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On Wednesday, April 27, 2002 Walton County School District employees showed their support for our local Children’s Advocacy Center and National Child Abuse Prevention Month by wearing navy blue.  National Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time for us to not only honor those who work to support children and strengthen families, but to shine a light on the many ways we can all play a role in preventing children from being harmed. 

The Prevention Resource Guide, an annual publication by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families Children’s Bureau outlines actions that can be taken by communities, organizations, families, and individuals to address the root causes of child abuse and provide meaningful and equitable support to families.  

You can access the Prevention Resource Guide and other resources at the Child Welfare Information Gateway’s at https://www.childwelfare.gov.

By increasing efforts to prevent child abuse, we all help children, families, and communities thrive. 

The SWHS Band was given the opportunity to volunteer with the Seabreeze Jazz Festival, setting up for the event and working different jobs to keep the event smooth.  The festival’s Non-Profit organization donates to the band based on the number of participants the school has. 

After visiting with the SWHS Band Teacher, Ethan Mitchell and students, Superintendent Hughes stopped and had a conversation with a student who was waiting to be picked up after a great day!

Kiln-Fires Ceramics

April 28, 2022

Recently Mrs. Kathleen Whaley’s art classes presented the Superintendent with a pinch pot from their Kiln-fires ceramics Visual Arts Curriculum!  This level of art was created by students in 5th Grade.  We get to experience how students love manipulating clay to their desired shapes and forms.  There are seven Elements of Art and this special project utilizes 5 of the 7, they are:  Line-shape-Form-Color and Texture! 

The Drop Savers Contest is a poster contest that is hosted by South Walton Utility. The contest is intended to bring attention to water conservation for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade.  

Walton Academy Charter School’s Dakota Chapin won first place for the middle school division. Along with some amazing gifts given to Dakota, his artwork will now go to the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association for the state level contest. Congratulations, Dakota! Your artwork is EPIC! 

Walton Middle School joined the rest of the planet in celebrating Earth Day last Friday, April 22nd.  While many students spent the day off campus on a field trip, seventh grade science students who remained in Mrs. Sandy Thorson's and Mrs. Dana Quinley's classes spent the day trying to ESCAPE!  While escaping school on any given Friday might sound appealing, these seventh graders stayed at school and made a break for it through an Earth Day themed escape activity.  What a collaborative and challening way to learn more about environmental science and our amazing planet!

April 22, 2022


The Walton County School District (WCSD), along with many educational systems, recently received a list of over 50 books deemed inappropriate by an outside group. From that list, as Superintendent of Schools, I sought information from district staff regarding the availability and locations of said titles. Staff located 24 of the 50+ books within media centers throughout the District.

Being proactive, I asked staff to remove the books from circulation for the purposes of reviewing and re-evaluating age-appropriateness and content, especially in the context of Florida’s recent legislative session. With reports of movements underway across the state coupled with legal implications and the potential undue stress to my District and staff, I am not willing to place any WCSD personnel in the cross hairs of this kind of perilous circumstance. I want to emphasize that NO “book ban” has occurred in Walton County. Any headlines or news stories as such are misinformation, inaccurate, and false!

The Walton County School District is committed to a culture which we proudly call EPIC. I am steadfast in the vision of excellence, choosing to focus on students and academics in these divisive times. Leaders, teachers, administrators, staff, and families in Walton County are focused on end of the year assessments, achievement, and graduations, which have earned the District the #5 ranking in the State of Florida. I will continue to protect and maintain the trust of the community and do what is right for all students and stakeholders consistent with how I have served as Superintendent for the past six years.


A. Russell Hughes Superintendent of Schools