Niceville High School junior Jackson Cook will travel to Xi’an, China, for six weeks during summer break as part of the National Security Language Initiative Youth Program.

The NSLI-Y launched in 2006 to promote critical language learning among U.S. youth and is part of the U.S. government initiative that prepares citizens to be global leaders.

Jackson is a member of the Eagle Pride drumline and is enrolled in Chinese 3 honors and Advanced Placement courses. He also performed in the school’s theater production of “Mama Mia.”


South Walton High School musicians Rocky Villanueva, Emma Marks and Joe Sills earned the high ratings of superior during the Bandmaster Association’s state solo and ensemble competition.

In addition, Marks and Villanueva earned superior with distinction scores for their piano solos, which is the highest score a student can earn at the event.

In other SWHS news, the meteorology students and their teacher, Brian Murphy, toured the Eglin Air Force Base weather station and control tower as a field trip.


It’s open enrollment for summer programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast.

Club members receive instruction, engaging activities and field trip experiences. The summer program is open to students who have completed kindergarten.

The fee for the summer program is $400, with discounted rates for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. A one-time $25 registration fee is added to summer memberships.

Locations for the summer programs include Pensacola-Englewood Club, Destin Elementary, Fort Walton Beach Youth, Fort Walton Beach Teen, Kenwood Elementary School, South Walton and DeFuniak Springs Club.

For more information, visit


The Marvel of Flight Fly In & Expo, held each spring at the DeFuniak Springs Airport, welcomed students from West DeFuniak Elementary School.

The students learned about each aircraft and pilots, and they were able to climb aboard a restored World War II-era helicopter.

The students also learned about the science and math behind flight.

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