Breedlove to seek another Walton County BOE term

By Chris Bridges - the Walton Tribune

Veteran member and current vice chairman has served on board since 2009

David Breedlove, who represents District 7 on the Walton County Board of Education and currently serves as its vice chairman, has announced he will seek re-election this year.

District 7 represents most of North Walton from the Bold Springs area continuing to Snows Mill Road. Breedlove, a Republican, was first elected in 2008. He has served four terms on the BOE and would like to continue in his role.

David Breedlove

Breedlove points to many accomplishments by the Walton County BOE during his tenure.

“Over the past 15 years, we have enjoyed growth in many areas, not just in population, but also in student success,” he said. “When I started on the Board, the graduation rate at Monroe Area High School was in the high 60s, and we are now in the 90s with the entire district seeing 94% in 2022. This is an all-time high.

“Additionally, we have been reducing the millage rate to our tax base year over year. Essentially, the district provides high-quality education to consumers at a very fair cost. We moved from textbooks and paper to iPads and now Chromebooks. Amusingly, we were a pioneer in this area and across the state for one-to-one technology, but you don’t hear about that on the news.”

When he first was elected to the BOE, Breedlove said the board was often moving in different directions.

“The work wasn’t easy but we are now a team, all rowing in the same direction,” Breedlove said. “We have worked on the ‘One Walton’ program, which is a commitment to removing the divide that has separated this county for many decades. Another accomplishment, which shouldn’t be dismissed, is the level of physical security we’ve introduced. When I was elected, a student’s success was the top issue, and as time progressed, physical security became paramount with the actions of a few individuals around the country threatening our children. The board made some very tough financial decisions but our students are safe. A parent knows that leaving their child in the care of Walton County schools 180 days a year is a good parental decision.”

During his time as a BOE member, Breedlove said the board has made two very strong hires for superintendent in Gary Hobbs and Nathan Franklin.

“Many, if not most districts, cycle through superintendents, but we have had just two serve our students over the last 16 years,” the District 7 representative said. “We selected the top performers. Both brought strong leadership skills and built a team that has elevated us to the level of success we enjoy today. Selecting, further developing, and guiding the superintendent is by far our most impactful contribution and role as a board member.”

The Walton BOE is now faced with selecting another superintendent following the announcement by Franklin that he would retire at the end of the current school year.

“My main goal for this term is to ensure a smooth transition and provide stability from a leadership position,” Breedlove said. “We’ve had several recent retirements in the Board of Education office, including the superintendent, and we are now again at the point of selecting the next person to lead our schools. As stated, this is critical to the district’s overall health and success. Solid and experienced governance is critical during these times. I feel my biggest contribution to student success is providing that governance at the highest degree of integrity while still applying the needed common sense to the decisions we face.”

As far as his campaign goes, Breedlove said he will continue to
be an open and transparent candidate.

“Being a candidate for the school board is unlike all other public offices,” he said. “Making ‘campaign promises’ and committing a candidate to a particular path can inherently be dangerous to the district and, ultimately, the students. If I have to make a campaign promise, it will be this. I promise to bring stability and common sense to board meetings and all of the board proceedings. I will continue to represent District 7 and the entire school district with honesty and integrity making ‘One Walton’ county a reality. Experienced leadership matters and that is what I offer.”

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