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May 2012

Principal and District Personnel Appointments

Several personnel changes and appointments have taken place within the St. Johns County School District this week. Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner has named these appointments which will become effective July 1, pending School Board approval.

“I look forward to working with the following individuals and am extremely confident in their skills and abilities,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “They all possess such a high caliber of passion and leadership attributes that will continue our dedication to excellence within the district. I applaud them for taking on these new challenges and continuing to grow in their careers.”

Judith Thayer, assistant principal of Liberty Pines Academy, has been named the new principal of Liberty Pines Academy. Thayer possesses more than 16 years of experience with the SJCSD and has served as an assistant principal, Exceptional Student Education (ESE) program coordinator for students with learning disabilities and those who are gifted as well as a teacher at Landrum Middle School. She has a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and a master’s degree from Western Michigan University.

Thayer replaces Randy Kelley who will assume the position of Principal on Assignment at the SJCSD office. In his new role, Kelley will oversee the implementation of the new administrative evaluation process and serve as the liaison for the Florida School Leader Assessment System as well as a coach to current school leaders.

Tina Waldrop, assistant principal and turnaround specialist at St. Johns Technical High School, has been named the new principal of Osceola Elementary. Waldrop has been with the SJCSD for more than 25 years and has worked in a number of schools within the district as an assistant principal, ESE teacher, and a behavior and program specialist. She holds a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from the University of North Florida.

Waldrop replaces Nancy Little who is retiring as principal of Osceola Elementary in June after 35 years of service within the SJCSD.

Greg Bergamasco, assistant principal at Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS), has been named the new principal of Gamble Rogers Middle School. Bergamasco has been an assistant principal at PVHS since 2009 and was responsible for training and integrating SnapShot, a student performance data analysis program that extracts, manages and organizes student performance data, throughout the district. He has worked as a guidance counselor and special education teacher in Broward County and an assistant principal in Lee County. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, as well as a master’s degree and Educational Specialist degree both from Nova Southeastern University.

Bergamasco replaces Beverly Gordon who is retiring as principal of Gamble Rogers Middle School in August after 39 years of service within the SJCSD.

Cathy Hutchins, principal at Timberlin Creek Elementary School, has been named the new principal of South Woods Elementary School. Hutchins has been employed in the educational field since 1982. She previously served as assistant principal and principal at Cunningham Creek Elementary, spent eight years teaching elementary school and six years serving as the facilitator of The Webster School, a Florida Model Technology School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Nazareth College and two master’s degrees, one from SUNY of Geneseo and the other from the University of North Florida.

Hutchins replaces Brian McElhone, principal of South Woods Elementary School, who will become the Coordinator of District Assessment Development and Elementary Social Studies which is a position that is currently vacant.

Amanda Riedl, principal of Ravenwood School for North Kansas City Schools, has been named the new principal of Mill Creek Elementary School. Riedl has been with North Kansas City Schools since 1999 and has served as a teacher, athletic director and assistant principal. Since 2006, she has been the principal at Ravenwood School where she has managed a safe and respectful school environment for more than 400 students. She has placed an emphasis on exceling in math and communication arts in state assessments and has shown learning gains within her student population during her tenure. Riedl holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida as well as a master’s degree and an Educational Specialist degree from the University of Missouri.

Riedl replaces Mary Ford who is retiring as principal of Mill Creek Elementary School in October after 35 years of service within the SJCSD.

More personnel changes and appointments are expected in the coming weeks to meet both increased internal and external needs throughout the district.

Ponte Vedra High School Academy Earns Model Status

The St. Johns County Academy of International Business and Marketing at Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS) has earned Model Academy status, the highest designation awarded by the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC). This career academy follows the framework set by the National Standards of Practice for career academies. Many academies across the United States are reviewed on the 10 standards, but few reach model status, let alone exceed every one.

“I am proud of the efforts of our teachers and their commitment to the students in the Academy of International Business and Marketing,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “Because of the success of this academy, these students have the opportunity to participate in internships and work-based learning that helps them develop and hone their skills before attending a secondary institution and entering the workforce.”

