Choctawhatchee High School

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Choctawhatchee High School
110 Racetrack Rd NW
Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32547
United States
Type Public
Motto Go Big Green!
Established September 22, 1952
School board Okaloosa County School District
Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson
Principal James Lee Hale
Grades 9–12
Number of students 1600-2000
Campus suburban

Kelly Green, White, and Black

Mascot Indians
Rivals Niceville High School, Fort Walton Beach High School
Yearbook The Tomahawk

Choctawhatchee High School is a high school in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It is the only school in Okaloosa County to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. It also offers the Advanced Placement Program and honors classes, AFJROTC, an aviation program, (offered by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University), and pre-engineering classes (offered by the University of West Florida). Its newest innovation is the Information Technology Institute housing the Academy of Web Design as well as the Academy of Digital Design. Choctaw has received Florida's highest rating of A+ for many years.


Choctawhatchee originally opened its doors in Shalimar, Florida, on September 22, 1952. It was filled over its capacity of 500 students, enrolling 625 students in grades 7 through 12. The local news held a contest to name the school, and thus Choctawhatchee, or "coming together," was picked. Later it was relocated to its current location in Fort Walton Beach, Florida with the old site becoming what is now Meigs Middle School. Choctawhatchee is also the name of a major local river and bay.


Choctawhatchee, or Choctaw for short, has a history of successful extracurricular activities. The cheerleaders were back-to-back National Champions for 2004–05 and 2005–06 and 2007–08, as well as being Florida's 7-time Defending State Champion.[citation needed] In 1990, the football team was the 5A State Champion.[1] Several sports consistently do well in districts and beyond, including cross country, track and field, tennis, soccer and basketball, golf, weightlifting, and wrestling. The school's marching band, known as the Style Marchers, were back-to-back 5A Florida State Champions in 2004–05, 2005–06, and were runners-up for 2006–07. The Stylemarchers came back on top for another back-to-back 5A Florida State Championship for 2007–08, 2008–09.[2] The Choctawhatchee Style Marchers also marched at the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in N.Y. The choral and band departments annually send students to All-State and make superiors at their respective district festivals.[3] The drumline at Choctaw has been best in the state of Florida, next to Chamberlain High School (with a score of 98 in 2006 and 97.5 in 2007), in 2004, 2005, and 2006.[citation needed] The winter percussion ensemble has placed in the top 12 at the WGI World Championships since 1998. The drumline won 1st in she Scholastic Open competition in 2002[4] and were promoted to Scholastic World for the following year. In 2003, they placed 3rd,[4] in 2004 they placed 12th,[5] in 2005, 8th[6] in 2006, 6th,[7] and in 2007 &2008 they placed 4th[8] in the Scholastic World Division. The Winter Color Guard has also been a finalist for many years at the WGI World Championships, including 2007,[9] 2006,[10] 2004,[11] and 2003.[12] The academic team won the Cox Cable's Gulf Coast Academic Tournament 2006.[citation needed] Both Smoke Signals (monthly newspaper) and WBGI (in-school television productions) receive local awards. The Smoke Signals paper also won a top award from the Florida Scholastic Press Association in 1998.[13] The Tomahawk Yearbook has won numerous state and national awards.[14]

Extracurricular groups[edit]

Honor Clubs[edit]

Spanish, French, Music, Art, and Science Honor, as well as National Honor Society, Beta Club, Thespians, Mu Alpha Theta, and Academic Team.

Service clubs[edit]

Key Club, Wheelettes, Interact, Optimiss, and Octagon.

Special interest clubs[edit]

Future Educators of America, War Chiefs, SADD, Smoke Signals student newspaper, Wordsmiths, Minority Council, Political Theory, Pi Club, Book Club, Bowling Club, SOUL, Aviation Club, Anime Club, Ultimate Frisbee Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Swing Dance Club, Movie Club, and the Technology Club, Stylemarchers.


Choctaw is also home to the AFJROTC group FL-22. This is one of the oldest AFJROTC units in the state of Florida. They participate in community events, like the service clubs. They have posted the colors at every single home game and at the homecoming game they also provide a sabre team to arc for the homecoming court.


At the beginning of each home football game, the school Indian, or student mascot, rides a horse across the field and throws a spear midfield. Although many think that the idea was borrowed from Florida State University, in fact it is opposite that, as accounted for by the former football coach and athletic director, Wyman Townsel. Ann Bowden, wife of Florida State University football coach, Bobby Bowden, attended a Choctaw football game in the 1970s, saw the horse run, and told her husband that it would be a good idea for FSU.[15]

In front of the school stands a totem pole, although originally there were three. It is a symbol of school pride and represents various aspects of student life. It has withstood hurricanes, attacks by rivals, and continues to serve as an emblem of the Choctaw High School family.[15]

Also in front of the school are engraved bricks, purchased by students and then engraved so that they may forever be a part of the school.

The Alma Mater was written during the school's first year by the band director, Jim Leonard. The tune is a World War I song, "Long, Long Trail Awinding." In 1956, Bryan Lindsey came to Choctaw as choral director, and began writing words to "Big Green Indian." Lindsey collaborated with Leonard to compose the song. It became the school's fight song.[citation needed]

Choctaw is home to many school-spirited students, none more so than the Teepee Crew and the Warchiefs. The Teepee Crew consists of upperclassmen males who send smoke through the teepee, which is located just past the endzone, whenever the football team scores a touchdown. The Warchiefs is a group of highly motivated, spirited students who attend all of the football and basketball games and cheer along with the cheerleaders.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Florida High School Athletic Association, Football Championship Records, page 3; "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-21. Retrieved 2006-11-16. 
  2. ^ Florida Marching Band Tournament website, [1] results page.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b WGI • Scores
  5. ^ WGI • Scores Archived 2008-03-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ WGI • Scores Archived 2008-03-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ WGI • Scores Archived 2007-12-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ WGI • Scores Archived 2008-03-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ WGI • Scores Archived 2008-03-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ WGI • Scores Archived 2008-03-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ WGI • Scores Archived 2008-03-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ WGI • Scores Archived 2008-03-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Publications Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ The Tomahawk Yearbook
  15. ^ a b Choctaw Traditions Archived 2007-03-17 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°27′01″N 86°37′08″W / 30.4501985°N 86.618842°W / 30.4501985; -86.618842