Applications now available for prospective students at Destin High

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

If you want to be a Shark next year, now is the time to get in those applications. 

About 100 students and parents came out Wednesday night for the Information Session/Showcase at Destin High School. This was the second information session of this type for the school. The other was held on Jan. 11 where about 60 applications were picked up.

“We have a lot going on here,” Destin Principal Christine Cruickshank told the crowd gathered in the auditorium. 

Students, faculty and newcomers stood and sang the Destin High School Alma Mater during the information session Wednesday night.

We opened these doors on Aug. 10 … and a lot has been done in five months,” she said. 

The information session Wednesday night was just that, it was a chance for prospective students who want to be a part of Destin High School to check out what the school is all about. 

“We hope you get all your questions answered before you leave here … and see how special it is” Cruickshank said. “We do things a bit different here at Destin High School.”

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Because Destin High School is a charter school, "we get to do things differently,” Cruickshank said. 

Destin Principal Christine Cruickshank welcomes the guest to the Information Session/Showcase event Wednesday night at the high school.

Some of those different things are Power Hour where the students get a 50-minute lunch break and lunch is provided by Chick-Fil-A, Subway and Culver’s just to name a few. Plus, their day starts at 7:50 a.m. and the classes are smaller. 

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But they still offer all the classes you get at other high schools and more. Destin High offers AP classes as well as honor classes. They offer a fishing class taught by local boat captain Mike Parker. There is also a business/entrepreneurship class offered as well as biomedical sciences. 

"But we couldn’t be here without the community,” Cruickshank told those gathered. 

Capt. Mike Parker, left, who teaches the fishing class at Destin High School, talks with parents about the class. The fishing class has already been a favorite of many at the school during it's first year.

And the students are already out in the community. The leadership club recently participated in the Crop Drop over the holidays. And Destin High, led by mascot Bruce the Shark, participated in the Destin Christmas Parade. 

During the information session, Courtney Noe, who teaches all things music at Destin High, had the band playing as folks came in and the chorus later led the crowd in the school’s Alma Mater. 

Athletic Director Phil Dorn talked of all the sports that Destin High has to offer.  

“By May we will have 22 sports. That’s as many as any high school,” he said. “We are a school of very active students … playing multiple sports.”

Destin High Baseball Coach Shawn Brasher, center, manned a table in the cafeteria to talk to people about the baseball program. The Sharks play their first game at South Walton on Feb. 16.

He named off all the sporting activities from golf, swimming, basketball, wrestling, softball, baseball, tennis and more. 

“And we’re all over the community,” he said. 

The basketball and volleyball have utilized Destin United Methodist Church as their home court and soccer and football will be played at Destin Middle School. 

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After the information session, the prospective students and parents got a chance to walk around the school and check out the classrooms and talk to teachers. The athletic groups were gathered in the cafeteria where students could talk to the coaches. 

Prospective students walked the hall at Destin High School Wednesday night checking it all out. From left are Lynlee Armacost, Victoria Torres and Sophia Ryals. All three are highly considering Destin High as their next step.

Lynlee Armacost, who is currently an eighth grader at Destin Middle, is looking forward to being a Shark next year. 

“It’ll be a fresh start,” Armacost said. She also likes the idea of the leadership club. 

Victoria Torres, also at Destin Middle, is still a bit undecided. 

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“This is one of my top options,” Torres said. She expressed an interest in golf. 

“I think I’m going here,” said Sophia Ryals as she walked the halls at Destin High. 

For Ryan Khandalavala, a current eighth grader at Destin Middle, he liked the music program. 

Music and band teacher Courtney Noe chats with prospective student Ryan Khandalavala about what the school has to offer.

“I like the band and the chorus was interesting,” he said, noting he’s definitely interested in Destin High. 

The primary application process for Destin High is now open and will run until Feb. 11. For more information, call 850-204-4044 or go to 

Destin High, which currently has 300 students enrolled, is looking to add about 170 students next year.