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Submitted by Chelsea Ellison, Freeport Middle School

The 2016 - 2017 National Junior Honor Society Induction Ceremony was held on May 3rd at Freeport Middle School. The organization inducted nine members. These nine students demonstrate the five characteristics of the National Junior Honor Society: Scholarship, Leadership, Service, Character, and Citizenship. By joining this prestigious organization, these students are pledging to uphold the high purpose of the club.

On Sunday, May 1st, Rosemary Beach Foundation presented the 5th Annual Music in Pictures awards ceremony.  The event celebrated arts in education and honored the medalists of the 2016 juried art contest.  The Paxton School students who received an award are listed below. 

Whitney Stewart  – Medalist, Scotlyn Jones – Medalist, Riley Reeves – Medalist, Harmony Heitger – Medalist, Emily Wilson – Medalist, Gracelyn Jones – Judges’ Award, Payton Darby – Best in Show Elementary, Zoie Geohagan – Best in Show High School

 *not pictured: Shelby Taylor  – Judges’ Award

Submitted by Crystal Appel, Walton County School District

On Sunday, May 1st, Rosemary Beach Foundation presented the 5th Annual Music in Pictures** awards ceremony.  The event celebrated arts in education and honored the medalists of the 2016 juried art contest. A “packed house” of over 600 people attended the festivities at Freeport High School. We are grateful to the participating schools and the amazing art teachers who inspire Walton County students.

 Photo: WCSD Art Teachers from left to right: WMS- Katelyn Dorriety, VRB- Constance Rogers, FMS- Kristy Moody, SWHS- Vivian Komando, MSE- Kathy Harrah, BES- Cecile Lindegren, FHS- Terri Jones-Shelley, FES- Laurie Hudson, WDE- Kathy D'arensbourg, ECMS- Jennifer Rhea. Not pictured: WHS- Dimitri Zachos, PHS- Jessica Kommer, and MHS- Krystina Lyon

Submitted by Crystal Appel, Walton County School District

A special thank you to the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation for presenting Zig’s Musical Journey* at Freport Middle School on April 29th. 5th grade students and Band members were in participation with renowned percussionist Zig Wajler of "Hands on With Zig."


  Zig’s Musical Journey Is a highly interactive cross curricular and multicultural music experience featuring a battery of world percussion introducing rhythms, sounds, and song-styles from around the world with traditional and contemporary instruments, folk songs and original compositions.  Audience members participate through active dialogue and hands on interaction including basic rhythm patterns, instruments names, chants, and form a world music ensemble. Cross curricular connections include social studies, math, language arts, and science with historical and cultural content.  The program features world musical styles including; African, Native American, Latin, Hip-Hop, Jazz, US & World Folk, and Caribbean among others.  As an extension of the classroom, students will make a connection how textbook learning relates to music and their daily lives. 

Submitted by Chelsea Ellison, Freeport Middle School

On Friday, April 29th, the Freeport Middle School eighth grade AVID group visited Florida State University in Tallahassee for a campus tour. The visit was a part of AVID's college visit tour. In sixth grade, AVID students visit Northwest Florida State College's main campus and in seventh grade, AVID students visit the University of West Florida.

FMS AVID Students Visit FSU

Submitted by Angela Vance, Emerald Coast Middle School

Emerald Coast Middle School students and PSA contest finalists Reese Branton and Alyssa Sutton are a singing duo, better known as “Storm Singers”.  The Florida Division of Emergency Management selected the singers as 1st Place Winners in the 2016 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video PSA contest for middle school students. 

Reese Branton and Alyssa Sutton created a song with unique lyrics and rhythm highlighting information on tornado safety for their PSA.  The duo filmed the PSA in their Media Class at ECMS, taught by Ms. Angela Vance.  The PSA titled, “Storm Singers” is posted on Kids Get a Plan Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.  The students will receive prizes and perhaps an opportunity to participate in media/promotional events or ceremonies and interviews.  The winning video will be professionally re-produced and used by the Division in the statewide public awareness campaign. 

Submitted by Christy English, Walton High School

Local law enforcement agencies partnered with the Matrix to host the 4th Annual Jail & Bail fundraiser on April 29.  Mr. Hughes was served an arrest warrant, so WHS students and staff members were asked to raise $250 to keep him out of jail.  We were successful with this effort and contributed over $460 to ensure Mr. Hughes didn't have to go to jail & to support this worthy cause.  All proceeds go to the Matrix Community Outreach Center.  Way to go, Braves!

About the Matrix:
One of the many missions of the City of DeFuniak Springs and local law enforcement agencies is to partner with those in our community whose efforts make DeFuniak Springs and Walton County a safer, stronger, and healthier community.  The Matrix Community Outreach Center has been providing the community with a number of services that implement a "Hand Up Not a Hand Out" mentality since 2011.  The Matrix continues to strive to expand its programs and offerings to this community to help those less fortunate and in crisis. 

In order for the Matrix to meet their mission and provide for those in need in our community, they rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses for support.  Without the assistance of community-minded individuals and businesses, they would not be able to serve the men, women, and children in need in our community.

Submitted by Sherrie Binkowski, Van R. Butler

Every Kid Healthy Week - Zumbathon

April 25-29, 2016

This past week, every elementary school in Walton County joined in a Zumbathon during each physical education class. For participating, VRB was entered into the National Data Base and  recognized for their participation.