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April 2012

Outstanding Volunteers of the Year

Three individuals were honored as St. Johns County’s 2011-2012 Outstanding Volunteers of the Year at the fifth annual Volunteer Recognition Reception held at First Coast Technical College on Thursday, April 12. Cheryl Freeman, volunteer coordinator for the St. Johns County School District served as emcee and Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner announced the outstanding volunteers.

Outstanding Senior Volunteer, Cynthia Prince from PVPV/Rawlings Elementary School, introduced author Jim Trelease’s Readers Aloud Program to St. Johns County in 1987. This program brought more than 100 senior volunteer readers into classrooms weekly to read aloud to students and instill in them a love of books and reading. Prince has been reading aloud to students every week for more than 24 years.

Outstanding Adult Volunteer, Megean Naughton from Osceola Elementary School (OES), serves as the president of the OES Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) and has been instrumental in the success of such events as the Fall Festival, Family Night, Art Walk and Ice Cream Social. Due to Naughton’s efforts, every child at OES left the book fair with a book. As PTO president, she waived the membership fee and instead asked families to pledge a minimum of two hours of volunteer time to the PTO. Parent involvement has increased, and many more families are taking part in extra activities as a result of her efforts.

Outstanding Youth Volunteer, Douglas Griswold an eighth-grade student at Switzerland Point Middle School (SPMS), has displayed dedication to serving students with special needs since fifth grade at Cunningham Creek Elementary School (CCES) and was nominated for this honor by Sharon Oliver, extended day coordinator at CCES. Griswold still makes time for the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) classroom at CCES as well as using his elective class time to work with ESE students at SPMS. With patience and caring, he works with some very special students in areas such as communication and daily living skills. He plans to become a pediatric physical therapist. Recently, Griswold was named the Outstanding Youth School Volunteer for Region II by the Florida DOE, making him one of the top five youth school volunteers in the state.

These Outstanding Volunteers of the Year will be recognized at the May 15 School Board meeting.

Awards were also presented to runners-up in each category. In the Youth Category, Rachel Buff of Creekside High School, Connor Rhine of Pacetti Bay Middle School and Melissa Coggins of Bartram Trail High School were recognized for their volunteer efforts. Ali Lindenfeld of Timberlin Creek Elementary and Ashley Schaefer of Durbin Creek Elementary (DCES) were honored in the Adult Category. The Senior Category honored Karen Ann Cantona of DCES and Cheryl Manucy of Crookshank Elementary School.

In addition to the announcement of these outstanding volunteers, the school volunteer coordinators were also recognized. The 107 individuals honored at this event were just a few of the 11,816 volunteers who contributed 259,960 hours of service to district schools during the past year. This week marks National Volunteer Week, observed April 15-21.

State Science Fair Winners

Several St. Johns County students received awards at the 57th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida held April 3-5 in Lakeland. They will be recognized at the May 15 School Board meeting.

Seven students received awards in the Senior Division. Caroline Snowden of Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS) won first place in the Medicine and Health division for her project entitled “The Association Between Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma and Psoriasis: Examining a Common Biology of Hyperlymphoproliferative Disorders.” She received $150 in cash awards and was nominated to receive a $10,000 scholarship per year from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Joseph W. Paul III of PVHS placed second in the same category with his project entitled “Depletion of pgrn-1 Induces Cleavage of Exogenous Human TAR DNA Binding Protein-43 in C Elegans.” Joseph will also represent St. Johns County at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, PA on May 13-18.

Maya Goldman from PVHS placed third in the Environmental Sciences division; Kurt Hennigar from St. Johns Virtual School was entered in the Computer Science division and received $250 from the Robert and Judy Kryger Family, a $100 Savings Bond and a Silver Medallion for Excellence from the United States Army. Alexa Burch from PVHS received an honorable mention and $100 from the American Society of Civil Engineers, Florida Section. David DiMare from Pedro Menendez High School received recognition and $250 from the American Society of Civil Engineers, Florida Section while Lucinda Ford from PVHS received recognition in the Biochemistry division.

Nine students in the Junior Division were also recognized at the science fair. Harrison Snowden from Landrum Middle School (LMS) was awarded first place in the Zoology division for his project entitled, “Assessing the Effects of Artificial Sweeteners on Drosophila Melongaster” and received $100 Florida Association of Science Supervisors as well as a nomination to compete in the National Broadcom MASTERS Competition for middle school. Adam Snowden from LMS received second place and Perry Bechtle III also from LMS received third place, both in the Engineering division. Third place in the Environmental Sciences division went to James Carpenter from Fruit Cove Middle School (FCMS). Ava and Audrey DuBose from FCMS received third place in the Medicine and Health division for their team project. Wilson Erickson from LMS received fourth place in the Behavioral and Social Sciences division. In the Physics and Astronomy division, Dylan Tovey from R. J. Murray Middle School received an honorable mention and Kaitlin Haines from Liberty Pines Academy received recognition for her project.

All 67 Florida counties are represented by 37 regional fairs at the State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida. This year, 925 finalists from the regional fairs presented 865 team and individual projects for competition at the state science fair. Fifty-three percent of the 21 St. Johns County projects competing at the state level won awards or recognition. Mark Lewis and Marna Fox, program specialists for elementary and secondary science, served as the River Region East science fair co-directors; and Pat Gay, executive secretary for Instructional Services, served as logistical coordinator.

