DESTIN, Fla. – Last Friday was a hallmark day for students at Destin High School. It marked the end of their school’s first-ever semester of existence.
Yes, you read that right.
Destin, Florida – a favored location for snowbirds, beachgoers and anglers – had no high school to call its own until Destin High School opened its doors to grades 9, 10, and 11 in August.
Destin High is a public charter school that grew from a desire to provide the city’s young residents a secondary education where they live to avoid hour-long daily commutes to high schools in Fort Walton or Niceville. That desire became a reality thanks to support from the local school district and corporate citizens like Regions Bank.
“Regions was the first bank to give a donation toward bringing Destin High School into existence,” said Sarah Stone, treasurer for the school. “Because of that donation, we were able to provide each student a laptop and purchase special technology for each classroom.”
The school’s state-of-the-art technology includes large flat-screen tablets that allow teachers to project classroom lessons with ease. Destin High is also the first in the state of Florida to offer a commercial fishing class where students can earn a captain’s license.
“At Regions, education and workforce development are key priorities in our strategy for community engagement,” said Leslie Stricklin, Destin market executive for Regions. “That’s exactly the kind of preparation for the future that goes on inside the halls of Destin High School. We are honored to support what the school is doing and look forward to seeing this partnership grow.”
The Destin High School mascot is a shark affectionately called “Bruce.” Students pass by a sculpture of Bruce every morning when they enter the building.
Now another popular figure will also pass through Destin High’s schoolhouse doors. On Friday, the school announced E.G. Green, a Ft. Walton native, former Florida State standout and NFL player, as its first head football coach.
Stone says the announcement rounds out the school’s efforts to let the community know the Destin Sharks have arrived and plan to continue to grow.
“We’re full of gratitude for all of the support we continue to receive,” Stone said. “It took a village to make Destin High School a reality, and we are so thankful for our village.”