educators from high schools throughout the state.

Two of the WCSD Academic Team coaches that traveled to the event with them, Coach Carla Griffith and Coach Glen Harrison, said it was amazing to see how well they worked together and functioned as a team! Special thanks to ALL the Academic Team coaches throughout the District who have worked with these students from Middle School through High School to help prepare them for this exciting moment! 

Additional congratulations goes to Evan Cowie, Walton High School, for being selected for the Team Florida Academic Team! Team Florida consists of six students, one each from the division-winning district and three chosen from the remaining teams. These six students will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship, and will go on to compete in the National Academic Team competition! This is a great honor, and we know Evan will represent WCSD and the State of Florida well in this event!

Submitted by Crystal Appel and Keitha Bledsoe.


Macayla Llewellyn, both a Troy nursing student and a Freeport High School alumna, informed students at Freeport High School about the documented dangers of tobacco products. Submitted Patty Woodard.

Ms. Tonia Murray's science classes have been "down on the farm" right in the classroom. The class took great care of 14 fertile eggs and all hatched safely. The highlight of the embryology project was holding one the cute fluff balls! Pure joy! The chicks have returned safely back to the farm and will be egg layers. Submitted by Angela Vance.

Ms. Donnita Carroll’s class led the charge during the month of April to create a spectacular wall mural, representing Autism Awareness. Students and staff across the school were invited to complete a puzzle piece for the wall and created a beautiful cohesive art instillation for ECMS that will make us smile past the month of April! Congratulations to the class for leading ECMS in taking pause to create something from the hearts of Stingrays for the hearts of others to enjoy! Submitted by Angela Vance.

Walton Middle School Students Named National Finalists in the Bright Schools Competition

Team Warriors is One of 50 National Finalists in Innovative STEM Competition for Students in Grades 6-8

DeFuniak Springs, FL. April 18, 2017— Ethan Mckee, Larissa Singletary, Atterol Walters, and Chloe Wilder along with teacher Greer Harvell, of Walton Middle School in Defuniak Springs, Florida have been named national finalists in the 2nd annual Bright Schools Competition™. The competition is a collaborative effort of the National Sleep Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association that encourages students in grades 6-8 to explore the correlation between light and sleep and how it influences student health and performance. Team Warrior is one of 50 national finalist teams, chosen among 150 teams, made up of nearly 500 students from 53 schools. In early May, first-, second- and third-place national winning teams will be announced. The complete list of the national finalists can be found at

Team Warrior’s winning project, entitled “Lace Case,” proposed a uniquely manufactured phone case that would block the emittance of blue light. The materials to be used were specifically selected as they have been determined to be hypoallergenic, alleviating a potential problem for those who are allergic to latex. The phone case would include an amber tinted screen protector. Studies have shown that those who wear amber glasses for three hours before bedtime reported increased sleep quality and an enhanced overall mood.  The team theorized that the same concept could be applied through the use of an interchangeable screen for smart phones.

“The National Sleep Foundation would like to congratulate the finalists on their innovative projects. The Bright Schools Competition™ has shined a light on the importance of sleep and overall health, and we’re encouraged to see so many students interested in how light directly affects their sleep and academic performance” said David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. Submitted by Greer harvell/Kristen Rhodes.