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West DeFuniak Elementary is pleased to announce Mrs. Jaime Ellis as Teacher of the Year and Mrs. Sandi Ingle as Educational Support Person of the Year.   

Mrs. Ellis has been teaching for 5 years.  Her positive attitude spills over to everyone around her.  She currently teaches second grade students.  Mrs. Ellis says, “I love being a teacher! I became a teacher to inspire, love, encourage, and motivate students.” Jaime is married to David and they have three kids.  Jaime stays busy outside of school with family and church ministry.  It is easy to see why she was selected for this honor.  Teachers and students at WDE love her. 

Mrs. Ingle has only been at West Defuniak for one year.  She serves as an aide in kindergarten through fifth grade classes.  She can always be found helping somewhere.  Whether taking temperatures or assisting in the office, she stays busy and does it with a smile.  Sandi is married to Alan and they have 3 children.  Mrs. Ingle says that her favorite part of being an aide is when the “light” comes on for a student who has been struggling.   

Congratulations to Mrs. Ellis and Mrs. Ingle!  WDE is proud to have you both as part of our team! 

Freeport Transportation Facility:

Groundbreaking was held on January 14, 2021 for Phase II of the Freeport Transportation Facility. This phase includes a new 21,000 SF facility, with eight maintenance bays, training room, maintenance and technology storage space.

I want to officially welcome you back to school from the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays! I hope 2021 is off to a promising start for both you and your family.

In the spirit of transparency, the Walton County School District would like to continue providing our updated COVID-19 data. Even after our holiday break and with 90% of students now enrolled in our brick and mortar settings, we are holding steady with both positive cases and exposures. 

COVID-19 Statistics

Today’s Data



Overall Data to Date

(8/17/20 – 1/15/21)

Positive COVID-19 Cases

of School District Students and/or Employees




Quarantined Due to On Campus Exposure

of School District Students and/or Employees




Quarantined Due to Off Campus Exposure (Community/Family Exposure)

of School District Students and/or Employees




Schools Involved in Positive Cases and/or Exposure




We believe our lower numbers are a result of the strong collaboration among families, students, and staff, and we hope to continue in this same manner. In that regard, we would like to once again remind everyone of our top COVID-19 preventive measures.

  1. Please social distance. All schools are announcing this reminder at the beginning of the day and during special events. You may also notice increased signage at schools and at athletic events.
  2. Mask are required for the school bus and are strongly encouraged at school, especially when social distancing isn’t feasible.
  3. Please wash and sanitize your hands throughout the day. All schools and buses have additional hand sanitizing stations for this purpose.
  4. Please stay home when you are sick. Staff will continue mandatory screening each day, and students may be randomly screened throughout the day.

As we begin planning the remainder of the second semester, we appreciate your understanding as we navigate through our many spring events and school traditions.  Please know it is our wish that all events and plans continue as normal. As educators charged with the safety of students, please understand that all future event decisions will be individually weighed based on updated COVID-19 information and data. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns related to safety or COVID-19, please do not hesitate to ask. Safety is, and will always remain, our number one priority.

Here’s to a great second semester and a healthy 2021!”  

Bay School is very excited to introduce our Teacher Of The Year and E.S.P. Of The Year for the 2020-2021 school year!

These amazing members of our Bay family deserve to be recognized for EPIC jobs that they do each and every day!

Teacher of the year - Mrs.Heather Motter

E.S.P. of the year - Ms. Susan Floyd

As the new year begins, the WMS PE department continues its "Warrior Way" character education program.  Perhaps now more than ever, the way we treat people matters.  This month, our tribe is focused on COOPERATION.  Please take the time to reinforce this concept at home.  Together, we can inspire our Warriors to be the very best versions of themselves they can be.

We are so elated that the following teachers have been selected first, by their colleagues at their school sites, and then secondly, have been designated as the top 3 from that distinguished group to compete and be observed by a non-bias committee to be selected as the Walton County School District Teacher of the Year.


Christin Barnhart – South Walton High School

Leslie Coone – Mossy Head School

Hannah Gomillion – Van R. Butler Elementary School


A committee looked over all the applications, accomplishments, and skills of those who were selected at their school sites. Now this committee is going to do a formal visit to the classrooms of Ms. Barnhart, Ms. Coone, and Ms. Gomillion, to see all that was written on paper, in real-time. The interaction that these teachers will have with their students, the engagement the student will be involved in, will help determine which of these three very phenomenal teachers will represent WCSD at the state level as Teacher of the Year.


We have had some great winners in past years and know this year’s winner is not going to be an exception to that greatness. We, the teachers, support staff, principals, and community, are excited to have this kind of representation on the wonderful campuses we have in Walton County.


Congratulations to the site-based winners on every campus!


We are glad to say that at 90% brick and mortar, our students are really getting the full effect of being educated by these teachers.


Congratulations and good luck to those who have been selected in the top 3 and are now in the running for Walton County School District’s Teacher of the Year.”

Congratulations to Matthew Cotton and Elizabeth Pulley, for being selected as teacher of the year and ESP of the year. Matthew Cotton teaches 6-12 science at the Walton In”10”sity School of Excellence. He began his career in Walton County as a paraprofessional and after earning his degree from the University of West Florida, earned the position of science instructor at the Magnet program. He has been instrumental at developing our school based behavior program via LiveSchool and mentoring teachers with various forms of virtual learning.

Our District Mission is: Preparing the whole child for a life of Success”!  This too was on display at WHS Monday night with the FBLA students competing in the District Competition against other FBLA teams in the northern part of the state.  Mrs. Harless leads this team with High Expectation as they have received Statewide entry for their exhibition of Business Concepts, skills, and practices.  Good luck to these students for starting early at becoming the Future Business Leaders of America; Walton County is a hub for this kind of Innovative Learning and a wonderful place not only to live, worship, raise a family, but to work.  We believe these students will play a great part in the continued Economic Development that’s happening in our county.  Superintendent Hughes stopped in to encourage these students.

Walton High School was “The Place To Be” last night as some of the brightest and well rounded students in the WORLD put to competition their Academic Knowledge displayed and put to test at our Academic Team Meet!  Wow…..Is an understatement of what these students know, have learned, and are able to supply under the pressure of a time clock/limit, in the presence of their peers, teachers and viewed by parents through technology.  EPIC may not give justice to the level of awesomeness these students exemplify in this setting.  Thanks teachers and sponsors for making it happen for these students; times that will forever be treasured even during the challenges of a pandemic!