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Students from across Walton County School District participated in the Unmanned Aerial Systems STEM Challenge this summer sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Participants learned to code utilizing terrestrial robots, pilot mini aerial systems to carry out real-world style missions, and even pilot larger aerial systems through an obstacle course. The three-day challenge accentuated skill acquisition and an introduction to unmanned aerial systems careers, plus was infused with an emphasis on teamwork and communication skills as students worked with their counterparts from Holmes County School District. The challenge was coordinated by Panhandle Area Educational Consortium.  

 Submitted by Heather Stewart

Congratulations to the ECMS Jr. Beta Club Quiz Bowl Team for their 3rd place finish in the Quiz Bowl at the National Jr. Beta Club Convention!!! The ECMS Quiz Bowl Team not only made it to the oral rounds from a field of 25 teams at the national level but won the quarterfinal as well. Unfortunately, they fell in a tight race for first. They won the consolation round and received the bronze medal in the national competition!!! Quiz Bowl Team Members are Eric Plunk, Luke Messer, Sophia Bock and Lily Jamison.  Also pictured is Lily Gibson who qualified at State to enter her acrylic artwork in the competition at the National Convention, and it showed well! We are extremely proud of our ECMS Jr. Beta Club Members!!!

Submitted by Candy Bodie

Students attending the Summer Bridge Program at West Defuniak Elementary have been having a great time participating in STEM Projects this summer.  For their last challenge, students got to participate in the egg drop challenge.  They had to create a container that would protect their egg from breaking when dropped.  All of these students were successful!

 Submitted by Darlene Paul

18 students in the Practical Nursing program at Emerald Coast Technical College graduated and were honored at a Pinning Ceremony last night at Walton High School!  This program is designed to prepare students for employment as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN's). The content includes, but is not limited to, theoretical instruction and clinical experience in acute care, long term care and community settings; theoretical instruction and clinical application of vocational role and function;  personal, family, and community health concepts; nutrition; human growth and development over the life span; body structure and function; interpersonal relationship skills, mental health concepts; pharmacology and administration of medications; legal aspects of practice; and current issues in nursing.

These students worked hard for their certification, and the WCSD is extremely proud of them, and of this outstanding program!  Congratulations to all! 

Submitted by Charlie Morse

Cover photo sent by Trecia Meadows

Pictured: Charlie Morse, ECTC Principal; Bill Eddins, School Board Member; Marsha Winegarner, School Board Member; Dr. Jennifer Hawthorne, Specialist of School Leadership and Development, WCSD.  

The 2017 Summer Reading Camp held at MSE is off to a great start. The 18 Reading campers will be attending from June 14-July 24 from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.. The camp will include portfolio assessing, phonics practice, reading strategy reviews, small group instruction, and goal driven remediation activities.

The teachers and campers are looking forward to a summer filled with success!

Submitted by Brianna Leavins

Freeport Middle School has been selected as one of the 2017 ALL STAR SCHOOLS in Florida by the Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership. FMS partners with this program during Red Ribbon Week and other campaigns to help kids grow up safe, healthy, and drug-free.

Submitted by Chelsea Ellison


WDE students attending the Summer Bridge Program have enjoyed participating in the STEM projects each week. Those  in Mrs. McLaney’s class have been reading a book titled “Trouble River”.  Students learned new vocabulary words such asraft, buoyant, balance, and arift. As a culminating STEM activity, students built a raft using apples and toothpicks.  They were able to test out the raft to make sure it would float and make adjustments as needed.

Submitted by Darlene Paul

Walton County Administrators participated in an all-day TNTP Standards Institute in the Carlene H. Anderson Training Room of the Wise Center today, June 26, 2017

TNTP (The New Teacher Project) is a national nonprofit founded by teachers that encourage and train talented educators and school leaders, ensure rigorous and engaging classrooms, and create environments that prioritize great teaching and accelerate student learning.

submitted by Keitha Bledsoe

ECET2 stands for Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers. It was born out of a desire to provide a forum for exceptional teachers to learn from one another and to celebrate the teaching profession.

ECET2 seeks to realize a teacher’s potential by ensuring each convening aligns with its six key beliefs:

  1. Nurturing trust among teachers
  2. Focusing on each teacher’s potential for growth
  3. Inspiring both the intellect and the passion that drives teachers in their work
  4. Providing time for collaboration and learning
  5. Putting teachers in the lead
  6. Recognizing teachers as talented professionals

Submitted by Nancy Currie.