The Academy of International Business and Marketing has been in existence for four years and has an enrollment of 354 students in grades nine through 12. This academy, like others within the county, adheres to all the major components defining academies and is far more likely to show positive results for student success. National research has shown that Career Academy students have better attendance, better scores on standardized tests such as FCAT, higher college attendance rates, and eventually earn more than non-Career Academy students.

Ponte Vedra High School will be recognized at the NCAC 2012 national conference in Nashville, TN in November. The NCAC career academy review process is based on the 10 National Standards of Practice (NSOP), introduced in 2004 in Washington, D.C. by a consortium of career academy organizations and endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor.

Career academies are smaller learning communities within a high school that create a family-type atmosphere and incorporate features such as integration of academic and career-related curriculum, team teaching and business involvement. Academies emphasize motivational and real-world activities including hands-on projects, business mentoring, internships and field trips.

FCAT Scores

St. Johns County students continue to score well above the state average at every level on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). On the Sunshine State Standards (SSS), which are required skills for graduation, scores for third-grade students in reading and math continue to show St. Johns County as one of the top performing districts in the state for student achievement on FCAT.

The FCAT, which assesses reading and math, was given in April to students in grades three through 10 throughout the state. Achievement levels range from one to five, with level 3 being considered proficient. The test is part of a statewide effort to increase student performance and school accountability.

“With the increased cut scores of FCAT 2.0 we fully expected a drop in performance throughout the district,” said Dr. Joseph Joyner, Superintendent of Schools. “I am proud of the efforts of our teachers in their instruction of the subject matter, and the ability of our students to learn and excel in a more rigorous environment.”

Scores in third grade reading showed students at level 3 and above at 75 percent, well above the state average of 56 percent. Results in math showed students at 73 percent compared to the state average of 58 percent.

In the baseline year of End-of-Course (EOC) assessments for geometry and biology, St. Johns County students were also among the top performers in the state.

FCAT scores for fourth through eighth grade reading, math and science (fifth and eighth grades only) and the EOC assessment results for algebra are expected in the coming weeks. Further results, charts and information can be found at http://fcat.fldoe.org/.

2012-2013 Bus Routes

The St. Johns County School District’s (SJCSD) bus routes for the 2012-2013 school year were approved by the School Board at its meeting on May 15. Five new bus routes are being added to accommodate growth in the Durbin Crossing and Nocatee areas as well as an increase in the number of special needs students.

The routes are available online at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/transportation/routes. Parents without access to computers may visit any of the county public library locations, and staff will assist them in locating the website.

“By providing this information prior to the end of school, parents are better able to plan and prepare,” said SJCSD Director of Transportation Joe Purvis.

In early August, postcards will be sent home to the parents of all potential bus riders giving them the bus stop, times and bus number for their students.

The Transportation Department will be transporting approximately 18,800 children twice a day when school starts on Monday, August 20.

Business and Rookie Business Partner of the Year

The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) hosted its annual Academy Awards on Thursday, May 17 at the Northeast Regional Airport Conference Center. This event celebrates business and community partners who are involved in the district’s career academies. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of two special Awards of Distinction.

Guana Tolomato Matanzas Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM NERR) was named Business Partner of the Year for its support of several Career Academies including the Academy of Coastal and Water Resources at St. Johns Technical High School and the Academy of Environmental and Urban Planning at Creekside High School. Dr. Mike Shirley, Kenneth Rainier, Beth O’Connor and Lauren Flynn received the award on behalf of GTM NERR which has been an active business partner with the academies for the past four years.

“GTM’s work with the academy exemplifies the reserve’s hands-on approach to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education”, said the Director of the GTM NERR, Dr. Mike Shirley, “Students in the academy program receive early exposure to science careers. It gives them an opportunity to aim for higher education and careers in STEM fields.”

