BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – After Hurricane Michael severely damaged most schools in Bay County, educators had to make tough choices, especially for Rutherford.
One of those choices was to close the Everett Middle School campus and move their students to Rutherford High School.
District leaders have now appointed a director to oversee the quorum to address some of the issues that have surfaced over the past three years.
“I will be the principal of sixth, seventh and eighth grades at Rutherford,” said new principal of College Crystal Boyette.
Current Rutherford principal Coy Pilson said he has asked the school district for help on several occasions. This opportunity brought out his enthusiasm for the future of Rams students.
“As the principal of the high school, I have a feeling my phone calls are going to go down because all phone calls regarding the college will go to the acting principal of the college,” Pilson said.
He said that combining these two groups of students was not easy.
First there was the recovery from the hurricane, then the pandemic. A few weeks ago, authorities arrested 16 students in a school riot.
Boyette recognizes that high school is a totally different environment from college.
“We know that students at certain ages need these limits and these structures, and we are going to provide them,” Boyette said. “There will also be a lot of incentives and rewards in place for students, which we all love.”
Additional security measures will also be added to the campus. Including cameras and fences.
“Provide doors that will not allow certain students to enter and exit certain areas,” she said.
Not only will this allow college kids to act more like college kids, but it will also add structure inside their walls.
It also allows Pilson to focus on high school lessons while Boyette focuses on the younger ones.
Pilson said the college kids will eventually return to Everett, but there is currently no timeline.