Walton School District celebrates Anderson’s 41-year educational legacy with dedication

WALTON COUNTY SCHOOL Superintendent A. Russell Hughes and board members Bill Eddins, Kim Kirby, and Jason Catalano (r-l) have had a few very busy weeks. Last week they spent time in the state capital meeting with legislators on behalf of Walton County schools and students, and this week in a dedication ceremony to honor Former Superintendent of Schools, Carlene Anderson. They are pictured here in the Senate chambers in Tallahassee. (Picture provided by Kim Kirby)

As the Herald-Breeze goes to press a celebration will be taking place in the form of a dedication ceremony as the Walton Initiative for Success in Education (Wise) center will be renamed the Carlene H. Anderson Training Center the afternoon of April 4, 2017.
Anderson, a life-long educator and District Superintendent from 2004-2016, was honored with renaming per a resolution prepared and submitted to the board by district Facilities Director Mark Gardner back in December of 2016.
Due to scheduling problems, the dedication ceremony ended up running into the future a little longer than expected.
Gardner said it seems like an appropriate way to honor someone that has worked hard for excellence in education in Walton County. “In late 2009 early 2010 Superintendent Anderson had a desire to provide space to expand training options for educators in Walton County as well as other Panhandle school districts. She also envisioned offering this same facility to the local business community. Her due diligence in this effort helped to transform the old library at Walton High School into a state of the art training area with wireless microphones, wifi connectivity, and multiple projector screens. Her vision was to offer this as a comfortable environment that extended the educational process for many. Today we have the Carlene H. Anderson Training Center, a place where Mrs. Anderson started her 41-year career in education with the Walton County School District.”
Board members voted unanimously for the renaming to honor Anderson.
Board Chair Kim Kirby had this to add about the honor: “I think it is so fitting to honor Mrs. Anderson’s many valued contributions to the Walton County School District in this way. She was a member of the first graduating class of what was then the new Walton High School and then later in her career, as superintendent, she closed the door on that high school and opened the door on the new Walton High School facility in 2009. Her vision for continued professional development and training within the district brought new life and purpose to what has been known as the WISE Center and what will now be known as the Carlene H. Anderson Training Center in her honor.”
Anderson’s legacy continues to have impact on today’s students; her predecessor Walton County School Superintendent A. Russell Hughes had this to add about the dedication ceremony: “It is with great pleasure I carry out the desire of the Walton County School Board to name the training portion of the WISE Center after our three-term Former Superintendent of Schools, Carlene Anderson. There is no doubt this designation is warranted given the excellent leadership Mrs. Anderson provided to the Walton County School District. It is certainly fitting that this Carlene H. Anderson Training Center is where much of the district’s Professional Learning has and will continue to take place. Carlene was a believer in professional development and learning for teachers and staff! We will forever be reminded of the success this district enjoyed due to that mindset and leadership when entering the Carlene H. Anderson Training Center. We know Carlene never did this work to be honored personally or have a building named after her but it was sheer love for education and the commitment to ALL the stakeholders of Walton County. Congratulations Mrs. Anderson and know we are staying the course to academic success through professional learning.”
The Herald-Breeze will have more on the renaming ceremony in next week’s edition.