STAR Banquet

Eighty-two of St. Johns County Schools’ best and brightest were honored by the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce and St. Johns County School Board at the annual Students Taking Academic Responsibility (STAR) Awards Banquet held Tuesday, March 27 at the World Golf Village Renaissance Resort.

The STAR Awards recognize the top three percent of all graduating seniors in the county. Eleven students from Bartram Trail High School, one from Beacon of Hope Christian School, 15 from Creekside High School (CHS), 12 from Pedro Menendez High School (PMHS), 10 from Nease High School (NHS), 14 from Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS), 16 from St. Augustine High School (SAHS), and three from St. Joseph Academy received commendation for their outstanding academic performance.

During the recognition ceremony principals introduced each student and then a special mentor 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.

The STAR students and their mentors are as follows:

Bartram Trail High School – Matthew Arnwine with Coach Sutherland; Jared Freitas with Ramona Deese; David Frick, Jr. with Lt. Col. Antone LeFevre; Erin Grey with Christopher Patterson; Madelynn Kay with Glenn Cole; Nicholas Leininger with Geoff Stephens; Erin McDonald with David Frank; Christopher Popiel with Jayne Popiel; Alex Ruehling with Robert Bruns; Sarah Wiegreffe with Marion Wood; and Mitchell Zhang with Andrew Lloyd.

Beacon of Hope Christian School – Joshua Pavilando with Reverend LaVoy Newton

Creekside High School – Rachel Buff with Joseph Herskovitz; Cody Chasteen with Troy Keefe; Meagan Collins with Dolly Lucas; Katelyn Davis with Cathy Apolinario; Kendall Hale with Laura Alder; Dylan Klee with Linda Villadoniga; Lauren McCarthy with Linda Villadoniga; Brendan McLaughlin with Richard Marabell; Emily McNeill with Linda Villadoniga; Jennifer Neal with Shelby Rogerson; Virginia Pedigo with Aletha Dresback; Monica Resto with Alicia Pressel, Jessica Walker with Glenn Cole; and Camille Wright with Dolly Lucas.

Pedro Menendez High School – Heather Arnold with Vicki Clements; Courtney Bodor with Becci Smith; Arin Burns with Beth Morucci; Charles Caines with Steve Melgard; Austin Folger with Gail Needham; Nathaniel Litvintchouk with Kai Long; Morgan Musselwhite with Cindy Morrison; Michael Parham with Rick Ryan; Milan Patel with Anneliese Weiss; Tanya Saikaly with Joan LeBoss; Sarah Taylor with Shelley Ferrari; and Maxine Weiss with Shara Holt who represented her husband Jeff Holt posthumously.

Nease High School – Kathryn Hill with Cecilia Feliciano; Blake Insel with Jodi Rivers; Anthony Janocko with Nancy Williams; Esther Lee with Michael Johnson; Lindsey Mitchell with Glenn Cole; Liam Rawson with Kim Hollis; Steven Schwartz with Brad Segal; Wenli Shao with Kim Collier; Dhiraj Sikaria with Michael Rivera; and Logan Stern with Margaret Byrns.

Ponte Vedra High School – Kimberly Carlson with Martin Hillier; Jeffrey Chapa with Kathryn Kehoe; Megan Connors with Arleen Chiciana; Carson Drain with Alina Mar; Peter Elvaz with James Johnson; Anna Greene with Lisa Malvarez; Michael Knuth with James Johnson; MacKenzie LaPorte with Steve Lyons; Jack McSwain with James Johnson; Whitney Meyers with Sara Walsh; Katelyn Norton with Jennifer Heinz; Taylor Pyle with Elizabeth Kasting; Laura Roettges with Selena Fryer; and Lindsey Snow with Randall Blake.

St. Augustine High School – Megan Arthur with John English; Slater Canan with Melanie Forsythe; Andrew Clukey with PJ Grall; Mauricio Coloma with Cheryl Bartz; Hannah Davis with Carla Isicoff; Nicholas Dupoux with Jane Sherlock; Pheobe Fleming with Robert Hall; Olivia Hutcherson with John English; Johanna McCracken with Brian Braddock; Mallory Morse with Chip Johnston; Orion Morton with Lola Hartford; Skyler Morton with Lynn Gibson; Kerry O’Brien with Ryan Davenport; Lisa Paper with Sandra Oja-Dunaway; Christopher Pritchard with Jeff Dodd; and Anastasia VanDyke with Ken Maass.

St. Joseph Academy Alex Carames with Michael Arnold; Loren Humphrey with Brian Larkin; and Heather Volk with Cathy Windish.

Kirk Wendland, president of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, served as emcee. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Joyner and School Board Members were also in attendance.

The annual event is produced by the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the St. Johns County School Board and its STAR Committee Members. The event was sponsored by Flagler Hospital, Terrell-Hogan, St. Augustine Sunrise Rotary Club, VIP Presentation Products, Crescent Beach Baptist Church, St. Johns Celtic-Kevin VanDyke, Kuhn Florist and Cady & Cady Studios.