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April 2010

STAR Banquet

532010_93243_0.jpg   Falon Dominguez of Bartram Trail High School
532010_93306_1.jpg   Cole McCarty of Pedro Menendez High School
532010_93322_2.jpg   Lexie Cegelski of Nease High School

Sixty-seven of St. Johns County Schools’ best and brightest were honored at the Fifteenth Annual STAR (Students Taking Academic Responsibility) Awards Banquet held Monday at World Golf Village.
The STAR Awards recognize the top three percent of all graduating seniors in the county. Eleven students from Bartram Trail High School, nine from Creekside High School, twelve from Pedro Menendez High School, nine from Nease High School, eight from Ponte Vedra High School, fourteen from St. Augustine High School, and four from St. Joseph Academy received commendation for their outstanding academic performance.
During the recognition ceremony principals introduced each student and then a special teacher selected by the student. The STAR students shared their future plans and why they selected the teacher they chose to honor. In addition to making top grades, these students are involved in athletics, performing groups, school clubs and community service.   
One STAR teacher, Brian Braddock who currently teaches science and statistics at St. Augustine High School (SAHS), was also honored eleven years ago as a STAR student from SAHS.
“In 1991 I was fortunate enough to be a STAR student, and Terry Sapp was the teacher/coach I invited to the banquet,” said Mr. Braddock. “He and Jeff Holt, a social studies teacher I had at Murray Middle School, are big reasons why I wanted to be a teacher.”
The STAR students selected by each school are as follows:
Bartram Trail High School – Erin Banister, Sean Daugherty, Falon Dominguez, Hilary Frandsen, Marshall Johnson, Cassidy Kallner, Trevor Knowles, Gianna Morelli, Corissa Premo, Ryan Saunders and Tyler Shine
Creekside High School – Grace Bacon, Eric Beilefeldt, Zachary Lowe, Adrian Martinez, Katherine Mott, Stephen Peters, Stephen Rabon, Sarah Thompson and Matthew Walsh
Pedro Menendez High School – Rabia Ali, Aureen Arellano, Cara-Lynn Darling, Thomas Dotson, Derek Droege, Taryn Greene, Alexander Litvintchouk, Caitlin Luedke, Cole McCarty, Saeid Mirzai, Caroline Palm and Rebekka Wilson
Nease High School – Lexie Cegelski, Zachary Chizmar, Hanney Conor, Lauren Donnangelo, Nicholas Hosseini, Catherine Li, Utkarsh Pandey, Ekaterina Prosvirkina and Kristie Yang
Ponte Vedra High School – Jessica Friedes, Amore Kotze, Marykate Lavell, Reesa Lendry, Amanda Santillo, Carolyn Scott, Ainsley Shreve and Ansley Vanover
St. Augustine High School – Matthew Chiaverini, Maria Garcia Narvaez, Chelsea Gresham, Alexis Kubart, Joshua Morton, Savannah Morton, Anita Patel, Brooke Radaker, Neha Shrestha, Jaimie Thomas, Yannick Trapman-O’Brien, Berkeley VanDyke, Caley Wells and Liam White
St. Joseph Academy – Marguerite Devereux, Alexandra George, Jameson Kuang and Gabriella Massoglia
John Birney, Vice President of Investments for First Coast Financial Advisors, served as emcee. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Joyner and School Board Members were also in attendance.
Savings bonds were presented to a senior at each school. They were donated by Bank of America, Bank of St. Augustine, Community First Credit Union, Mercantile Bank, Off the Grid Charters, Prosperity Bank and Regions Bank.
The annual event was sponsored by the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the St. Augustine Lions Club, VIP Presentation Products, Wayne Hogan of Terrell Hogan and other area businesses and individuals.

  Art Attack!

 Art Attack Program 2010 (PDF)

The Third Annual Art Attack! will be held from 1 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 1 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre.
Art Attack! highlights visual and performing arts from schools throughout the county and includes elementary, middle and high school student artwork and performances.
A special performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. featuring the St. Johns County Center for the Arts at Murray Middle School and St. Augustine High School.
Tickets are $3 to $7 for kids and $5 to $10 for adults and can be purchased on site.
The annual event is sponsored by the St. Johns County Education Foundation. A copy of the program is attached.

