Walton County School District announces Mrs. Joan Kennett Teacher of The Year
Educational Support Professional of the Year award goes to Ms. Renee Patrick
The Walton County School District is proud to announce our 2018 Teacher of the Year, and Educational Support Professional of the Year!
The Teacher of the Year award went to South Walton High School biology instructor Joan Kennett. Mrs. Kennett, is currently in her 27th year of teaching, and her fifth year teaching biology at South Walton High School. She expressed what a privilege it is to represent the excellence of teachers, staff, administrators, school board members, and students in the Walton County School District.
The Educational Support Professional of the Year award goes to Ms. Renee Patrick. Ms. Patrick is an ESE Paraprofessional with the Walton County School District at Walton High School, and has been in the district 13 years. Ms. Patrick welcomes the challenges of the unknown with her special needs students, helping them meet whatever obstacles they may face.
Superintendent A. Russell Hughes has upheld his promise and commitment to expand the recognition of the Walton County School District Teacher and Educational Support Professional in EPIC fashion through collaboration with MH Carr and the Walton Education Foundation, and local community members and business partners. As part of this year’s award package, the Teacher of the Year winner will have the use of a brand new GLA250 Mercedes Benz for the next year, courtesy of ZT Motors of Fort Walton Beach! Mr. Hughes extends his thanks to those who contributed gifts and awards totaling over $10,000 for the TOY and ESP winners!
February is Career and Technical Education Month. The mission of Walton County School District’s CTE Programs is to prepare students of all ages for success in college and career by helping them develop the skills, technical knowledge, academic rigor and real-world experiences necessary to be successful in a high-skill, high-demand career in an ever-changing global market.
WCSD has started four new certifications programs this school year. Freeport High School in conjunction with Walton County Sheriff’s Department has started the 911 Telecommunications certification through the Criminal Operations Program. SWHS has started Emergency Medical Responder certification through their Certified Nursing Program in addition to the Certified Nursing Assistant certification they already offer. In addition, SWHS started an Accounting Applications program as well as a Web Application Development & Programming this school year. Our CTE Industry certifications have increased dramatically from 2014-15 with 22 certifications awarded to 2016-2017 with 543 certification awards.
Our Walton County Fine Arts programs are flourishing under the leadership of Superintendent Hughes. Mr. Hughes believes that in addition to the skills the students demonstrate, music education helps prepare young people to think creatively, learn how to work collaboratively, and become disciplined, critical thinkers and problem solvers. It is his position that children who receive a comprehensive, sequential music education taught by exemplary music educators do better in overall school achievement, social development, success in society, and earning potential. Under the Superintendent’s leadership, the district has been able to provide greater financial support to each of our school music programs; instituted the Nationally Acclaimed “Quaver Music” curriculum in all of our elementary schools, and purchased new instruments, music, and equipment for our band programs. While times are tight fiscally all across our state and nation, the Walton County School District has declared a commitment to music and the arts by making sure that no programs are eliminated, and every child in Walton County has access to a quality Fine Arts education.