Students and teacher pen first Destin High School alma mater

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Not only does it pay tribute to the emerald water, but the home of the Sharks as well. 

The alma mater of Destin High School was previewed at the school's first-ever pep rally last week. Members of the school's chorus and others performed the song with the words projected on a screen for all to see and sing along. 

But before the first note was sung, a group of students in Julie Worth’s leadership classes put in a lot of time coming up with the lyrics to fit the school. 

“Some of the kids didn’t even know. 'What are we doing? What is an alma mater?' ” Worth said the students would ask. 

Tegan Seton, teacher Julie Worth and Hannah Baxley help pen the words to the Destin High School alma mater.

Courtney Murie Noe, the band and music teacher at Destin High, came up with the tune and gave the students a great description of what is an alma mater. 

“It’s like a love song to your school” is the way Noe described it, Worth said. 

The song is usually slow, which allows students to sway back and forth with the music. 

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Because the tune was the same as Worth’s alma mater from her high school in Alabama, they used it as a model. 

The song would have two stanzas, but “We have to make it fit us,” she told the class. 

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For two or three days the students brainstormed ideas. 

“We talked about how we wanted it to be distinctive for our school, to describe our school, a tribute to our school. About how our school got here … take all that into consideration,” Worth said. 

Members of Courtney Murie Noe's chorus class practice the new Destin High alma mater.

The students worked in small groups and then started to submit their songs.  

“We went through them, marked out some stuff and kept some stuff. And in the end I sat down with what we had,” Worth said. 

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A couple of weeks ago, they were down to the last few words of the song. 

Tegan Seton, a junior and president of the student council, with help from her mom came up with the last line that incorporated the school's colors. 

“Fight on white and blue,” Worth said. 

The Destin High School alma mater debuted at a pep rally last week at the school.

“I like the words that we used to incorporate our school in the town … like the emerald green waters,” which play a big part in the community, Seton said. 

“Destin High School is our home … it will become a home for most of us,” Seton said as she looked at the words to the alma mater. 

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“I think it’s great to be a part of the first Destin High School alma mater because it will be there forever,” said Hannah Baxley, who helped write some of the lines. 

The song debuted at the pep rally last week. 

“It was a little rough when we practiced it,” Seton said. 

Worth said the students were a little reluctant getting up to sing it for the first time. 

“But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” Seton said. 

The DHS band played and the chorus and others sang the alma mater. 

“Out upon the emerald waters where the sun meets sky.  

Stands our dear alma mater as the waves roll by. 

Destin High School is our home and one that will stand true. 

Hail to thee, our sharks of Destin. Fight on, white and blue!” 

Destin High School Principal Christine Cruickshank talks with the students before the singing of the DHS alma mater at the pep rally.

“We definitely wanted something that described the town,” Worth said. And writing a song that would “represent the school for the rest of time, that’s a task. That was intimidating to me.

“I’ve taught for 28 years and never done anything like this," she added. "It’s pretty special to be a part of it.” .