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Walton County School District

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We are thrilled to announce that Walton High raised $1,223.70 for "Change for Children" last week!  We would like to thank everyone that donated to this worthy charity that is committed to establishing hope and providing a home for the abused, neglected, and abandoned children in our community.  Submitted by Christy English.

Maude Saunders students donated their spare change to the district-wide “Change for Children” campaign, which benefits Children in Crisis.  The TOTS challenged students to bring in spare change and rewarded the class with the most with a Pizza Party.  In addition, the class that brought in the most quarters made their teacher the “Quarter Queen”. This year’s Quarter Queen was Ms. Lindsey Miller, and her third graders enjoyed treating her like a queen for the entire day.  Submitted by Krisy Spence.

We are super excited to announce that Walton High School's softball team was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the St. Joe Community Foundation! The team will use the funds to purchase much-needed equipment to help improve the softball facilities. Grant funds will also be utilized to help fund the addition of a JV softball program in the 2018-2019 school year.

Accepting the donation are WHS Principal Janet Currid; Assistant Principal Chris Brown; Head Coach Shelby Truett; Assistant Coach Ron Earley; and Walton High's softball players. The Executive Director of the St. Joe Community Foundation, Janet Piepul, presented the check.

We want to extend our most sincere "THANK YOU" to St. Joe for their gracious support!  Submitted by Christy English.

On Thursday, February 22, Walton Middle School hosted “Hearts for the Arts,” which proved itself to be yet another successful Title 1 Parent Training Night.  After having dinner, parents and students had the opportunity to learn about art and literacy together.  In one station, participants went on a “HeART Walk” scavenger hunt, searching for elements of art in WMS’ student art gallery.  In yet another activity, students and parents sampled literary delicacies (books eligible for the Dave and Buster’s Reading Challenge), served by apron-clad teacher waitresses in the Warrior Cafe.  And finally, guests had the opportunity to learn how WMS’ own published student author, McCaid Paul, “turned thoughts into words.”  WMS thanks its parents, students, teachers, and staff for their commitment to instilling a love of the arts and literacy. Submitted by Kristen Nelson.

WMS Parent Training

WMS Parent Training

WMS Parent Training

Tina Pinkoson, Director of Leadership Service for FSBA, presented the Walton County School Board and the Superintendent a plaque recognizing them for their successful completion of the Master Board Training. The Board and Superintendent Hughes took 22 hours of training together designed to help them learn how to communicate effectively, to learn each others strengths and values so that when they make decisions they understand how those decisions are developed.  The training emphasizes how to work together effectively as a team so they can positively impact student achievement in Walton County.

 (from left to right) School Board Member Jason Catalano, School Board Chairperson Kim Kirby, School Board Member Bill Eddins, School Board Member Marsha Winegarner, Superintendent A. Russell Hughes

In addition, Mrs. Kirby, School Board Chairman, has participated in a Professional Development Program at the Florida School Board’s Association, completing 96 hours of voluntary training, and was recognized by Ms. Pinkoson as a Certified Board Member (CBM) with a special plaque. WCSD appreciates the dedication and committment exhibited by Mrs. Kirby in her willingness to volunteer her time for this training! 

Tina Pinkoson(left), Director of Leadership Services for FSBA, and School Board Member Gail Smith (right).

Submitted by Laura Smith

Over 250 parents and students attended the night and enjoyed science stations and a mobile planetarium provided by the Emerald Coast Science Center. Parents could also visit and shop at the school Book Fair!

Submitted by Nancy Currie

The Tivoli Historical Society held its Annual Black History Parade in Defuniak Springs on Saturday, February 17, 2018.  This year's parade included the Walton County School District's EPIC Van, and was one of multiple activities held to celebrate February as Black History Month. The parade route ended in food, fun, and fellowship at the Tivoli Complex, formerly Tivoli High School - Home of the Tivoli Tigers. 

Tivoli High School, currently the home of the Walton County School District Administrative offices, wasn’t the first black school in Walton County, but it was the first high school.

According to documentation by the Tivoli Historical Society, the Tivoli was an elementary and junior high school from 1908 until 1935.  It was one of the more than 5,000 Rosenwald Schools, which were schools built in the south, predominately for the education of African American children.  The program was the result of a partnership between Julius Rosenwald, president and part owner of Sears, Roebuck and Company, and African American educator, author and presidential advisor, Booker T. Washington.  There were two other Rosenwald schools in the area in Argyle and Bruce Creek.  The school became Tivoli High School in 1935, adding a grade level each year until 12th grade was finally added in 1937-38.  By 1958, the total enrollment for Tivoli was 424 students.  The school had an active athletic program, with an award winning football team, as well as a marching band. 

“Tivoli High School was the heart of the black community,” said Eddie Williamson, President of the Tivoli Historical Society, Inc.  “We’ve had engineers, architects, lawyers and doctors graduate from this school…and we love to bring back our alumni so they can see all that we have accomplished.”

The Tivoli Historical Society, Inc. works tirelessly to keep the memories of life at Tivoli School alive.  They have an active tutorial program for African American students in Walton County, and also have a scholarship program to provide opportunities for continued education after high school graduation.  The Tivoli Historical Society has also created a museum located in the main Tivoli School building at 145 Park Street, Defuniak Springs, Fl.

Submitted by Keitha Bledsoe.  Pictures courtesy of Laura Smith.

Last Friday, February 16, JB Baker signed his official commitment to play college football for Trinity International (located just outside of Chicago). We are so proud of you, JB, and know you will continue building a remarkable legacy in the years to come!

Submitted by Christy English