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Media Releases: October 20, 2003
Sheriff Neil J. Perry and former Hastings
high school physical education teacher and basketball coach
Doris Blackshear have been selected as the recipients of
the 2003 Learning Legacy Lifetime Achievement Awards. These
awards are presented annually to former St. Johns County
students who have returned to the area and given their
lives in service to their community.
The presentation was made Friday, October 17 prior to the third annual football
game between St. Augustine High School (SAHS) and Pedro Menendez High School
(PMHS). PMHS was the host team this year.
Sheriff Perry is a 35-year veteran of St. Johns County law enforcement. He
was elected Sheriff in 1984 and has been re-elected to four successive four-year
terms. Sheriff Perry also has 39 years of service in the Florida Army National
Guard and retired with the rank of Colonel in 2001. He is a graduate of the
U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College and the FBI’s School
of Violence Investigative, Predictive and Preventative Strategies for the 21st
Century. In 2001 Governor Jeb Bush appointed him to serve as co-chair of the
Northeast Florida Regional Domestic Security Taskforce.
Sheriff Perry is a graduate of SAHS where he played both football and basketball.
He has been the recipient of many civilian and military commendations and is
active in numerous community service organizations. He is married to his wife
Syd and they have three children.
Doris Blackshear is a native of Hastings and graduated from Hastings Vocational
Training School, which later became known as Harris High School. She received
her bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee University and began her teaching
career in Anniston, Alabama as a high school physical education teacher.
The following year Mrs. Blackshear returned to Hastings to teach at Harris
High School, which was named for her father who served as the school’s
first principal. Her mother also taught school there for more than 40 years.
The school later became known as Hastings High School and then as Hastings
Elementary/Middle School. This hometown job lasted for 29 years.
But it is as a coach that Doris Blackshear
is best known. Mrs. Blackshear’s girls basketball
teams dominated the Class A competition during her tenure.
They won the district title 22 out of 29 years and the
regional title 19 times. Her teams went to state more than
any other school in Florida even though they were one of
the smallest teams. They were runners-up in the state competition
several times and won sectional titles when there was no
state competition for girls teams.
Mrs. Blackshear also coached girls volleyball, and her winning teams made appearances
at three different state tournaments.
Athletic ability seems to run in the family. Herbert, Doris’s husband
of 35 years, played professional football for the Pittsburgh Steelers and also
served as a boys basketball coach before taking a position as veterans counselor
at Bethune-Cookman College. They have a daughter Kim, who works with students
through her job with the State Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville, and
a four-month-old granddaughter.
The Blackshears also raised and educated two of Mrs. Blackshear’s previous
students: Lois Scott, a former Ketterlinus Elementary School teacher who now
works for the state, and Yvette Reeves, a senior high school teacher and track
coach in St. Petersburg.
Past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Awards are former Superintendent
of Schools Otis Mason, Judge Richard Watson, PMHS Principal Bill Mignon and
Florida School for the Deaf and Blind teacher-coach Hank White.
Cathy Hutchins, Principal of Cunningham Creek Elementary School (CCES), has
been selected by Superintendent Joseph Joyner to open the new elementary
school in the northwestern part of the county. Her nomination will be presented
to the School Board at their November 6 meeting. The principal vacancy at
CCES will be advertised.
Mrs. Hutchins has served as Principal of CCES since July 2001. Prior to assuming
that position she helped open CCES as the Assistant Principal in 1995. From
1988-1995 she served as the Model Technology School Facilitator at The Webster
School, which was one of five model technology school projects in the state.
Mrs. Hutchins also served as a classroom teacher at Webster for two years.
Mrs. Hutchins has over 14 years of experience using various types of educational
technology, including networking, network management and telecommunications.
She has presented various workshops on the use of technology in the classroom
at conferences throughout the state and has coordinated summer programs and
teacher technology training workshops within the school district. She has also
published various articles on technology in education.
“In addition to her technology skills, Mrs. Hutchins brings with her strong
leadership ability and knowledge of the community in the northwestern sector,” said
Dr. Joyner. “She is a proven administrator and will continue the tradition
of excellence that is part of the district mission.”
CCES is the only school in the county to have received the School Recognition
Award for both sustained high performance and improvement and an “A” rating
for the past five years. In addition to high student achievement, CCES has
been recognized for its active parental and community involvement. During the
past five years the school has received the Five Star School designation and
the Golden School Award.
Two of the innovative projects developed during Mrs. Hutchins’ tenure
are a day care center for children of St. Johns County employees and expansion
of the Instructional Delivery Model (IDM) program, in which students have their
own laptop computers for use in the classroom and at home. CCES was one of
the pilot sites for this technology education program and has since expanded
it from second through fifth grade.
“With her strength in technology, grasp of curriculum and understanding
of the whole child, Mrs. Hutchins is the perfect leader to utilize all of the
flexibility of the design that we have in place for the new elementary school,” said
Mrs. Beverly Slough, School Board Member from District 1.
Mrs. Hutchins holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Education from
Nazareth College in Rochester, N. Y. She also holds two master’s degrees,
one in Visually Impaired and Blind Education from the State University at Geneseo,
N. Y. and one in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida.
She is married to Ray Hutchins and they have two children: Christi, an eighth
grader at Switzerland Point Middle School, and Ryan, a fourth grader at CCES.