CHIPLEY — Monday’s Washington County School Board meeting was all about the kids.
The school board recognized the district’s Sunshine State Scholar, the Florida Allstate Band students, the Florida Vocal Association’s Allstate Choir winner and the District Champions Vernon High School Yellow Jackets.
Sarah Boullard was named the Sunshine State Scholar of Washington County. Boullard was very involved with the STEM program, and she has worked hard for the honor of Sunshine State Scholar, said Gail Riley, curriculum and instruction director for the district.
The Sunshine State Scholars program recognizes Florida's top STEM students and introduces them to the vast postsecondary and career opportunities available right here in their home state, according to the state Department of Education website.
“STEM is a great program,” Boullard said. She added that she had attended STEM camps since her sophomore year in high school.
Chipley High School Band Director Richard Davenport introduced band students Richard Wayne Davenport and Cary Laird. Both students made Florida Allstate Band, and they had recently returned from a competition at Florida State University.
“In spite of his parents, Richard is actually a very talented musician,” joked Davenport.
Drama/Vocal Ensemble Teacher Kristi Hinson introduced student Chase Dalton, who is the first student from Chipley High School to be chosen to join the Florida Vocal Association Allstate Choir.
“Chase is our first student to make it to the vocal association choir,” Hinson said. “There is a music reading test and it takes a lot of talent and work to be chosen.”
“It’s not just having a great voice, but having the discipline to do the work and learn all the music,” Board Chairman Terry Ellis said of Dalton’s achievement.
“It’s a really big deal,” Hinson said. “We’re so proud of him.”
The 2013 District Champions, the Vernon Yellow Jackets, were also honored by the school board on Monday.
The football squad finished the year with a 7-4 overall record and a 4-0 district record.
“We started out slow, 0-3, but then we took off,” said Coach Bobby Johns.
His football players began training in February and trained four days a week every week until regular football practice began, Johns said. “Several of these guys were ninth graders we moved up to play with the varsity squad.”
Johns said the team demonstrated perseverance and didn’t give up, even though the season had a rough start. “Learning to keep on working until you succeed, that is what athletics is all about.”