MASCOT: Sharks

SCHOOL COLORS: Royal Blue, Destin Beach Blue & White Sand

MOTTO: Class of 2024 will select school motto


“Out upon the emerald waters where the sun meets sky.

Stands our dear alma mater as the waves roll by.

Destin High School is our home and one that will stand true.

Hail to thee, our sharks of Destin. Fight on, white and blue!”

Written by students Tegan Seton and Hannah Baxley and teacher Julie Worth


Fins Up! Fins Up! For Destin High School.
Here comes the Blue and White
Shark Attack with Speed and Power
Don’t give up the fight!
Feeding on our every prey, Pursue until defeat is nigh,
Thrashing through to victory, Sharks of Destin High!
DHS Woo! DHS Woo!


By the 1990s, Destin residents saw the need of a Destin High School. The growing population, coupled with an isolated location and deteriorating conditions at neighboring high schools, solidified the community’s resolve to turn a dream into a reality. As the voices of support grew in number, determination, and passion, the City Council approved the formation of the Destin High School Advisory Committee under the leadership of Dr. Prebble Q Ramswell in 2016. The committee researched concerns regarding overcrowding and capacity at the two schools serving Destin students – Niceville High School and Fort Walton Beach High School – as well as distance, wake-up times, length of commutes, and current school facility conditions. The committee also noted the fact that Destin students must cross two bridges to attend high school – bridges that often close during inclement weather, high wind, and emergencies.

Other factors the committee considered included the increasing population of school age children at the elementary and middle school levels, which in time would have an impact on the high schools, especially at the K-5 level. Due to the influx of students and need for increased capacity at Destin Elementary School (DES), fifth grade students were relocated to Destin Middle School (DMS). With a surging student population, DES and DMS are now over capacity. As of January 2019, both neighboring high schools were at capacity, creating an impact on options available through Florida Controlled Open Enrollment.

<<<<< Founding Board of Destin High School:  Chris Harris, Dr. Mitch Silver, Drew Palmer, Denise Fountain, Myra Williams, Sarah Stone, Heidi Locicero, Dr. Prebble Ramswell, Jim Luttrell (L to R)

⬇️ Keep Scrolling Down for more…. ⬇️

Due to these issues impacting students and families in the Destin area, the community rallied behind the idea of a new high school. Residents and community stakeholders stepped up to lend a hand in order to ensure the dream became a reality. The board raised nearly $40,000 in cash donations in only a few months, purely through grassroots efforts- an indication of the widespread support.

As support continued to grow, business owners, developers, non-profits, and even non-residents wanted to help see the vision come to fruition. The importance of well-rounded and unique curriculum options was abundantly clear, so community input was sought on potential programs of focus. This input led to the decision to offer career academies and career-themed courses with direct application to our local community in addition to the more traditional college preparatory course of study. Special areas of focus would include such subjects like biomedical sciences, environmental and marine sciences, cyber security, fishing and tourism, and construction. These programs will be well-supported through numerous local resources, lending themselves to increased connectivity and multiple options for postsecondary pathways. Destin High School’s educational program was designed to connect with the Destin area’s rich history, tradition, and culture that revolves around the military, fishing, and coastal environment, but it also embraced unique partnerships with local universities and other entities such as military and defense contractors, charter boat industry, the Gulfarium, and the Choctawhatchee Bay Alliance.


Our Campus

By the 1990s, Destin residents saw the need of a Destin High School. The growing population, coupled with an isolated location and deteriorating conditions at neighboring high schools, solidified the community’s resolve to turn a dream into a reality. As the voices of support grew in number, determination, and passion, the City Council approved the formation of the Destin High School Advisory Committee under the leadership of Dr. Prebble Q Ramswell in 2016.

Shark Talk Glossary

1. Fintastic: Beyond fantastic; so incredible it’s like watching a shark swim by.
2. JAWsome: A level of awesome that’s as jaw-dropping as a shark sighting.
3. Sharktacular: Something so spectacular, it’s akin to seeing a shark perform acrobatics.
4. Gillorious: Something so delightful or hilarious, it could make even a shark giggle.
5. Swellmazing: So amazing it’s like riding a perfect ocean swell.
6. Ripplendid: Something so splendid it creates ripples of excitement or admiration.
7. Fincredible: An incredible event or situation that has the majesty and allure of a shark’s fin.
8. WaveWow: As awe-inspiring as catching the perfect wave.

9. Bite-tastic: Something so enticing you want to sink your teeth into it, much like a shark with its prey.
10. Seathrilling: As thrilling as encountering ocean wildlife in Destin.
11. Chompmark: A standout achievement or product that’s as noticeable as a shark bite.
12. Tiderrific: Terrific to the point where it raises the tide of your enthusiasm.
13. Saltysational: Sensational in a way that embodies the spirit and saltiness of the sea.
14. Finomenal: Phenomenal and remarkable, much like the elegance of a shark’s fin through water.
15. Reefreshing: So refreshing it feels like a dip in a vibrant reef full of life.


It’s everything you wanted & more!

  • Facility –  Beautiful BRAND NEW high school in Okaloosa County with Central Location

  • Convenience – Shorter commute, an east & west side bus for bus riders, later start time

  • Partnerships with various businesses and organizations to ensure cutting-edge course material from industry experts in fields including science and arts and opportunities for internships and apprenticeships


The mission of Destin High School is to prepare students academically, physically, and mentally to become responsible, productive, empowered citizens. Embracing the area’s history as a tourist destination, military hub, and “world’s luckiest fishing village” and supported by strong public/private partnerships, our diverse and specialized programs will provide the foundation each student needs to secure a solid future.