GTM NERR has provided input on curriculum, hosted student interns for the past two years, facilitated teacher externships including professional development through workshops, and hosted multiple field trips and expert classroom speakers. Most recently, the GTMNERR partnered with the Academy of Coastal and Water Resources on a $40,000 grant to restore oyster beds at the GTM NERR. Funding for this grant came from Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Rookie Partner of the Year award went to PGA Tour Entertainment for its involvement in Ponte Vedra High School’s Academy of International Business and Marketing. Charlene Landen and Kelly Boston received the award. Most recently, academy students worked with the PGA Tour on social media and marketing during the THE PLAYERS Championship. In addition, PGA Tour Entertainment hosted teacher externships and conducted field trips and interactive classroom presentations.

Career Academy students received more than $14,000 in scholarships from the following business partners: the Air Force Association-Falcon Chapter, Flagler Hospital, Leonard’s Studios, St. Augustine Sunrise Rotary Club, St. Johns Housing Partnership, Stellar and VyStar Credit Union.

Partner time and resources dedicated to career academy students has been valued at more than $2.2 million. This “value-added” calculation takes into account the time and resources of more than 5,100 hours of involvement including student and teacher internships, guest speakers, field trip hosts, judges for student competitions, advisory board membership and donations of cash or equipment.

Paula Chaon, director for Career Education, was the event coordinator. For more information, you may visit the SJCSD website at academies.stjohns.k12.fl.us.

FCAT Writes Scores

The St. Johns County School District received scores from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) today for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Writes assessment. On the three grades tested (fourth, eighth and 10th) students continue to score above the state average on the writing assessments at all three grade levels.

On FCAT Writes, out of 67 districts in Florida, fourth-grade students were 12th in the state, eighth-grade students are ranked in sixth place and 10th-grade students were ranked fifth. Fourth graders were at 83 percent proficient and the state at 81 percent. Eighth graders were at 84 percent proficient with the state at 78 percent, and 10th graders were at 88 percent proficient with the state at 84 percent.

FCAT Writes is part of a statewide educational accountability program designed to measure students’ proficiency in writing in grades four, eight and 10. Students are required to write a response to a prompt on an assigned topic within a 45-minute time period. This year, all writing prompts were narrative for fourth graders and persuasive for eighth and 10th graders. Essays were graded on increased detail as well as grammar, punctuation and spelling and were scored by two readers.

“We will continue to enhance our instruction to meet these additional testing criteria by focusing on and increasing writing in all grades,” added Joyner.

FCAT Reading scores for ninth- and 10th-grade students were also released this morning. For the second consecutive year, St. Johns County ranked first in the state at both grade levels. Seventy-two percent of ninth graders were proficient compared to 52 percent for the state and the percentage of 10th graders who scored at 3.0 or above was 70 percent compared to the state average of 50 percent.

FCAT Reading is part of a statewide educational accountability program designed to measure students’ proficiency in reading in grades three through 10. Scores for third through eighth grades in reading, math and science (fifth and eighth grades only) have not been issued by FLDOE yet.

“I am very pleased with the results on this year’s reading and writing assessments,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “Our teachers and students, with great support from our district staff, rose to meet the higher expectations of this year’s test. I am very proud of everyone.”

Individual student score reports are expected to be available by the end of next week. Additional information can be found at http://fcat.fldoe.org/.

Teacher Academy at SAHS Earns Model Status

The St. Johns County Academy of Future Teachers at St. Augustine High School (SAHS) has earned Model Academy status, the highest designation awarded by the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC). The St. Johns County School District made a commitment to develop high-quality career academies framed by the National Standards of Practice for Career Academies. Many academies across the United States are reviewed on the 10 standards, but few reach model status, let alone exceed every standard.

“It is evident that the passion of the academy teams, coupled with the support of the school administration, and the intense focus of the advisory board and community partners, has created a stellar program for students, parents and the community,” said Angie Grasberger, president of NCAC. “The rigor of the curriculum and the depth of the industry partnerships are to be commended.”

