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Eagle Scout Project Improves Van R. Butler Elementary School

Students and staff at Van R. Butler Elementary School in South Walton enjoy a beautiful courtyard and garden area now that Sterrett McInnis's Eagle Scout project is completed.  In February of 2014, Sterrett along with members of the Boy Scout Troop 157 of Niceville, and representatives of the Butler Student Council finished several improvements on the school’s grounds.  Two large olive trees, multiple butterfly bushes and butterfly plants, and confederate jasmine were all donated by Eastern Supply Company of Santa Rosa Beach.   All the materials for a 10 ft. trellis were donated by South Bay Ace Hardware also of Santa Rosa Beach.  Lowe's of Destin provided discounts for the four park benches, picnic tables, edible plants, mulch, tree stakes, and 13 edible fruit trees ranging from lime, fig, to a special cocktail tree that is grafted with three combined fruits!  The American Legion #221 of Niceville, the Van R. Butler PTO, and family members also provided donations for the project .  Students at Butler created hand painted bird baths and painted various bird feeders and bird houses.  The end result  is a beautiful outdoor classroom which will also be used as an outdoor cafeteria.  

Champion Mathematicians!

March 13, 2014

Congratulations to Dr. Cheryl Mixson and her Math students!  For the second year in a row, South Walton High School finished FIRST in their division at the Northwest Florida State College Math Bow.


Celebrating their victory are (L to R) Luke Bauer, Wes Fegely, Ansley Barton, Hannah Crawford, Cody Pickren and Jessica Waites.


Luke Bauer earned a fifth place individual trophy and Cody Pickren finished second.


We are proud of our Champion Mathematicians!

Emerald Coast Middle students earn Microsoft Office Specialist Certification! Harrison Blount and Benjamin Nguyen are the first two Microsoft IT Academy students to certify in PowerPoint, Word and Excel for the 2013-2014 school year.  

These students not only set a record here at ECMS, but they are also the first Middle School students District-wide to earn this achievement. Mrs. Carter, technology teacher at ECMS, stated that she is very proud of this self-motivated group of Microsoft Academy students. They have applied a strong work ethic and met their technical goals in less than one school year. 

Emerald Coast Middle students earn Microsoft Office Specialist Certification!

Congratulations to Freeport Middle School Art student Blane Brown. Blane was awarded 2nd place for his “Peter and the Wolf” artwork created for the NWFSC Mattie Kelly Arts Center 5th grade Art Contest. Hayden Byrd and Olivia Neal, both 5th grade FMS students, won Honorable Mentions. Congratulations to you all!

The Pickren Brothers, William and Cody, represented SWHS at the 2014 State Wrestling Championships.  Freshman William finished second in the state in the 106 lb class; Junior Cody Pickren made his second appearance at the state tournament in the 145 lb weight class.

The Walton County Education Association (WCEA) and the Walton County School Board held the annual Teacher of the Year and the Educational Support Professional (ESP) of the Year ceremony and reception on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at Walton High School.

The event was emceed by Ms. Dixie Burge, WCEA ESP President, and Ms. Patsy Stephens, WCEA Instructional President.  Superintendent Carlene Anderson praised the instructional and support professionals who were nominated by their peers to represent their individual school sites.  She reminded everyone they were chosen for this honor because they “stood out, made a difference and acted as role models.” 

Ms. Susan Marino, a teacher at Emerald Coast Middle School was selected as Walton County’s Teacher of the Year.  Ms. Barbara Stratton, school secretary from South Walton High School was selected as Walton County’s Educational Support Professional of the Year.  Congratulations to both winners!

3rd Annual Apple Classic Run

February 24, 2014

The Walton Education Foundation hosted its 3rd Annual Apple Classic Run at Hammock Bay on Saturday, February 8th.  The event was a great success with 130 registered runners and 22 business sponsors, a new record for the Apple Run.  Some of Walton County’s schools created school teams.  Walton Middle School had the highest number of registered runners with Emerald Coast Middle School a close second.  Proceeds from the race will be used to help fund the Classroom Mini-Grants. 


A special thank you goes out to our volunteers from Freeport High School’s Anchor & Key Clubs, Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, WCSD employees, as well as, friends & family members, for making the race a success!


The Foundation truly appreciates the sponsorships and donations from the following businesses:

Hammock Bay; Hilton Sandestin; CHELCO; Gulf Power; Century Link; Gold’s Gym; McCullar & Company; CSI; Nick’s Restaurant; Coca-Cola; Wal-Mart; Dejavu; Pizitz Home & Cottage; Fun In The Sun; Wallace O’Connell; Publix; Critzer Law Firm; SouthernLink Wireless; Panama City Business Machines; Edward Jones Investments; South Walton Stitchery; and Clary-Glenn Funeral Home.

Producer, director and cinematographer Elam Stoltzfus visited South Walton High School science, art and drama students recently.  Stoltzfus is currently working on a documentary for PBS about the coastal dune lakes in South Walton County.  Pictured with Stoltzfus are Sarah McManus, Bo Massey, Advanced Placement Environmental Science teacher Pat Murphy, Elam Stoltzfus, M C Cunningham and Stille Harbeson.

Camille Cosson, second from left in front row, is surrounded by her fellow Seahawk Softball Team members as she signs a letter of intent to play for Northwest Florida State College.