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On Thursday, September 3, 2020 First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the theme for Hispanic Heritage Month would be “Celebrating Untold Stories and Contributions of Hispanic Americans in Florida.” Lady DeSantis also released information regarding student art and essay contests and Excellence in Education awards. Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized and celebrated in the United States from September 15 to October 15.

“For generations, Hispanic Americans have influenced and shaped our state with their vibrant culture, rich history and remarkable innovations,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “During Hispanic Heritage Month, the Governor and I look forward to celebrating and recognizing these individuals who have made our state, nation and world a better place including those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s theme encourages students to take a deeper look into the local leaders, innovators and community members who have contributed to Florida’s successful history and bright future.”

Students in grades K-3 are invited to participate in an art contest while students in grades 4-12 are invited to participate in an essay contest based on this year’s theme. Additionally, students, parents, teachers and principals are invited to nominate full-time educators of all student grades for the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award.

Walton County is excited to encourage students to participate in celebrating the history and culture of Hispanic Americans by participating in the art or essay contest.  If students or parents are interested in submitting an entry for either competition, please contact the Fine Arts, Spanish or Social Studies Departments at your school for further information.   Please note however, that all entries must be received by 5pm on September 25, 2020.

Click Here to view the announcement.  

Mossy Head School celebrates during first House Meeting of the School Year! 

Students and Staff of MHS met for the first House Meeting of the Year. 5th grade, and students new to the school, practiced social distancing as they gathered in the cafeteria for the meeting. Other students joined the celebration with their teacher and class via Microsoft Teams. The whole school cheered on and welcomed the new students as they found out which House they would join. 

Football is Back!

September 3, 2020

Football is Back!

The Walton County School District is excited for the start of football this Friday night.  As always, safety remains a top priority.  Spectators are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines, water fountains will be turned off, random temperature checks will occur at all entrances, and all concession workers will be wearing gloves, masks, and/or face shields.  Please be aware that ticket sales are limited due to social distancing, and games may sell out.  Please plan ahead, and contact schools or visit school websites, for more information. 

SWHS Culinary

September 3, 2020

Mrs. Herndl took time to share what the Culinary lab students were doing with sanitary, professional, and appropriate food preparation in the area of cutting practices with Dr. Hawthorne and Superintendent Hughes!  These students are headed for certification in Culinary Arts!  We are back Full Swing!

Superintendent Hughes stopped by FES to help with student drop off, met Kemrien who was admiring his shield and Superintendent likewise was admiring her Super cool shades!  He also stepped in to see amazing social distancing in Ms. Brassell’s PE class.  Accolades to our parent and students; easily 98% of students were wearing a mask when they exited their vehicles.  The “C” in EPIC stands for collaboration; this is the epitome of how we can continue doing well.  Thank for ALL STAKEHOLDERS who are making it happen!

House Reveal

September 3, 2020

Students new to MSE were surprised this week to find a colored bracelet taped beneath their chair, which indicated which HOUSE they would belong to! Everyone was excited to welcome them into their House Family, where they will remain until they leave Maude Saunders as a fifth grade graduate. The HOUSE of INTEGRITY finished off the 2019-2020 school year in first place. We are all ready to start earning points through excellent behavior, effort, and academic achievement!

Golden School Awards

September 2, 2020

Golden School Awards


The Golden and Silver School Awards are presented annually by the Florida Department of Education to recognize exemplary schools which promote parent and community engagement in education.  Creating environments that are welcoming to parents and the community is a critical factor that affects the success of individual students and the school environment as a whole. 

To receive the award schools must meet specific criteria to include:

  • 80% of the school’s staff is trained in school volunteerism
  • School has a designated volunteer coordinator
  • Total number of volunteer service hours equals or exceeds the number of students enrolled

This year five District schools are receiving this distinction:

Freeport Elementary School                          Kristin Lewis, Principal                    Gay Pannell, Volunteer Coordinator

Maude Saunders Elementary School          Cindy Neale, Principal                     Krisy Spence, Volunteer Coordinator

West DeFuniak Elementary School              Darlene Paul, Principal                   Hope Allen, Volunteer Coordinator

South Walton High School                              Alexis Tibbets, Principal                 Ann Harris, Volunteer Coordinator

Walton High School                                           Janet Currid, Principal                     Brianna Leavins, Volunteer Coordinator

Superintendents to Watch

Congratulations to our very own Superintendent A. Russell Hughes on being recognized by the National School Public Relations Association as a 2020 “Superintendents to Watch” Honoree! 

Earlier today, 24 superintendents from across the nation were recognized for this honor.  Joining superintendents from California to New Jersey, Mr. Hughes represents Florida.

To be selected for this honor, superintendents must “demonstrate dynamic, fast-paced leadership with strong communication at its core.”  

Mr. Hughes is grateful for another opportunity to represent the greatest school district, not just in the state, but in the nation.

Thank you, Superintendent Hughes, for continuing to embody the EPIC mentality. We are so proud to have you as our leader.  Congratulations!

Miss DFS and Miss WC

September 2, 2020

2020 youth ambassadors from the Miss DeFuniak Springs and Miss Walton County program have experienced a year like no other, but they have still connected with their community by sending thank you cards to essential workers and helping a retired couple with necessary yardwork. They are wonderful representatives of our Bama to the Beach county. 


 Krislynn McLaney is the 2020 Miss DeFuniak Springs.  She is a recent graduate of both Walton High School and Northwest Florida State College. Krislynn   will be attending Berry College this fall in Rome, Georgia.  Her parents are Chastity and Roger McLaney.  

 Harmony Heitger is the 2020 Miss Walton County . She is both a Sr. at Paxton School and a dual enrolled student at Northwest Florida State College. Her parents are Jamie and Christy Heitger.?

The Little Miss DeFuniak Springs is Kristan Sunday. Her parents are Stan and Tammy Sunday. She is going to be a second grader at Paxton next year.?

Little Miss Walton County is Paislee Missildine. Her parents are Linsey and Justin Missildine. Paislee will be in the second grade at Paxton when school starts back.?

The reigning Teen Miss DeFuniak Springs is Kameryn Sunday. She attends Paxton  School. Her parents are Stan and Tammy Sunday.?

Jenna Bell is the 2020 Teen Miss Walton County. She is a student at Walton High School. ?

Raelyn Carter is our Future Little Miss DeFuniak Springs. Her parents are Blon Carter and Brooke Windham. She will be a first grader at West DeFuniak Elementary.?

Allanah Bishop is our Young Miss DeFuniak Springs.  She attends Paxton School. Her parents are Tina and Thomas Bishop.?

Junior Miss DeFuniak Springs is Onna Frazier. Her parents are Brandy and David Frazier. Onna attends Walton Middle School.?

Alexis Finley is Junior Miss DeFuniak Springs. She attends Walton Middle School and her proud mom is Maggie Finley.?

The 2020 Young Miss Walton County is Abagail Simmons. Her parents are Amanda McKee and Frank Simmons Jr. She attends West DeFuniak Elementary School.?

Future little Miss Walton County is MaKenna Thompson. Her mom is Melanie Cobb.? MaKenna attends Maude Saunders Elementary.

  Harmony and Krislynn will be representing this area in October at the Miss National Peanut Festival in    Dothan, Alabama. Paislee and Kristan will also be competing in the Little Miss National Peanut Festival.?

Re-opening Update for Parents 8/28/20


We are excited to wrap up our second week of school!  The first ten days have been smooth and successful, and we want to thank everyone for being so supportive.