Academies that adhere to all the major components defining academies are far more likely to show positive results for student success. National research has shown that Career Academy students have better attendance, better scores on standardized tests such as FCAT, higher college attendance rates, and eventually earn more than non-Career Academy students.

“I am incredibly proud of all of those associated with the Teaching Academy, creating opportunities for students to excel as future teachers is wonderful for our district and the community,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “We want to train and recruit great teachers so they have an added incentive to complete their education and return to teach in the St. Johns County School District, and those students who return are placed on Level 2 of the pay scale. The business partners, staff and students have simply been amazing, and we are very grateful for their support.”

St. Augustine High School will be recognized at the NCAC 2012 national conference in Nashville, TN in November.~ The NCAC career academy review process is based on the 10 National Standards of Practice (NSOP), introduced in 2004 in Washington, D.C. by a consortium of career academy organizations and endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor.

Career Academies are smaller learning communities within a high school that create a family-type atmosphere and incorporate features such as integration of academic and career-related curriculum, team teaching and business involvement. Academies emphasize motivational and real-world activities including hands-on projects, business mentoring, internships and field trips. In partnership with St. Johns River State College (SJRSC) and the University of North Florida, the Academy of Future Teachers was started five years ago and offers college dual enrollment classes at the high school or on the SJRSC campus. Students may earn up to 60 college credits toward their AA degree – a potential savings in excess of $5,000 in college tuition costs.

Naming of Elementary “L”

The St. Johns County School Board approved the name Palencia Elementary School for the school previously known as Elementary “L” at its School Board meeting held today. Over the last several months Principal Don Campbell collected input from the public and provided the suggested names to school board members during previous workshops.

Palencia Elementary will open for the 2012-2013 school year and is being constructed at 355 Palencia Village Drive. The 738 student school will contain approximately 100,000 square feet and 44 classrooms. Movable walls will open to create flexible-sized classroom spaces and enable teachers and paraprofessionals to work cooperatively to facilitate learning for students through a variety of activities. This school will also include state-of-the-art technology and is being built to Green Building Standards.

For more information on Palencia Elementary School, visit www-pes.stjohns.k12.fl.us

Summer Operations

The St. Johns County School District will implement the following operational strategies to save money during the upcoming summer months. These strategies helped produce energy savings of more than $850,000 during the summer of 2011.

Four-Day Work Week
Beginning on Monday, June 11, the school district will operate a four-day workweek, Monday through Thursday. All facilities will function in an energy conservation mode Friday through Sunday. Summer activities will be designed within the Monday-Thursday workweek and will be completed by Thursday, August 2. The district will return to the normal five-day workweek beginning on Monday, August 6.

One-Week Shut Down
All schools and district offices will be closed during the week of July 16-19 and will reopen on Monday, July 23.

School Consolidation
Beginning on Monday, June 18, the school district will operate from six high schools and one middle school serving as regional centers. St. Johns Technical High School will remain in its permanent location due to scheduled summer programs. All other facilities will function in an energy conservation mode during the time the facility is being cleaned and prepared for the new school year.

Each regional high school will serve as the operation center for the schools that have been assigned to that site. School administrative teams will work in designated areas of the high school. Maintenance managers and custodial staff will work at the schools in their region on a rotating basis. District communication with school staff will be done at the regional site for that school.

Summer academic programs, camps and extended school year services will be planned, developed and communicated by each school. Camps and other activities will operate at the regional high school and will be coordinated by administrators at all schools in the region. Staff will return to their regular site on Monday, July 30.

Following are the assignments for each school:

Menendez High St. Augustine High Sebastian Middle Nease High Creekside High Bartram Trail High Ponte Vedra High
Gamble Rogers Evelyn Hamblen Murray Pacetti Bay Fruit Cove Switzerland Point Landrum
South Woods Ketterlinus Wards Creek Durbin Creek Liberty Pines PV/PVRawlings
Hartley R. B. Hunt Mill Creek Julington Creek Timberlin Creek Ocean Palms
Mason Crookshank Cunningham Creek Hickory Creek
Osceola Webster

Restrictive Building Operations
By restricting building operations in all district facilities during the summer, energy consumption at each site can be reduced.  This will require centralization of summer activities in buildings where the lowest energy consumption will occur.