Creekside High School Principal

  Randy Johnson, Interim Principal at Creekside High School (CHS), has been selected by Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner to be the permanent principal.  His nomination will be presented to the School Board at their May 11 meeting.
Mr. Johnson has been employed by the St. Johns County School District since 1982 and has served as a teacher, coach and administrator.  He began his career as a social studies curriculum writer, social studies teacher and department chairman. In 1993 he was promoted to Assistant Principal at R. B. Hunt Elementary School and a year later transferred to St. Augustine High School as Assistant Principal.  
In 1999 Mr. Johnson was promoted to serve as Principal of Gamble Rogers Middle School (GRMS). While there he was honored as the recipient of the 2003 Commissioner’s Middle School Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership for Region 2. He remained at GRMS until July 2006 when he was transferred to Sebastian Middle School to fill a vacancy.
In 2007 he was selected as the school district’s Director of Staff Development, a position he held until he was transferred to Creekside to fill the vacancy created by Paul Abbatinozzi’s request to transfer back to the district office.
“I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Johnson’s leadership and am confident he will be an outstanding principal at Creekside,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “His combination of experience, high energy and love for the community will continue to foster a culture of excellence at the school.”
Mr. Johnson earned his undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University and his master’s degree from Nova University. He is a member of the Leadership St. Johns Class of 2000.
“I am excited, enthused and ready for the challenge,” said Mr. Johnson.

  American Youth Character Awards Banquet   More than 100 students were recognized for their exemplary character at the Tenth Annual American Youth Character Awards Banquet held this evening at the World Golf Village Convention Center.  
Honorees included three percent of the junior class and one percent of the senior class from each high school who were identified as students of character. Sixty-eight juniors including eleven from Bartram Trail High School, nine from Creekside High School, two from Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, ten from Pedro Menendez High School, eleven from Nease High School, nine from Ponte Vedra High School, eleven from St. Augustine High School, two from St. Johns Technical High School and three from St. Joseph Academy were recognized.
Students also invited their parents and a mentor who has served as a character role model for them.
Criteria for the AYCA awards are based on the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. These awards recognize students for serving as good role models for their generation. Nominees were evaluated on the basis of the influence of the Six Pillars in their lives, especially as they relate to overcoming obstacles, making difficult choices, generosity and self-sacrifice, and community service.    All honorees received certificates and school letters. In addition, each senior received a $400 award in recognition of their exemplary character.
Eight other seniors were honored as Pursuing Victory with Honor nominees for displaying the Six Pillars of Character on the athletic field. The overall winner received a $400 check and the other school finalists each received $200.
The 25 senior award recipients were Peter Coggeshall, Tyler Ford, Gianna Morelli and Kyle Pepper of Bartram Trail High School; Kelly Dueker, Lauren Fitt and Nathan Haney of Creekside High School; Gabriella Ferreira and Wade Heffelbower of Florida School for the Deaf and Blind; Erin Dixon, William Owen, Shamma Shehab and Griffin Tillis of Pedro Menendez High School; Andrew Catalano, Kristen Kemp and Amanda Kennedy of Nease High School; Amore Kotze, Kristyn Mantia and Ansley Vanover of Ponte Vedra High School; Brooke Radaker, Yannick Trapman-O’Brien, Neha Shrestha and Michelle Thomas of St. Augustine High School; Rachael Griggs of St. Johns Technical High School; and Jameson Kuang of St. Joseph Academy.
St. Johns River Community College also recognized two students for their outstanding character. Anastassia Gloukhova and Renae Levor were selected as this year’s recipients and each received $400.
The junior nominees were as follows:
Bartram Trail High School – Aubrey Asplen, Lindsey Baroch, Taylor Brantley, Lesleigh Craddock, D’Vontai Crowder, Libby Crowe, Mac Culkeen, Jared Griffis, Cassidy Langford, James Mancino and Edward Pottenger
Creekside High School – Kelly Ackerman, Julianna Betbeze, Michael Grew, Daniel Paul, Savanna Robinson, Rachel Roettger, Jacob Sambursky, Kieri Seidner and Kimberly Triplett
Florida School for the Deaf and Blind – Brandon Forbes and Channel Jones
Pedro Menendez High School –  Meaghan Boutwell, Zach Brown, Ty Brush, Alexandra Givens, Brian Jackson, Kayla Kersey, Arthur King, Cole Piagno, Gabriella Samuels and Tony Steward
Nease High School – Bryce Davis, Cody Gibbons, Lindsay Gilmore, Scott Kulley, Jessica Macwilkinson, Nasharee Miller, Keishara Morand, Alicia Morrow, Chris Regan, Bradley Roche and Luke Smith
Ponte Vedra High School –  Arielle Brazeal, Christopher Damm, Taylor Drain, Alexandra Fehling, Alfred Harding, Amanda Kitchens, Robert O’Hara, Austin Philpot and Joseph Pike
St. Augustine High School – Beatriz Alamo, Marcus Anderson, P. J. Baran, Sophie Clingam-Darack, Marilyn Cooper, Myeshia Elmore, Max Longstreet, Tarek Odom, Casey Sacco, Mark Sturgis and Ben West
St. Johns Technical High School – Launa Nelson and Vaughn Smith
St. Joseph Academy – Henning Ander, Teresa Carmedelle and Stephanie Mas
Five years ago the law firm of Upchurch, Bailey and Upchurch, P.A. established the David Macaulay Mathis Memorial Victory with Honor Award to recognize a varsity athlete who exhibits the Six Pillars of Character. David Mathis was a 1999 International Baccalaureate graduate of Nease High School who was active in the Naval ROTC program and was a member of the varsity basketball team.
This year’s Pursuing Victory with Honor Award winner was Cole McCarty of Pedro Menendez High School. The other school finalists were Pam Carey of Bartram Trail High School, Abigail Rich of Creekside High School, Ryan Santana of Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, Sarah Knapp of Nease High School, Wesley Anne Barden of Ponte Vedra High School, Berkeley Van Dyke of St. Augustine High School and Drew Hernandez of St. Joseph Academy.
Major sponsors for this year’s banquet were The Bailey Group, Northrop Grumman and Prosperity Bank. Other major contributors were Allen Family Businesses (The Feed Store and Water Works), Cady and Cady Studios, Character Counts! of St. Johns County, Chick-Fil-A, The Hutson Companies, St. Augustine Sunrise Rotary, United Way of St. Johns County and Upchurch, Bailey and Upchurch. Many other businesses, civic organizations and individuals also contributed to this event.

