Another first for Destin High School: cap and gown photos for seniors

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

With a new school, come a lot of firsts. 

When Destin High School was berthed in 2021, it started with 300 students in grades nine through 11. In the last year and a half, it has had a first football game, a first play, a first swim meet, a first band − just to name a few. 

This week, Destin High experienced one more first. The first-ever senior class got to try on caps and gowns for senior portraits. 

Anna Carroll poses for a few photos in her cap and gown.

“I felt like a movie star,” said senior Nathan Walters. 

“This is definitely a big achievement in my life,” Walters said as he sported a blue cap and gown. 

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Although Walters loved trying on the cap and gown for photos, it was a reality check for some, and some were even a bit scared. 

“It all just came into realization now,” said senior Anna Carroll. 

Destin High - cap and gown

“I’ve spent my four years trying to get good grades and trying to do everything I can. And now I’m actually trying on the stuff. It’s like OK, it’s here now. Now it’s the next step,” she said. 

“But I’m ready (to put on the blue). I’m excited and I’m excited to be here graduating,” Carroll said of Destin High. 

Senior Keziah Clayton was a bit anxious. 

Grace Fountain says she's ready to graduate and photo day was exciting.

“It’s scary. I’m scared to graduate … the future,” Clayton said. 

As for the photo session, “it was an experience … scary again,” she added. 

Grace Fountain was excited about the whole process. 

“It was exciting” doing the photo shoot, Fountain said. 

Grace Fountain helps her fellow classmate Keziah Clayton with her cap.

“I helped a lot of the people get their gowns on first, so I was the last one to get their picture taken. I’m ready to move on,” Fountain said. 

The Destin High Sharks have 55 seniors, with a graduation date set for May 26. 

“I’m ready,” Walters said. 

Teagan Seton, Ellie Brooks and Damien McKim pose for a few photos in their Destin High Shark blue. Photo by Grace Fountain.

“I never thought it was going to be an opportunity. But it all worked out … everything is meant to be, to be the first class for all generations,” Carroll said. 

On May 26 the seniors will get the chance to wear the cap and gowns for real. Until then, Principal Christine Cruickshank said she has them hidden in a closet in the office. 

Carston Phillips posed for a few fun photos in his Shark blue.

“They can’t have them yet … just to try on and get pictures made,” she said with a smile. 

Nevertheless, “It’s here. I’m excited for this group. It’s a special group of seniors. They really took a chance coming here,” Cruickshank said. 

Prior to Destin High opening, Destin residents went to high school in either Fort Walton Beach or Niceville. 

Anna Carroll snaps a few selfies in her Shark blue cap and gown.

“When I decided two years ago, let’s try an 11th grade class. Most of them have been here the whole time and stuck with it,” Cruickshank said. 

“So hopefully they are as happy being Destin High School graduates as I am to see them walk across that stage on May 26,” she said. 

“We have 55 seniors, and good Lord willing we’ll have 55 going across on the 26th," Cruickshank said.