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September 8-14 is National Arts in Education Week! Established by Congress in 2010, National Arts in Education Week is a national celebration recognizing the transformative power of the arts in education.

Superintendent A. Russell Hughes, the Walton County School Board, and the entire Walton County School District recognize that the arts are an essential part of a complete education...preparing the Whole Child for a lifetime of success. All students benefit from artistic learning, innovative thinking, and creativity, and National Arts in Education Week is a way to recognize this impact and share the message with friends, family, and communities.

All week we will be giving you a window view into the exciting things happening in our Fine Arts Programs.

Here are some pics from the art classes of Dimitri Zachos, visual arts educators at Walton High School. The students in these pictures are working on Zentangle art...The Zentangle Method is a way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. These patterns are called tangles. The project emphases design issues such as lines and patterns as well as composition and working in the moment. Students were allowed to bring shoes as an option to create their art. Thanks to Mr. Zachos and his students for giving us a glimpse of the creation of Zentangle art.

WHS Zentangle Art    WHS Zentangle Art    WHS Zentangle Art

WHS Zentangle Art    WHS Zentangle Art    WHS Zentangle Art

WHS Zentangle Art    WHS Zentangle Art    WHS Zentangle Art

All PreK personnel attended a special professional learning led by Davidica McConnell, WCSD Literacy Coach, and Bay School Principal, Pam Jones. Pre-K staff were introduced to the challenges students face learning to read and the importance of beginning phonological awareness in Pre-K.

PreK Workshop

Walton County Art teachers had the opportunity to participate in a professional development workshop as part of the Rosemary Beach Foundation’s 9th Annual Music in Pictures art initiative. Dr. Benjamin Sung, professor of music/violin at Florida State University, presented a violin mini-concert and a session on the music selected as the inspiration for the Music in Pictures artistic renderings. Malayne DeMars, Executive Director of the Rosemary Beach Foundation, and Winky Dowdle were the gracious hosts and organizers of the workshop. We are grateful for our collaboration with Rosemary Beach Foundation!

MIP Ben Sung

MIP Ben Sung


Freeport Elementary School had a huge turnout for their Watch Dog Dads Program. Over 150 dads attended the Pizza Night for students, fathers, and father-figures and signed up to volunteer throughout our school! This is the 2nd year that FES has partnered with the program to bring positive male role models into the school.

"The WATCH D.O.G.S.® program was created by a group of parents and educators in a single school in 1998, and has since grown to one of the largest and most respected family and community engagement initiatives in the country.

Each year thousands of schools across the country utilize the WATCH D.O.G.S. ® program to reach out to the fathers and father-figures of their students and invite those men to take at least one full day off work during the school year and spend that entire day volunteering in their child’s school. Each year WATCH D.O.G.S. ® generates millions of in-school volunteer hours in support of our students and educators across the country.

Program benefits
• Students gain a positive male role model. Some students do not have a father-figure present in their home and the number of male teachers has been steadily declining in recent years. More positive male role models are needed in the school setting.
• Schools gain an extra set of eyes and ears. The presence of WatchDOGS (Dads Of Great Students) can increase a sense of security at the building for students and staff, and it helps create an environment conducive to learning.
• Fathers and father-figures can spend meaningful time with their students in the school setting and gain a greater awareness of the positive impact they can have on their student’s life, just by being a ‘dad’.
• When WatchDOGS invest a day at school, they can learn how better to partner with the school to meet the educational goals of students."

Freeport Elementary is excited to continue this program for their school and community!

FES Watchdog Dads

FES Watchdog Dads

From Article at with additional photos courtesy of SWHS Seahawks Visual Arts
What: South Walton High School Student Exhibit at Coastal Branch Library
When: Entire Month of September
Where: Coastal Branch Library

As part of the continuing Art in Public Places, AP art students at South Walton High School will display their work at the Coastal Branch Library for the month of September. Free for the public.

South Walton High School is home to many accomplished young artists on the Emerald Coast. Many of these Art students choose to develop individual works to submit to the College Board for the AP Studio Art Portfolio 2019 assessments in AP 2D, AP Drawing, and AP 3D.  A selection from this stellar group of SWHS AP Art students will be exhibited at the South Walton Branch of the Coastal Library. 

Included in this exhibition are AP 2D students: Megan Benopoulos, Mary Claire Brown, Cam Bruce, Kevin DeJesus, Faith Duran, Xavier Epplin, Noelle Garcia, Gabe Mathews, Jielle Paul, Jhonatthan Ramirez, Callyn Sims, and Jarod Young who submitted AP 2D Photography based portfolios. Other media based AP 2D portfolios students include: Ferrell Crawley, Diego Duran, Kizzi Anna Fersted, Lily Gravlin, Jessie Miller, and Reegan North.

AP Drawing students Quinn Yandell, and Mary T. Pickers submitted expressive and illustration work for the Drawing AP Portfolio. The 3D AP Portfolio included balsa wood sculptures and architectural models by Josh Chee and Jielle Paul.

?These students range in grades 9th – 12th and are representative of the fine young artists attending SWHS and working with Dr. Vivian Moreira Komando. SWHS had a 100% pass rate on their 2019 AP Studio Art Portfolios for the 32 students who submitted portfolios to the College Board.

SWHS Seahawks Visual Arts

SWHS Seahawks Visual Arts

SWHS Seahawks Visual Arts

SWHS Seahawks Visual Arts

Mrs. Chest's Civics class has been studying the different forms of governments. In order to help them better understand, the class used gummy bears to represent the governments and then drew the representations in their interactive notebooks. What an EPIC way to learn!

Submitted by Kalli McMillan

The St. Joe Foundation & Walton Education Foundation have funded a grant, written by Ms. Abadie, for 36 laptops & a cart to individualize practice for 7th grade math students at Emerald Coast Middle School! We are incredibly grateful! Way to go Ms. Abadie!! Submitted by Karen Wright

Service from the Top at FHS

September 6, 2019

Mr. Michie helping student, Yulisa Garcia with her AP Human Geography in the hallway before school begins.  Dedication starts at the top! Submitted by Patty Woodard

Mr Michie FHS

Paxton Seventh Graders Reach 100% Pass Rate on Certification Exam
Congratulations to the 7th grade students in Computer Applications! 100% of students passed the Cyber Security certification exam!
Pictured: Front Row (L to R) - Julia Maloy, Kameryn Sunday, Clara Martin, Phillip Bearden, Kinley Alford, Trey Smith, and Simon Nagy. Middle Row (L to R) - Bradley Garrett, Ashton Hunt, Javion Goldsmith, Nyles Morgan, and Eli Sconiers. Back Row (L to R) - Clete Moore, Alyssa Carson, Mason Cassidy, Braden Dell, Carson Leddon, Chloe Wyatt, Kayden Caruso, Lelan Watson, Stephen Phillips, Garrett Lowry, and Trevor Varnum.Submitted by Kalli McMillan