Tucker Named Ketterlinus Principal


4122010_74908_0.jpgKathy Tucker, Assistant Principal at Osceola Elementary School (OES), has been appointed the new Principal of Ketterlinus Elementary School (KES) starting July 1.

Kathy Tucker, Assistant Principal at Osceola Elementary School (OES), has been named by Superintendent Joseph Joyner to serve as the new Principal of Ketterlinus Elementary School (KES). She will replace Wayne Jenkins, who had previously requested a transfer to a guidance position.
“I want to thank Wayne for his seven years of outstanding leadership at Ketterlinus,” said Dr. Joyner. “He has asked to return to his first love of student counseling and guidance, and I am honoring his request.”
Ms. Tucker has been employed by the St. Johns County School District since 1995 and has served as Assistant Principal of OES for the past four years. Prior to that, she spent three years as Assistant Principal at Cunningham Creek Elementary School and eight years as a teacher at KES.
In 2001 she received National Board Certification and was also named the KES Teacher of the Year.
“After listening to the characteristics the Ketterlinus teachers and community desired in their new principal, it was very clear to me that they were describing Kathy Tucker,” said Dr. Joyner.  “She is an outstanding leader who has my highest level of confidence.”
While at Osceola, Ms. Tucker coordinated the school fundraiser, “Megabuck$ for Megabyte$,” which has raised over $50,000 for technology. In addition, she organized the school’s inaugural Turtle Trot 5K and Fun Run held on February 27, with 22 schools and several area businesses and organizations vying for technology prizes.
Ms. Tucker has also been successful in grant writing, She has received funding to purchase Leapfrog products, to create a student web site on Fort Mose and to develop the first Literature Night at KES.
“I feel like I’m coming home,” said the new KES Principal. “This is where I started in the district and I’m so pleased to be returning to Ketterlinus.”
Ms. Tucker holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Florida. Her appointment will be effective July 1.