Walton County School District Superintendent’s Update

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The 2017-18 academic year has come to an end, and Superintendent A. Russell Hughes is exceedingly proud of all graduating High School Seniors!  Walton County School District places a high priority on educating and preparing students to meet the demands of the post-secondary arena and job market. Based on current statistics, approximately 80 percent of the more than 470 graduates are planning to enter post-secondary institutions to further their education.

U.S News and World Report has listed 100 percent of Walton County high schools on their “Best U.S. High Schools list for 2018!“ The U.S. News rankings include data on more than 20,500 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.  Out of 762 high schools in Florida, Freeport Senior High School (FSHS) was ranked 124 and received Silver Medallion status. South Walton High School (SWHS) was ranked 143, also receiving Silver Medallion status. Walton High School (WHS) was ranked 190, receiving Bronze Medallion status. Paxton School was also recognized as one of 35 schools in the state to receive Bronze Medallion status.

SWHS celebrated the beginning of construction on its long-awaited new 10-classroom addition, with a ground-breaking ceremony in May. SWHS Principal Dr. Alexis Tibbetts stated the addition would serve to accommodate the incredible growth both in student enrollment, and in course offerings. Dr. Tibbetts thanked the Walton County School Board members, Superintendent Hughes and Mark Gardner, WCSD Facilities Director, for their diligence, support and patience during the long, and sometimes tenuous, journey that led to the actual beginning of the construction project. Dec. 23, 2018, is the target date for project completion.

We are continuing to strengthen the development of higher order thinking skills through the Arts by providing advanced creative opportunities. Congratulations to SWHS Visual Art student, My Huyen Truong, for her third place win at the 2018 District Congressional Art Competition hosted by Congressman Matt Gaetz. My Huyen is the student of Dr. Vivian Komando, SWHS art instructor.  In the musical arts, SWHS recently hosted the renowned concert pianist Polina Bespalko in a collaborative concert performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the SWHS band, under the baton of Band Director Robert Escamilla.

To help with family meals during the summer months, the Summer BreakSpot program provides nutritious meals at no cost to children 18 and under. The two primary open sites in the Walton County School District will be Freeport Elementary and Walton High School. You can also find a location by dialing 2-1-1 or texting the phrase “FoodFL” to 877-877. No registration is needed to participate in the program. Lunchtimes are 10:30 a.m. – noon.  Afternoon snack is provided from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Superintendent Hughes wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable summer vacation filled with activities that promote learning retention and provide new learning discovery!