School Board honors 2023 Presidential Scholars, approves student code


The Walton County School District held its regular meeting on Nov. 7, 2023, at the Tivoli Complex/Board Room. A special reorganization meeting was held 15 minutes earlier. The former office holders were voted in again and will continue to serve their office this next year. There was no change, Tammy Smith will continue as Chair and Jason Catalano as Vice-Chair. 

The 2023 Presidential Scholars were announced. Rosalita F. Rubino, Seacoast Collegiate High School, Academic Candidate. She had the highest SAT and ACT scores of the school level nominees. She is a full-time, dual enrollment student. Addison J. Cook, Paxton School, CTE Candidate (Career Technical Education). She is also a dual enrollment student and is on track to earn her AA degree in conjunction with her high school diploma. Her areas of study are agriculture and business management. She is an active member in the FFA and National Honor Society, and also works a part-time job. 

The Addendum to the 2023-2024 Student Code of Conduct was approved. It addresses the use of bathrooms and changing facilities which are designated for exclusive use by males or females as determined at birth by biological sex, or as unisex changing facilities. Any student who willfully enters for a purpose other than those listed in 553.865(9) F.S. a restroom or changing facility designated for the opposite sex and refuses to depart when asked to do so by any instructional personnel, administrative personnel, or a safe-school officer shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension. 

South Walton High School AV System in the Gymnasium was approved and $63,451.96 was paid for by St. Joe Grant funds, with the balance of $158.21 paid out of internal accounts. 

 Permission to Advertise Amendments to School Board Rules/Policies was granted. The amendments are posted on 

An addendum was made in the contract between the Walton County School District and Walton Academy revising the yearly contractual payment amount from $527,000 to $577,000 for the 23/24 FY. Each month, a 1/12 payment is made to the Walton Academy. 

Property Deletions SY 2023-24 First Quarter can be found at:$file/Deletions_1Qtr.pdf . There are 61 pages. 

The Walton County Education Association Instructional Bargaining Unit and the School Board of Walton County, Florida completed negotiations for the 2023-24 school year. The tentative agreements reflect an increase in compensation of approximately 19.84% at an estimated cost of approximately $11,074,000 and have been provided to the instructional staff for a ratification vote. 

2023-24 School Year Confidential Managerial Supervisory Salary Schedule reflects a salary increase of $2.00 per hour and a step awarded for experience. The salary schedule will be retroactive to July 1, 2023. The Board approved. 

Administrative employees that are currently employed by the WCSD in regular, non-seasonal positions and are actively working at their site fulfilling assigned duties during the 2023-24 school year when funds are distributed will receive a non-recurring bonus by the end of each semester. The amounts of the non-recurring bonuses are provided below.

• 1st Semester Bonus

Full Time – $1,500

Part Time (Less than one-half (1/2) of the day) – $750

• 2nd Semester Bonus

Full Time – $1,500

Part Time (Less than one-half (1/2) of the day) – $750 The increase in compensation totals approximately 10.05% with an estimated cost of approximately $846,021. 

The Board approved of the 2023-24 Enhanced Instructional Opportunities for Recently Arrived Immigrant Children and Youth Project Application. There are 378 immigrant children in Walton County Schools from Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. 

An Agreement between the School Board of Walton County and the School Board of Okaloosa County for ESE Services was approved. It has gone from 47 students to 6 or 7 currently. They didn’t want to interrupt their final high school years by moving them. Walton County has been able to finally provide the ESE services they need here in Walton County. 

Change Order #01 to Culpepper Construction for Paxton School Site Improvements was approved in the amount of $248,201.21. It reflects the changes that are required per the NWFWMD review for permitting. The changes required the construction of a 10.5’ deep sand chimney at stormwater pond “A”, constructing an outfall swale on the East side of new South access road, and to construct an increased size stormwater pond “B”. 

Contingency Modification #10 to Culpepper Construction for the new Freeport Middle School was approved in the amount of -$330,839.58. This will delay the project schedule by 19 days. 

School Board Member Jeri Michie will Attend the FSBA/FADSS 78th Annual Joint Conference on November 28-December 1, 2023, at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida. 

Student Data Privacy Agreement (DPA) between the Walton County School Board and Apptegy, Inc. was approved. 

Two student expulsions were approved. No additional information was given. 

Consent Agenda: 

• Paxton High School AVID Students to Travel to Mobile, Alabama on November 17, 2023, to Tour the University of Mobile Campus.

• Paxton High School Band Students to Travel to Tampa, Florida on January 10-13, 2024, for the FMEA Conference.

• Paxton High School Pre-K Students to Travel to Enterprise, Alabama on December 13, 2023, to Watch The Polar Express

• Paxton High School Students to Travel to Montgomery, Alabama on February 14, 2024, to Attend the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

• Gifted Program to Travel to Montgomery, Alabama on November 30, 2023, to Attend the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

• South Walton High School Band Students to Travel via Charter Bus to Orlando, Florida on December 16-20, 2023, to Visit Disney Springs, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom.

• Roofing Materials for the new Freeport Middle School in the amount of $487,772.62

• FFA students to travel to Haines City, Florida on December 5, thru December 6, 2023, for participation in Middle School State Vegetable Judging Finals

• New flooring for Walton Middle School from Tarkett in the amount of $72,577.58

• Roof for Freeport Middle School from Duro-last/Horsley Construction Group Inc in the amount of $402,284.86.