Students get Destin Marlin ready

Tina Harbuck

Students and parents packed the gym at Destin Middle School Thursday morning as part of Readiness Day.

“It’s an opportunity before school starts for the parents and students to come in," said Destin Principal Grant Meyer. "They get their uniform shirts, they get to meet the staff and they get information about how to stay connected to the school."

The students also got a chance to sign up for sports, clubs and band.

“And they get their locker, which is the most important. They want to know where their locker is before the first day of school,” Meyer said. “And anybody that’s new gets to go walk the facility to be just a little bit more comfortable before school starts.”

Readiness Day was scheduled from 10 a.m. until noon, but by 8:30 a.m. folks were already at the school.

“This is more people this early than ever before,” he said.

Parents and students stood in line to purchase T-shirts and shorts as well as get checked in with teachers and assigned lockers.

“It’s a little crazy and crowded,” said fifth grader Shelby Plasier as she stood in line for shirts.

Nevertheless she is excited to be getting back to school.

“I’m looking forward to getting my locker and sports,” Plasier said.

“The reason I came is soccer,” said her cousin Bentley Partlowe, a fifth grader.

Topping his list is playing soccer for Coach Carlos Gonclaves.

Braxton Beard, a seventh grader, is ready to get back into sports as well. He plays basketball and track.

As for Will Blanchard, also a seventh grader, he’s ready to see all his friends

A lot of the students were already at their lockers and checking out their combinations.

Mya Divens, a fifth grader, was spinning the dial trying to open her locker while getting a few pointers from her brother Aiden.

“She was a little nervous about her locker,” said her mom Ashley Divens.

Mya, who had been at it for about 10 minutes, got the locker to open, but wanted to try it again.

Madison Rash, a fifth grader, managed to get her locker open and was already decorating it. She was making plans for wallpaper, a locker rug and sloth string lights to come later.

The students still have a week before school starts on Aug. 12, and the enrollment at Destin Middle School is slowly climbing.

“We’re going to be pushing 800 students this year,” Meyer said. “We’re running out of space. We’re going to have to find some creative ways to put the students in here.”