School Board congratulates 2018-19 Walton County Outstanding School Volunteers [PREMIUM]

THE 2018-19 Walton County Outstanding School Volunteers adult category winner, Margaret Aresco, receiving a certificate from WCSD Supt Russell Hughes. Aresco has been a volunteer at Freeport Elementary School for six years.

Story and photos by JENNA BAILEY

At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, the Walton County School Board (WCSB) met for a regular meeting in the South Walton High School (SWHS) media center. 

Announcements — In announcements was a presentation for recognition of the 2018-19 Walton County Outstanding School Volunteers. Selected for the adult category is Freeport Elementary School (FES) volunteer Margaret Aresco. A letter from FES Principal Kristin Lewis reads, “Mrs. Aresco has volunteered at Freeport Elementary School for six years. She started volunteering when her older child began kindergarten at FES. During her time volunteering, Mrs. Aresco has helped in classrooms and with the Parent Teacher Organization. Mrs.Aresco now serves as the President of PTO. As PTO president, Mrs. Aresco has been instrumental in the successful funding of several projects for the improvement of FES.” 

OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER, SENIOR CATEGORY: (Far left to right); West DeFuniak Elementary (WDE) Principal Darlene Paul, WDE volunteer Rebecca Martin, WCSB Vice-Chair Marsha Winegarner, and WCSD Supt. Russell Hughes. Martin is the 2018-19 Walton County Outstanding School Volunteers senior category winner and has been a volunteer at WDE for 23 years.

The senior volunteer selected is West DeFuniak Elementary (WDE) volunteer Rebecca Martin, aka “Mrs.Becky.” A letter from WDE principal Darlene Paul reads, “Mrs. Martin has been volunteering at West DeFuniak for the past 23 years and for the past several years she has averaged 290 hours per year. Mrs. Becky has always been willing to help where she is needed but is now found in Kindergarten every Wednesday! …West DeFuniak is blessed with many volunteers and community helpers, but Mrs. Becky has been around for so long she is considered a permanent fixture around here. When Wednesday morning comes around, she arrives even before most of the teachers and begins to spread her Mrs. Becky cheer. She is as much an encouragement to faculty and staff as she is to students! Mrs. Martin has been instrumental in the successes of West DeFuniak Elementary and we are proud to nominate her for Senior Outstanding Volunteer for the 2018- 2019 School Year!”

Last for announcements, representatives from Children in Crisis (CIC) presented the top 

three fundraising schools in Walton county with a special recognition plaque. Walton High School (WHS) was recognized for raising $1,623.43. Maude Saunders Elementary (MSE) was recognized for raising $1,023.53. Emerald Coast Middle School (ECMS) was recognized for raising $855.21. Accepting for WHS was Principal Janet Currid. Accepting for MSE was Principal Pam Jones. Accepting for ECMS was Principal Todd Drake. 

The mission of CIC is providing homes and establishing hope for the abused, neglected and abandoned children of Northwest Florida. CIC is a local, non-profit charity that has provided a home to over 700 children since opening in 2008. The Children’s Neighborhood provides an emergency shelter for young children and the family foster homes help with the severe shortage of foster homes in the community.

The April 2, 2019 regular meeting minutes were approved as well as three closed expulsion hearing minutes. 

Consent Agenda — The consent agenda consisted of six travel requests and three purchase order requests exceeding $25,000. The consent agenda was approved. 

Action Agenda — The action agenda portion of the meeting began with the approval of the Walton Learning Center 2019-20 school calendar and the 2019 Summer VPK Employee Calendar. Third, the motion carried to grant approval to advertise amendments to existing School Board rules/policies. The School Board’s rules and policies must be periodically updated to reflect changes in conditions, as well as, changes in pertinent rules and statutes. These updates must be made in public hearings in accordance with applicable state statutes. The advertisements for rules/policies 6.501 and 6.502 have been prepared in accordance with applicable state statutes. 

The final item to be approved for the action agenda was the request for approval of Notice of Intent to advertise a policy/rule. The proposed policy allows for the enrollment of foreign exchange students in Walton County schools if the student and the sponsoring entity meet the criteria that has been established and outlined within the policy. The Board approved this item.

Food Service — There were two items requested for approval for food services. First, a request for approval of POWER Buying Group Membership Letter of Agreement. The POWER (Purchasing Organization With Educational Results) Buying Group provides benefits and serves the District to facilitate the process of purchasing high-quality products that establish District Child Nutrition Program compliance with procurement procedures. The motion carried to approve this item. 

Second, a request for approval of exemptions from the Willie Ann Glenn Act for Children’s Summer Nutrition Program. The Ms. Willie Ann Glenn Act, an act relating to children’s summer nutrition program, requires that district school boards develop plans to sponsor summer nutrition programs and seek exemptions when required conditions can not be met under certain conditions per Florida Statute 595.407. The motion carried to approve this item.

Finance Dept. — For finance dept. the board approved the budget amendments as of March 31, 2019; Walton Academy monthly financial statements; WCSD monthly financial statements; and summer employment for 2019. 

Human Resources Dept. — In human resources the board approved of the Emerald Coast Technical College (ECTC) Student Services Dean job description; April 16, 2019 personnel recommendations; and the April 16, 2018 personnel addendum. 

Facilities/Construction Dept. — Starting off this portion of the meeting the board approved “Deductive Change Order #9” in the amount of -$34,167.57 for ODP purchase order deducts and closeout of purchase orders for completed subcontractors. Also in this portion of the meeting, WCSD Facilities Dir. Mark Gardner and School Board Attorney Leonard Dietzen have been working with the St.Joe Corporation and legal staff on an agreement for the upcoming Magnet STEAM Program to create a lease agreement acceptable to all parties. The motion carried to approve the agreement. 

Technology Dept. — The technology dept. requested School Board approval of a contract with Information Transport Solutions to provide telecommunication connectivity to Dune Lakes Elementary School (DLE). The budgeted amount for the entire district will increase from $36,650.00 per month to $37,200.00. The board approved this item.  

Superintendent’s Report — In the superintendent’s report portion of the meeting Superintendent Russell Hughes requested a special meeting on Tuesday, April 23. At the meeting the board will discuss a lease agreement between St. Joe Education Leasing Services, LLC and the WCSB. The board approved Superintendent Hughes’ request a WCSB special meeting will take place on Tues., April 23, at the Tivoli Administrative Complex in DeFuniak Springs at 6 p.m.