Summer Food Service Program for Children

The St. Johns County School District will be participating in the Summer Food Service Program for Children June 11-August 3. There will be a break in service July 16-20 as the school district will be closed during this time. Sites noted with * are closed for July 4.

Nutritionally balanced meals will be provided to all children regardless of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin during summer vacation when school breakfasts and lunches are not available. All children 18 years old and younger (if an open site) are eligible for meals at no charge and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. The programs are only approved for geographical areas of need where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free and reduced price meals during the school year.

Summer feeding sites that are located at schools provide meals to all children in the immediate vicinity in addition to those enrolled in summer school.

Production sites will be St. Augustine High School and Pedro Menendez High School. Pre-packaged meals will be transported to sites and will be refrigerated at each site until served. Site personnel will ensure all food items remain at acceptable temperatures before serving to children.

The sites listed below will be in operation as follows:

Site Service Days Beg/End Dates Breakfast Serve Times Lunch Serve Times Break in Service
*St. Augustine High
3205 Varella Ave.
St Aug. 32084
Mon., June 11 and Wed., June 13 N/A None 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. N/A
*St. Augustine High
3205 Varella Ave.
St Aug. 32084
Monday-Thursday June 18 – July 30 7:45 – 9 a.m. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. July 16-20
*Pedro Menendez High
600 SR 206 /west
St Aug 32086
Monday-Thursday June 18-July 25 7:45-8:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. July 16-20
* St Paul AME
85 M.L. King Ave.
St Aug. 32084
Monday – Friday June 18-Aug 3 8-8:45 a.m. 12– 12:30 p.m. July 16-20
*Restoration Times Deliverance Center
34 S. Leonardi St.
St. Aug. 32084
Monday- Friday June 18-Aug. 3 8-8:30 a.m. 12-12:30 p.m. July 16-20
* Armstrong Outreach Center
6408 Armstrong
Elkton, 32033
Monday- Friday June 18–Aug. 3 N/A 11 a.m.-1 p.m. July 16-20
* The Players Championship Boys & Girls Club
555 W. King St.
St. Aug. 32084
Monday- Friday June 18-July 27 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. 12-1 p.m. July 16-20
* New St James Baptist Church
135 N. Rodriguez
St Aug. 32084
Monday-Thursday June 18 – July 12 7:45-8:15 a.m. 11-11:30 a.m. N/A
Rhino’s Entertainment Center
1765 Tree Blvd #4
St. Aug. 32084
Monday-Thursday June 18 – Aug. 2 9-9:30 a.m. 12-12:30 p.m. July 16-20
* Emergency Services Homeless Coalition
62 Chapin St.
St Aug. 32084
Monday- Friday June 18-Aug. 3 N/A 12-12:30 p.m. July 16-20
* Harris Community Center
400 Harris St.
Hastings 32145
Monday-Friday June 18 – Aug. 3 7:30 – 8:30 am 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. July 16-20
* Solomon Calhoun Center
1400 Duval St.
St. Aug. 32084
Monday-Friday June 18-Aug. 3 7:30-8:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. July 16-20
*Hastings Teen Center
6150 Main St
Hastings 32145
Monday-Friday June 18-Aug. 3 7:30-8:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. July 16-20
*Jesus Way Apostolic Church
1797 Old Moultrie Rd; Suite 208
St Aug 32084
Monday- Friday June 18-Aug. 3 9-9:30 a.m. 12-1 p.m. July 16-20


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To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

American Youth Character Awards

More than 85 students were recognized for their exemplary character at the 12th annual American Youth Character Awards (AYCA) Banquet held last night at the World Golf Village Convention Center.