We are committed to implementing a comprehensive framework for 21st century education that focuses on the skills, knowledge, and expertise students must master to succeed in work and life. Critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity will be embedded within the context of core subjects and interdisciplinary themes that will challenge our students, teachers, and school leaders to excel. A place-based approach to learning will take advantage of the local geography and community to create authentic, meaningful and engaging personalized learning for students

Destin High School (DHS) strives to meet the diverse needs of our local community by providing specialized programs and career academies in areas such as:

Marine Science
Environmental Science
Hospitality and Tourism
Construction (e.g., Carpentry; Electrical; HVAC; Masonry; Plumbing; Construction Technology)

Applied learning opportunities will engage our students in place-based real-world problems and solutions, instilling in DHS students a profound understanding of their roles and responsibilities as citizens and leaders in their communities, both locally and globally. 

Destin High School will be a model for innovation, providing unique educational opportunities for both college-bound and career-minded students living along Florida’s Emerald Coast. 

  • Several Curriculum Tracks/Options 
  • Collegiate/Dual Enrollment Options
  • STEMM/STEAM Courses
  • Outstanding Preforming Arts Program & Clubs 
  • Honors/Advanced/AP Classes
  • Career Academies For Career-Minded Students
  • Exciting Community Partnerships And Opportunities For Apprenticeships
  • Highest caliber educators, coaches, and staff with a principal selected from a nationwide search
  • Low student/teacher ratio
  • More teacher time
  • We incorporate “hands-on learning” where the student engages with the subject matter and learns by doing rather than just listening or watching
  • Offers a full complement of sports including: basketball, soccer, volleyball, football, baseball/softball, tennis, golf, swimming, lacrosse, cross country/track, soccer, wrestling, and cheer
  • Football added for the 2022-2023 school year under the legendary Coach E. G. Green
  • Outstanding arts programs
  • Variety of clubs including Leadership, Student Council, Yearbook, FCA, etc.




Frequently Asked Questions

Covering topics from classes to admissions and student organization events.

For the 2023-2024 school year: August 10, 2023

1st semester will be multiple waves of students from 6:45am – 5:36pm with 6 blocks of classes, students are only taking 3 blocks

2nd semester will be 8:00am – 2:40pm with 4 block classes

Yes. We have east side and west side pick-up and drop-off locations.

Destin High School is located at 4325 Commons Drive West in Destin.

Yes. In Florida, charter schools are public schools and are authorized and approved by the school district. The charter application was submitted February 1, 2019, and the Okaloosa County School Board approved the application. Our contract was finalized by unanimous vote of the school board on October 28, 2019. You can view these documents under “Charter.”

We already are a public school. Charter schools are public schools. They have the same requirements as a traditional public school, but are governed by an independent governing board and, as a result, have more flexibility.

In addition to offering the state-mandated core curriculum as a base, Destin High School meets the diverse needs of our local community by providing specialized programs and career-themed courses and academies. Our first year we offered four specialized programs, but plan on expanding to include opportunities such as:

For 2023-2024 DHS Will OffeAcademies In The Following Areas:

  • Business/Entrepreneurship
  • Commercial Fishing/Captain’s License Prep
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Cyber/IT

Our educational programs offer unique hands-on learning opportunities through project-based learning (PBL) in preparation for students’ real-world and postsecondary success. Through PBL and the school’s programming, students will learn and apply leadership skills, and engage in mentoring opportunities to enhance the school community and students’ future successes.

Career Academy Courses Can Be Found In The 
Curriculum Guide. To Request Additional Information, Suggest A Career Academy, Or Express Interest In One Of Our Academies, Please Contact
Principal Christine Cruickshank

Yes. Charter schools are tuition-free public schools. Florida is second in the country for the number of charter schools (behind California) with more than 750 charter schools in 62 school districts.

The DHS Head of School, Principal Christine Cruickshank, accepts resumes and conducts interviews for all positions. Additional positions will be available each year as the school expands to its full enrollment.

Submitting an application to DHS does NOT obligate you to attend DHS. It is merely a submission of your interest and the securing of a your spot should you decide to attend. As such, we encourage you to submit an application even if you are undecided. However, confirming your seat following the lottery does serve as notice of your official intent to attend DHS and your records will begin transferring to DHS.

Note: The DHS system and the Okaloosa County School District system are not connected and do not know who has registered for the other. They are independent systems and registering or applying for one does not affect your application/ enrollment at the other. 

Students applying during open application periods will have seven days to accept their spot following notification they have received a seat. Outside the application periods, seats are only available for open seats. Once capacity has been reached, a waiting list will be established for incoming applications.

No. No seats are guaranteed. However, as a recipient of the State of Florida CSP grant, the following Enrollment Preferences will be utilized, as permitted, for the period of time that DHS is a recipient:

  • currently enrolled students;
  • students who are siblings of a student enrolled in DHS;
  • students who are the children of a member of the governing board of the charter school;
  • students who are the children of an employee of the charter school.

Information extracted from the school’s Enrollment & Admissions Policy are available on the this website and include details related to processes for conducting a lottery. Please visit the Admissions/Enrollment page for additional information.

No. Once you are accepted, you do not have to re-apply. Current students must reaffirm their seat each year.

Yes! Starting the 2022-2023 school year, Destin High will welcome students in all four grades!

Yes!  DHS proudly offers dual enrollment and has an articulation agreement with Northwest Florida State College.

Yes! In fact, our first year we were able to offer 22+ sports!  See all of the sports we currently have HERE

Destin High has all the activities you would expect at a high school, from traditional clubs such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Leadership, Yearbook and more. See more of our activities HERE