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Walton Middle School joined the rest of the planet in celebrating Earth Day last Friday, April 22nd.  While many students spent the day off campus on a field trip, seventh grade science students who remained in Mrs. Sandy Thorson's and Mrs. Dana Quinley's classes spent the day trying to ESCAPE!  While escaping school on any given Friday might sound appealing, these seventh graders stayed at school and made a break for it through an Earth Day themed escape activity.  What a collaborative and challening way to learn more about environmental science and our amazing planet!

April 22, 2022

The Walton County School District (WCSD), along with many educational systems, recently received a list of over 50 books deemed inappropriate by an outside group. From that list, as Superintendent of Schools, I sought information from district staff regarding the availability and locations of said titles. Staff located 24 of the 50+ books within media centers throughout the District.

Being proactive, I asked staff to remove the books from circulation for the purposes of reviewing and re-evaluating age-appropriateness and content, especially in the context of Florida’s recent legislative session. With reports of movements underway across the state coupled with legal implications and the potential undue stress to my District and staff, I am not willing to place any WCSD personnel in the cross hairs of this kind of perilous circumstance. I want to emphasize that NO “book ban” has occurred in Walton County. Any headlines or news stories as such are misinformation, inaccurate, and false!

The Walton County School District is committed to a culture which we proudly call EPIC. I am steadfast in the vision of excellence, choosing to focus on students and academics in these divisive times. Leaders, teachers, administrators, staff, and families in Walton County are focused on end of the year assessments, achievement, and graduations, which have earned the District the #5 ranking in the State of Florida. I will continue to protect and maintain the trust of the community and do what is right for all students and stakeholders consistent with how I have served as Superintendent for the past six years.

A. Russell Hughes Superintendent of Schools

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting four summer camp sessions at the Magnet Innovation Center to expose all Walton County students to STEAM education and what we have to offer at MIC.  Please see each flyer for registration information and details. 

The South Walton High School Wrestling Team was recognized for outstanding achievement during their 2021-22 Season. The team boasted a 20-4 dual team record ( highest winning percentage in school dual history) winning back to back district dual titles. They also won back to back District IBT Team titles in the last two years. The team sent 12 individual athletes to the regional tournament (second most in school history) where they placed 5th out of 30 teams qualifying 3 individuals to go on to the State Competition. These included 120 lbs Max Brewster 12th grade, 126 lbs Isaac Brinson 9th grade, and 285 lbs Nick Lee 11th Grade. Max went on to win the 120 lbs Division Individual State Title and has committed to wrestle D1 for Arizona State University, Isaac Brinson did not place, Nick Lee placing 8th in the state competition. Other notable varsity team members include Brett Canut, Gibson Moore, Bianca Nunes, Ryan Kurfirst, Dylan Billingsley (committed to Coker University wrestling), Shane Lane (committed to Midway college football), Kaden Shaw, Elijah Ramirez, Chase Maas, and John Lopez. 

Congratulations to the No Ordinary JOE Walton County School District Winners that were recognized at the WCSB meeting.  

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger first designated April as the Month of the Military Child, acknowledging the significant role military-connected students play in our communities.  Today, district staff wore purple to show support and thanks to military children and families in our district. We respect and honor the sacrifices made to keep our country safe.

We “Purple Up” today because purple represents the joint service operations and is a combination of Army Green, Air Force Blue, Coast Guard Blue, Marine Red, and Navy Blue; it is the appropriate color to represent military children from all branches.  Today think of ways you can show your appreciation to service men and families…maybe you will “Purple Up” too!

Florida Department of Education

Parent Survey – Exceptional Student Education

Walton County wants your feedback!

Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Parent Survey

Each year, the FDOE conducts a survey designed to provide the FDOE and the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), with information on how well Florida’s schools are partnering with parents and promoting parent involvement in their child’s education. The survey is open to all parents of children with an individual educational plan receiving ESE services from preschool age through grade 12. The survey is not intended for parents of students receiving only gifted services through an educational plan. All states must collect these data as part of their State Performance Plan, as required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In the FDOE’s continued efforts to increase parent participation, individual paper surveys for parents of all children receiving special education services in all districts will be arriving from your child’s school soon.  The online version of the survey is available to all
parents of ESE students at  The online version of the 2021-22 ESE Parent Survey will be accessible from Feb 1st to June 30th.  


April 18, 2022

On Monday, April 11, 2022, at 6:30 pm, Walton High School was host to the first ever DeFuniak Springs Honor Choir, comprised of chorus students from Maude Saunders Elementary, Mossy Head Elementary, West DeFuniak Elementary, Walton Middle School, and Walton High school.  The combined elementary Honor Choir was directed by Shawna Trainor (MSE), Buddy Goodman (MHE), and Nathan Hight (WDE).   Walton Middle School 2nd Period Chorus was directed by Andrew Moore, and the Walton High School Bellissimo Ensemble was conducted by Michelle Tredway.  The pianist for the evening was Mrs. Keitha Bledsoe. 

Last week, MSE's 5th graders participating in after-school tutoring took on the role of Crime Scene Investigators! The students were tasked with solving the mystery of the death of numerous small woodland creatures. Through research and text evidence, they narrowed in on their prime suspect - the owl. But to really crack the case, it was necessary to dissect the undigested parts of an owl's food, such as hair or bones, which are regurgitated (coughed up) and deposited as "pellets". Just as they suspected, these student sleuths found the remains of multiple small woodland creatures. Great job, MSE students!