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Remembering September 11, 2001

September 11, 2018

On the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, Walton County School District pauses to remember the events of that tragic day, as well as honor the victims and the heroism of first responders. Across the district, students took time to reflect with special Morning Show tributes, guest visits, moments of silence, and classroom activities designed to ensure that the events of this day are remembered, honored and retold.

South Walton High School held a special student assembly at which time the Seahawk band played the National Anthem, several students presented essays and speeches, and guest speakers presented thoughts and sentiments on the event. A video produced by Zach Green, TV Production student, was shared with the students as a way to help them understand the impact of 9/11. 
Guest speaker, SWHS teacher John McCoy, shared the experience from the perspective of someone who was actually in downtown New York City at the time the World Trade Center was hit. He shared some of the immediate reactions of the onlookers at the horror of what was taking place, and stated that we all need to "enjoy what we have. We can't take it for granted. We have to remember that at any moment our lives can change."

Bobby Escamilla, SWHS band director shared what it was like as an 11 year old who went to school that day expecting to celebrate his birthday with cupcakes for himself and all his classmates. He said that the full impact of the tragedy didn't hit him until the following day when he saw all the news coverage beginning to come in. Mr. Escamilla challenged the students to "not forget that love unites. At that time, we were all united in love because we were Americans. Nothing else mattered".

Dr. Tibbetts, SWHS principal, shared how for several days in the aftermath of the attack, airplanes bound for America had to land in other locations around the world for security purposes, and the people of those countries took care of the Americans on those planes as they were waiting to return to the United States. "America really came together, and so did the whole world, to help us."

District Chief of the South Walton Fire District, Corey Harned, spoke about the shock of seeing the events unfold via media sources. "There were 2,997 people that lost their lives on 9/11. 412 of them were emergency responders. 412 people gave the ultimate sacrifice for people they didn't event know." Continuing, Officer Harned shared "We have to train our hearts to loved and to be loved, because if we don't, the same hate that filled the hearts of that handful of people who flew those planes into the buildings can creep into the void...if there is no love." He followed up by sharing with the students that there are so many different kinds of things they can do to share love with others as "part of the your heart to love and be loved."


On Friday, August 31st, West DeFuniak Elementary students participated in a Positivity Project Pep Rally. Students made signs focusing on the character trait "Kindness," learned a kindness cheer, and heard from Mrs. Paul about this new initiative at WDE. The Positivity Project focuses on a different character trait each week. Students watch short videos and have daily discussions revolving around those traits. We look forward to seeing students exhibit this new learning in their actions as we learn that Other People Matter. Submitted by Jessica Dawkins

Janice Henderson from the Learning Resources Center at NWFSC spent time helping FHS dual enrollment American Government students learn how to navigate the online library system in preparation for their college level research papers. Submitted by Patty Woodard

Mr. Hughes stops and shows appreciation to Mrs. Lisa Crabtree and amazing lunch room staff while seeing the students at MHS. Love seeing my Kindergarteners recite their lunch numbers. Oh the Joy of Learning.....Things are “POPing” in EPIC2 Fashion in the WCSD.

Pictures with Soaking Wet students are a wonderful part of “Making Things POP” in the WCSD! We have research based programs that help us provide Healthy Academic Competition for our students. Congratulations students, teachers and staff at Mossy Head School for the great response heard from a student “This the Best Day Ever!” EPIC2!

SCIENCE ROCKS at West DeFuniak Elementary! Mrs. Katie Adams’ fourth grade studied the properties of matter, one being density. Groups created a density tower to showcase five layers of different liquids.  Students soon discovered liquids have different densities, therefore creating a layering effect with the heaviest liquid on the bottom. To further test density, students dropped various items into their density towers to compare the density of that item to the surrounding liquid. Through discovery, students were able to explain why different objects floated, while others sank.

 Submitted by Jessica Dawkins

After running 3.1 miles in their first meet of the season at the University of West Florida, the PHS cross country team decided to spend the rest of the day displaying their Pride, Passion, and Purpose in EPIC proportions. The team spent the rest of the afternoon volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House nearby. They entertained children, cleaned the facilities, and spread love to all who were there. The Bobcat family are very proud of this team!

Pictured - Back Row (L to R): Brianna Wright, Holden Mitchell, Jacob Morgan, Caylor Dixon, Maddie Varnum, Philip Anderson, Landon Stanley, Zach Wilson, Emily Wilson, and Ragan Butts. Front Row (L to R): Gracie Geoghagan, Lyndsey Wright, Eugene Hall, Nick Johnson, Blaine Johnston, Lawson Geoghagan, Tristan Petty.

Submitted by Kalli McMillan