Year two for Destin High School begins with packed assembly hall

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log
Destin High students say the pledge of allegiance during the morning assembly on the first day of school.

“It’s a great day to be a Shark” rang out loud and clear in the packed assembly hall of Destin High School Wednesday morning. 

Destin High, which opened its doors for the first-time last year, is entering year two and with a full house of 475 students in grades nine through 12. On Wednesday morning the students filed in, picking up schedules as they headed into the assembly hall.  

Every morning the students meet in the hall for the pledge of allegiance, a moment of silence followed by morning announcements. 

It was a packed house in the assembly hall at Destin High School on opening day of school.

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“This is organized mass chaos,” said Destin High Principal Christine Cruickshank with a smile on her face as she held the doors for students as they filed in. 

Cruickshank said she was at the school by 6 a.m. and students started showing up about 7:15 a.m. The gates were opened by 7:20 and the assembly started about 8 a.m. 

Athletic Director Phil Dorn started the assembly with a few announcements as to how the morning assembly works for the incoming freshman class. 

“Come in here in the morning and attitude and effort are yours … you own those,” he said as he encouraged the students to be positive and give 100%. “This is a chance for us to gather as a school, do announcements and keep you on the same page. We’re all Destin High Sharks and we’ve got the greatest high school in Okaloosa County.”

Destin High School Principal Christine Cruickshank chats with one of the many students that filed in Wednesday morning on the first day of school.

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Then on the count of three, the students gave a roaring, “It’s a great day to be a Shark.” 

One of the students from the senior class of 2023 led the student body in the pledge followed by a moment of silence, before Cruickshank gave announcements as well as what to do about mix-ups on schedules. 

Members of the 2023 graduating class of Destin High School posed for a photo in front of Bruce, the mascot, on their last first day as a Shark along with Principal Christine Cruickshank.

When it was all said and done and the students were off to their first period classes, the first senior class of Destin High gathered out front near “Bruce” the Mako Shark mount in the fountain out front for a photo. 

“So far, so better … it went better,” Cruickshank said, of the morning gathering. “The place was packed, they’re smiling, we’re all smiling. It was great to see.”