School Board introduces new Bay Elementary principal, receives fire safety inspection report

JENNIFER NICK was introduced as the new Principal of Bay Elementary School.

Story by ADRIANNE WALLINE CAMPBELL 

The Walton County School District held its regular meeting on March 5, 2024, at the Tivoli Complex/Board Room. This is the only meeting they will have in March due to Spring Break. 

The Board approved the purchase of a small strip of land approximately 10’ wide adjoining the Tivoli Complex in DeFuniak Springs from Lillie Sledge for $2,268. 

A public hearing will be held on April 2, 2024, at the Tivoli Complex/Board Room at 5:15 p.m. to discuss and decide on the proposed amendments to their rules/policies. 

Jennifer Nick was introduced as the new principal of Bay Elementary School. She was formerly the Assistant Principal at Dune Lakes Elementary School. She is the wife of the former Walton County Commissioner Trey Nick. 

An agreement was made between Valdosta State University Dewar College of Education and Human Services students to complete clinical experiences with qualified Walton County School District employees. 

Symphony Classroom AI Hub has been discontinued and is to be replaced with Merlyn Classroom Solution. It is a classroom help for the teachers. 

Approval was given to enhance and expand comprehensive treatment, early intervention, prevention, and recovery support to behavioral health services for the betterment of children and all families residing in Walton County by increasing access to behavioral telehealth services. This initiative will provide behavioral telehealth equipment, training, and access to the Northwest Florida Health Network (“NWFHN”) community-based provider network for delivering behavioral telehealth services to residents of Walton County. The initiative aims to create or expand an integrated technology platform used by NWFHN Network Services Providers for services provided to children and families engaged in the county school system. 

The Annual Fire Safety Inspection Reports for District Schools and Ancillary Facilities was received. There were some minor issues but no serious ones. 

School board receipt of DEP Voluntary Lead Testing Program Analytical Reports for District Schools prepared by Eurofins for Florida Rural Water Association. Results are posted on DEP’s Voluntary Lead Testing Program for Schools and Childcare Facilities webpage. https://floridadep.gov/water/source-drinking-water/content/voluntary-lead-testing-program-schools-and-childcare-facilities. The excel sheet with summary of results is uploaded. WCSD did not have any schools that exceeded the allowable standards, and no other action is needed.

The board approved a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) to Childers Construction for ECTC- Nursing Addition and Renovation in the amount of $2,994,384.00. Funded completely by the Triumph Grant. 

The board also approved a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) to Allstate Construction Building 1 and Agreement A133 and A201 for Magnet Innovation Center Projects in the amount of $6,541,425.00. St. Joe provided $1.5 million towards the construction as well as funding from the Triumph Grant. 

A Change Order #7 to Culpepper Construction for Freeport Middle School was approved for $81,918.52. This change order addresses DPO orders, a credit back to DPO, and adds 19 days to the substantial completion date. 

Change Order #8 to Culpepper Construction for Freeport Middle School was approved for $190,500.00.  This is for landscaping. 

Contingency Modification #13 for Freeport Middle School with Culpepper Construction for $81,209.86 was approved. 

On the Consent Agenda: 

• Emerald Coast Middle School Lego League will travel to West Palm Beach, FL on March 8-10, 2024, for the FLL State Championship.

• Magnet innovation Center Robotics students to travel to Tallahassee, FL on March 13-16, 2024, for the FIRST Robotics Competition.

• Paxton High School 8th grade class will travel via charter bus to Foley, AL on April 5, 2024, for their annual field trip.

• Students from Odyssey of the Mind clubs at PHS, MIC, and FES will travel to Orlando, FL on March 29-31, 2024, for the Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament.

• South Walton High School HOSA students will travel to Orlando, FL on April 2-7, 2024, to attend the HOSA State Leadership Conference and Competition.

• Van R Butler Elementary School 5th grade students will travel via charter bus to Foley, AL on April 26, 2024, for an educational field trip.

• 3 WCSD Students travel via charter bus along with Okaloosa County School District students, to Lakeland, FL on April 1-5, 2024, for the 2024 State Science Fair. Charter bus provided by Okaloosa County School District.

• Mobile Modular for portable classrooms to be placed at Butler Elementary School, South Walton High School, Walton High School, Mossy Head School, and Freeport High School for $ 288,116.00.

• Maude Saunders Elementary School will receive new flooring from Shaw Integrated Solutions for $ 149,190.06.

• Walton Middle School will receive new flooring from Tarkett for $ 130,117.73.

• Maude Saunders Elementary School is to receive new classroom furniture from VIRCO for $226,809.00.