Skip to content

Welcome Back, Warriors!

August 11, 2022

Superintendent Hughes stopped by WMS first thing this morning to welcome our Warriors back to school. His smile says it all. WCSD is "getting on and going on" to greater heights than we have ever achieved before.

Our teachers, staff, and students believe the 2022-23 school year will be our strongest yet as we launch into our mission to become the highest performing middle school, both academically and socially, in Walton County.

Families, we promise to love and care for your children today and every day. Thank you for trusting us with their education.



To the Parents/Guardians of the WCSD:

We trust that you all had a wonderful summer and are ready for another EPIC school year in the Walton County School District! The first few days of a new school year are always so special as we are excited to see our students!


Since the end of last school year, the Florida Department of Education released an updated COVID Decision Tree. In summary, your child will only be asked to quarantine if they themselves test positive, then may return to school after five (5) days, fever-free for 24 hours, with no additional testing required. Please review and familiarize yourself with this new decision tree.


Much like last year, we will continue to implement mitigation strategies – cleaning, disinfecting, healthy hygiene reminders. If and/or when protocols change, our response will always be based on data, new or revised best practices, and/or expert information. All decisions are made with our employees and students in mind, and in Walton County, safety is always our number one priority. Thank you for continuing to trust us with your children.


We are looking forward to everyone having an amazing first day and an incredible 2022-2023 school year!

EPIC Day is the creation of Superintendent A. Russell Hughes as a way of starting off a new school year.  Characterized by high energy, motivation, celebration, and professional development.  2022-23 EPIC Day exceeded all expectations.  Superintendent Hughes opened the meeting with a message of celebration for the success of the 21-22 school year which led to #3 ranking in the State.  His message was followed with an inspirational message from keynote speaker, Kim Bearden, the cofounder of The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, GA.  Following content and choice breakout sessions led by teachers for teachers, the day ended with messages from guest speakers; Sarah Painter, Florida Teacher of the Year, and WCSD Teacher of the Year, Lance Climber.  Superintendent Hughes closed the meeting with one last thank you and energy boost to “Get On/Go On” to all of the WCSD to take forward into what is sure to be an EPIC 2022-23 School Year. 

ESE Teacher Leaders had the opportunity to attend the FL DOE's Special Education Summer Institute in Orlando this week.  This training provides supports & builds capacity with the implementation of the new B.E.S.T. Aligned Standards for Students with Disabilities to include instruction in the new B.E.S.T. Aligned Access Points.  WCSD was well-represented by ESE Staffing Specialist Julie Smith, ESE Instructional Coach Melissa Susenbach and SWHS-MIC ESE Teacher Monica Brady.  

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office will host their annual Back Pack Splash on July 30, 2022 at the DeFuniak Springs Wee Care Park.  The event begins at 11a.m. and back packs will be given away first come, first serve as long as they last! 

Enjoy a day in the park with free food, drinks and activities for the kids while getting them prepared to begin the new school year!

The Walton County School District begins the 2022-23 School Year with a positive energy at Manufacturing Day.  Superintendent Hughes implemented this day with a vision of bringing everyone together with all the resources available in one room.  Each school brought their School Improvement Teams, which included administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and students.  After kicking the meeting off with the release of data and a positive and energetic message, school teams began working from that vision to develop their visions and the plans to achieve them.  Superintendent Hughes took a few minutes to take a picture with students that wanted an opportunity to take the photo with him.  Thank you to Hadley Buckner, Juliette Roberts, Gareth Briggs, and Meg Wallace for taking time to come to this event.  This day is the start to another EPIC year in the Walton County School District. 

Destiny Worship desired to make an impact on the lives of students in some way.  Members chose to make beginning of the year school supply packs for children.  Ms. Sherry Whitlock and Ms. Nicole Thompson delivered 126 individual school packs to be shared with our elementary and middle schools.  Destiny Worship provides this community service in four counties at 6 different locations.   Thank you, Destiny Worship for your generosity and partnership! 

School leadership teams participated in our Solution Tree PLC at Work training during the week of July 11th. The PLC at Work professional development is designed to prepare district, school, and teacher leaders to build  professional learning communities that provide life-changing learning for all students. We look forward to implementing the strategies learned through PLC's inside our classrooms this school year.