Honorees included 81 students from St. Johns County high schools who were identified as students of character. Twenty-eight seniors were recognized, along with 53 juniors from Bartram Trail, Creekside, Pedro Menendez, Nease, Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine and St. Johns Technical high schools as well as the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and St. Joseph Academy.

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, pins 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 senior award recipients were Sara Cabell, David Frick, Eric Harvey and Christopher Popiel of Bartram Trail High School; Cyrus Boga, Stephen Handley, Xamondria Jones and Anna Rivoire of Creekside High School; Ana Monjaras and Chandler Peairs of Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind; Kevin Allen, Lacey Estaphan, Tiesha Flagler and Jacey Gwaltney of Pedro Menendez High School; Travis Allen, Adrianna Barranco, Edgar Rivas and Cydney Tyburski of Nease High School; Megan Connors, Tyler Gleason, Rachel Pewitt and Dana Ratcliffe of Ponte Vedra High School; Quannisha Allen, Ajanai Edwards, Olivia Hodapp and Olivia Hutcherson of St. Augustine High School; Michael Kilgore of St. Johns Technical High School; and Brandon Allen of St. Joseph Academy.

The junior nominees were as follows:

Bartram Trail High School – Jordan Alexander, Vihasa Govada, Emily Haynes, Valerie Larson, Peter Le, Corey McDonald, Katherine Parker and Ryan Ward

Creekside High School – Kathryn Evans, Hannah Gupton, Mandi LeNoir, Brian McLaughlin, Adam Sandin, Jeanielle Verderese, Jordan Walker and Jordan Young

Florida School for the Deaf and Blind – Hilary Reed and Sherin Stephen

Pedro Menendez High School – Matthew Burkholder, Danielle Marhanka, Tityus Mitchell, Ari Newsome, Angelica Ortiz, Leisha Samuels, Taylor Sousa and Christopher Wilson

Nease High School – Cyrus Davis, Madison Deal, Issa Ford, Blake Francis, Daniel Hutton, Summer Jameson, Jared Sadlowski, Ceolamar Ways

Ponte Vedra High School – Meghan Douglas, Maxwell Ervanian, Julia Oliver, Chandler Russell, Bailey Sazera, Megan Shilling, Caroline Snowden, Kelsey Tatum

St. Augustine High School – John Paul Bennett, Whitney Hodapp, Jasmine Kearse, David Martinez, Briana Maxwell, Cory Morabito, Chelsey Osgood and Arden Strider

St. Johns Technical High School – John Drackley

St. Joseph Academy – Jacob Gaetanos and Alexandra White

Seven 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 JROTC program and was a member of the varsity basketball team.

This year’s Pursuing Victory with Honor Award winner was Brittany Lassiter of Pedro Menendez High School. The other school finalists were Matthew Arnwine of Bartram Trail High School, Shannon Morris of Creekside High School, Kristina Garcia-Santiago of Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, Manuel Quintanilla of Nease High School, Joseph Carzoli of Ponte Vedra High School, Quannisha Allen of St. Augustine High School and Michael Ryan of St. Joseph Academy.

The Tucker McCarty Character Counts! Scholarship has been established by Delaine and Obie McCarty to memorialize their son, Tucker, a graduate of Pedro Menendez High School and a student at the University of Florida. This scholarship is awarded to a student, like Tucker, who exudes good character in an effort to make the world a better place. Michael Kilgore of St. Johns Technical High School was awarded this year’s Tucker McCarty Character Counts! Scholarship and plans to attend the University of Northern Ohio and major in high performance automotive.

This year’s event was presented by Character Counts! of St. Johns County with support from the following partners and co-partners: The Bailey Group, Northrop Grumman, Prosperity Bank and Upchurch, Bailey and Upchurch P.A., Allen Family Businesses (The Feed Store and Water Works), Cady and Cady Studios, Chick-Fil-A, St. Augustine Sunrise Rotary and United Way of St. Johns County. Many other businesses, civic organizations and individuals also contributed to this event.