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WHS and MSE make an EPIC team!

September 12, 2018

Each week, Mr. Carnley’s ninth grade Braves read to MSE’s Little Warriors.  This is a great example of schools teaming up to make epic things happen! Submitted by Krisy Spence

As  part  of  World’s  Largest  Single-Day  Beach  Cleanup  students and volunteers from across Walton County School District will  join hundreds of thousands worldwide during Ocean Convervancy’s 33rd International Coastal Cleanup.  On  September 15, the world’s largest annual single-day  volunteer  effort  to  remove  trash  from  local  waterways,  beaches,  lakes  and  rivers will take place.  Since  the  first  ICC  33  years  ago,  nearly  13  million  volunteers  have  removed  nearly  250  million  pounds  of  trash  from  beaches  and  waterway  worldwide!  Come out and join our students and volunteers in their efforts, and  “Suit Up to Clean Up!”  You can find more information at:

NUMBER OF VOLUNTEERS] Volunteers #SuitUptoCleanup [NUMBER

OF POUNDS/KG] of Trash from [CLEANUP LOCATION] as Part of



Largest Single-Day Beach Cleanup

[YOUR ORGANIZATION] and [CITY/LOCATION] Volunteers Joined Hund

reds of Thousands

Worldwide during Ocean Conservancy




International Coastal Cleanup

[Location, State, Date]




participated in Ocean Conservancy




International Coast


Cleanup (ICC)


the world's largest

single-day volunteer effort to remove trash from local water

ways, beaches, lakes and rivers.

Since the first ICC 33 years ago, nearly 13 million volunt

eers have removed nearly 250 million

pounds of trash from beaches and waterway worldwide. The [CI



cleanup comes

just [weeks/days] after [LOCATION]-area beaches closed for the su



When you #SuitUptoCleanup, you are advancing one of the most

immediate and impactful

solutions to keeping plastics out of the ocean,


said [NAME]








is why we are so grateful to all the amazing volunteers who came

out. Awareness has really

grown around the issue of ocean plastic and it

s great to see people taking action.


In addition to removing [


] [pounds/kgs] of trash from [INSERT LOCATION]


[UNUSUAL FINDS, IF ANY], volunteers contributed to the world

s largest database on marine

debris by logging each trash item in Ocean Conservancy


Clean Swell app (available for free

download from the

App Store



Google Play

). Scientists, researchers, industry leaders and

policymakers rely on Ocean Conservancy

s Ocean Trash Index to inform policy and determine

solutions to the growing marine debris crisis.

Every year, millions of tons of trash

including an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic


flow into the ocean, entangling wildlife, polluting beach

es, and costing coastal

municipalities hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Last

year for the first time all ten of the

top-ten most-collected Items were made of plastic, including c

igarette butts (which contain

plastic filters), plastic bags, plastic beverage bottles, fo

od wrappers, plastic bottle caps and

plastic straws. Plastics

which never fully biodegrade but rather break up into smaller


Seventh grade students in Mrs. Rachel Jones' AVID class at Walton Middle School made a commitment to their futures during a recent contract signing ceremony.  AVID is an elective college preparatory program that prepares students to attend a four-year college upon high school graduation.  Principal Jason Campbell expressed his support for the program, its teachers, and their students.  WMS students are undoubtedly determined to learn and succeed. Submitted by Kristen Nelson


Mrs. Vanessa Black, sixth grade math teacher at Walton Middle School, used an AVID inquiry and collaboration strategy to allow students to better understand the process of dividing mixed numbers.  In the lesson, Mrs. Black posed a problem and allowed students an opportunity to first solve it independently.  After working the problem solo, students traveled to different corners of the room based on their decided upon answers.  Each corner represented a like-minded group, who had to defend why and how they arrived at their answers.  Students who were undecided or wished to change their initial answers were allowed to move to different corners if they felt they had sufficient evidence to change their minds.  Throughout the lesson, these young mathematicians engaged in thoughtful and knowledgeable dialogue with each other about how to divide mixed numbers.

Submitted by Kristen Nelson

Picture L to R:  Eddie Burgess, Nicole Foushee, Keneth McCorkle, Nayeli Guerra-Avalos

Remembering September 11, 2001

September 11, 2018

On the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, Walton County School District pauses to remember the events of that tragic day, as well as honor the victims and the heroism of first responders. Across the district, students took time to reflect with special Morning Show tributes, guest visits, moments of silence, and classroom activities designed to ensure that the events of this day are remembered, honored and retold.

South Walton High School held a special student assembly at which time the Seahawk band played the National Anthem, several students presented essays and speeches, and guest speakers presented thoughts and sentiments on the event. A video produced by Zach Green, TV Production student, was shared with the students as a way to help them understand the impact of 9/11. 
Guest speaker, SWHS teacher John McCoy, shared the experience from the perspective of someone who was actually in downtown New York City at the time the World Trade Center was hit. He shared some of the immediate reactions of the onlookers at the horror of what was taking place, and stated that we all need to "enjoy what we have. We can't take it for granted. We have to remember that at any moment our lives can change."

Bobby Escamilla, SWHS band director shared what it was like as an 11 year old who went to school that day expecting to celebrate his birthday with cupcakes for himself and all his classmates. He said that the full impact of the tragedy didn't hit him until the following day when he saw all the news coverage beginning to come in. Mr. Escamilla challenged the students to "not forget that love unites. At that time, we were all united in love because we were Americans. Nothing else mattered".

Dr. Tibbetts, SWHS principal, shared how for several days in the aftermath of the attack, airplanes bound for America had to land in other locations around the world for security purposes, and the people of those countries took care of the Americans on those planes as they were waiting to return to the United States. "America really came together, and so did the whole world, to help us."

District Chief of the South Walton Fire District, Corey Harned, spoke about the shock of seeing the events unfold via media sources. "There were 2,997 people that lost their lives on 9/11. 412 of them were emergency responders. 412 people gave the ultimate sacrifice for people they didn't event know." Continuing, Officer Harned shared "We have to train our hearts to loved and to be loved, because if we don't, the same hate that filled the hearts of that handful of people who flew those planes into the buildings can creep into the void...if there is no love." He followed up by sharing with the students that there are so many different kinds of things they can do to share love with others as "part of the your heart to love and be loved."


On Friday, August 31st, West DeFuniak Elementary students participated in a Positivity Project Pep Rally. Students made signs focusing on the character trait "Kindness," learned a kindness cheer, and heard from Mrs. Paul about this new initiative at WDE. The Positivity Project focuses on a different character trait each week. Students watch short videos and have daily discussions revolving around those traits. We look forward to seeing students exhibit this new learning in their actions as we learn that Other People Matter. Submitted by Jessica Dawkins

Janice Henderson from the Learning Resources Center at NWFSC spent time helping FHS dual enrollment American Government students learn how to navigate the online library system in preparation for their college level research papers. Submitted by Patty Woodard