Destin High School hosts meet-and-greet for students throughout week

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

No longer prospective students, but enrolled students came out Tuesday for a meet-and-greet at the new Destin High School, home of the Sharks. 

About 30 students were in attendance at the hour-long session.

Destin High Principal Christine Cruickshank explains the people bingo game to the students. The game was just part of an ice breaker for the students.

“Today is for the junior class, or shall I say the first graduating class of Destin High School,” said Destin High Principal Christine Cruickshank. “We will be doing three of these this week.”

Tuesday was dedicated to the junior students; sophomores were to stop by on Wednesday and then freshman on Thursday. 

“Each day the crowd will get bigger,” she said, noting each class is larger. 

The junior class, at 52 students, is the smallest of the three, Cruickshank said. 

Sydney Smith (left) and Isabel Leatherwood work through some of the questions on the people bingo game. About 30 juniors were at the meet-and-greet Tuesday at Destin High School.

At the meet-and-greet, the students played “people bingo” followed by having  ice cream donated by Culver’s. 

“It’s just a way for the students, who are coming from all over, to break the ice, chitchat and get to know each other,” Cruickshank said. 

And the students were from all over.  

Nathan Walter just moved to the area a few weeks ago from Colorado and is looking forward to Destin High. 

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Walter said he lives about 5 miles away from the school on Commons Drive in Destin, and plans to participate in track, especially the shot put. 

Samantha Champion, Lillie Bowyer, Parker Sexton and Josh Smith (from left) talk while playing the people bingo game.

Gabe Chinlund moved in from Illinois in February. Chinlund was home-schooled last year but is looking forward to Destin High. 

“It’s a unique opportunity,” Chinlund said, to be part of a first graduating class.  

He said he definitely plans to play golf. 

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Josh Smith of Miramar Beach said he likes the idea that Destin High is “close.” Smith went to Fort Walton Beach High School last year. 

Patrick Matyac of Destin did online home school last year, but is excited to be part of Destin High. 

“It’s the first high school. … I wanted to be part of the new school,” Matyac said. 

Students got a look at some of the Destin High School apparel during this week's meet-and-greet sessions.

Ragan Palmer of Destin went to Rocky Bayou Christian School in Niceville last year. Palmer said she made the change to work toward her AA degree with dual classes.

Palmer, also a former Destin Middle School Marlin, plans to play basketball for the Sharks. 

Parker Sexton, who recently moved from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, also will be part of the first junior/graduating class.

Bird Hinze of Destin went to Collegiate High School in Niceville last year, but is ready to give Destin High a try. 

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After the meet-and-greet/ice cream social, Destin High had sports organizational meetings each day in which students could meet the coaches. 

Tuesday was golf and girls volleyball, Wednesday was boys basketball, swimming and diving, and Thursday was girls basketball. 

Next up at Destin High is open house/orientation, Aug. 2-4. On Aug. 5, the school will have a grand opening celebration before classes begins Aug. 10.