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January 2014


The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) will hold pre-registration for children entering kindergarten and students new to St. Johns County and/or public schools on Wednesday, February 5 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Wednesday, March 12 from 1-5 p.m.; Thursday, April 17 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; and Tuesday, May 6 from 1-5 p.m.

To be eligible for public kindergarten in St. Johns County, children must be 5 years old on or before September 1 and must reside in St. Johns County. To register for first grade, children must be 6 years old on or before September 1 and have documentation of successful completion of kindergarten.

Parents must register children at the school where they are zoned for the 2014-2015 school year. Three proofs of residency must be provided such as a current mortgage statement, lease or rent agreement and two other forms of residency documentation such as a current electric bill, car registration and/or driver’s license. Additional information on residency and guardianship as well as a link to the Attendance Zone Locator can be found on the website at under “Featured Links.”

Florida law requires any student entering a Florida school for the first time to show proof of required immunizations documented on the HRS Form 680. Proof of a physical examination that has been obtained within one year prior to enrollment in school is also required. Physical examinations can be performed by either a private physician or by the county health department.

Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK) pre-registration will also take place at select schools on the above dates and times. Children applying for the VPK program must be 4 years old on or before September 1. The SJCSD offers full day VPK at the following locations: The Webster School, John A. Crookshank, Cunningham Creek, Ketterlinus, Otis Mason, Mill Creek, Ocean Palms, Osceola, PVPV/Rawlings, South Woods, Timberlin Creek and Wards Creek elementary schools. For additional information on the SJCSD VPK program, please contact Early Childhood Services at 547-4899.

Students can be registered during the spring and summer for the 2014-2015 school year, however; parents are encouraged to register during the designated dates above so that schools can adequately prepare for the new school year. Additional information regarding registration and school attendance zones may be obtained from the Student Services Office at 547-7598.

Teacher of the Year Finalists

Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner, along with School Board Chair Bill Mignon and School Board Vice Chair Bill Fehling, as well as school district staff and representatives from the St. Johns County Education Foundation, had the exciting task of paying a surprise visit to the Teacher of the Year finalists at their schools. This year, the five finalists were treated to a visit from a very special guest, Bucky the Beaver, mascot from Beaver Toyota Scion, which serves as a major sponsor of this year’s Teacher of the Year Celebration. The finalists are Marion Charles Boyd from R. J. Murray Middle School (MMS); Daryl Cullipher from St. Augustine High School (SAHS); Ewa Kolk from John A. Crookshank Elementary School (CES); Sarah Anne Sacharski from Alice B. Landrum Middle School (LMS) and Nick Vasiliades from St. Johns Virtual School (SJVS).

Marion Boyd is an Exceptional Student Education and psychology teacher at MMS. He has 13 years of experience, all in St. Johns County. Boyd believes every child can learn and this is demonstrated on a daily basis within the various classroom settings he encounters. He has also had the opportunity to mentor students from Flagler College who are seeking careers in teaching.

Daryl Cullipher teaches English at SAHS and holds endorsements in both reading and ESOL. She has seven years teaching with St. Johns County. Cullipher has an instrumental role within the Academy of Teaching which earned model designation from the National Career Academy Coalition. She also coaches college and high school students in writing strategies and grammar lessons after school every other Wednesday.

Ewa Kolk, an elementary education teacher, has seven years of experience in the county and currently teaches third grade at CES. Her philosophy of teaching is very simple; teach with love, teach with purpose and teach to inspire students to succeed.

Sarah Ann Sacharski teaches music to LMS students and has nine years of experience with two in the SJCSD. She is constantly seeking professional development opportunities and uses a variety of team building exercises to help students find camaraderie with their classmates. Sacharski believes that band is like a sports team in that everyone must work together to achieve their goals.

Nick Vasiliades has a total of 24 years teaching experience with over six years in St. Johns County. He currently serves as a teacher at SJVS. His subject areas include English (6-12), middle school integrated (6-9) and an ESOL endorsement. Vasiliades believes that individualized feedback serves as powerful confirmation and an indicator of student learning as well as an indispensable guide for students and parents to strengthen concepts and skills which still need improvement. We have such amazing and caring teachers throughout the district. This year’s finalists show the dedication, depth and variety of the teaching talent we have in St. Johns County, and I couldn’t be more proud of their selection. I think this year’s judges will have quite a difficult time choosing just one of these inspiring teachers to represent St. Johns County in the state competition. Congratulations to all of you!

The Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year will be announced at the awards banquet on Thursday, February 13 at the Renaissance Resort at the World Golf Village.

2014 St. Johns County Spelling Bee Winner

Ajay Sarma, a seventh-grade student at Fruit Cove Middle School, won the 2014 St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) Spelling Bee held Wednesday at the School Board Administration Building. He won by spelling the word “gustatory” correctly. Ajay is the son of Srilatha Mahankali and Sundhar Sarma.

Thirty-one elementary and middle school students from 26 public and five private schools competed for the honor of representing St. Johns County in The Florida Times-Union Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday, February 15 at the Jacksonville Main Public Library. If for any reason the winner is not able to attend, runner-up Santhya Raman of Timberlin Creek Elementary School will represent the county.

It took 29 rounds for the winner to be determined. The participants were congratulated by School Board Chair Bill Mignon, School Board Member Bev Slough, Superintendent Joseph Joyner, and Deputy Superintendent Martha Mickler.

WFOY Newstalk 102.3 FM broadcasted the spelling bee live and streamed it on their website at Media Services also taped the event.

The winner of the regional spelling bee will advance to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee scheduled in May in Washington, D.C.

Laurie Hays, SJCSD program specialist for Elementary Language Arts, served as the spelling bee coordinator and the pronouncer was Gina Fonseca, SJCSD program specialist for Exceptional Student Education. Judges for the event were Sheila Veatch, SJCSD coordinator for Common Core State Standards; Cheryl Freeman, SJCSD volunteer coordinator and director for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of St. Johns County; and Sandy Waldeis of Catholic Charities.

Sunshine State Scholar

The Sunshine State Scholars Recognition Program for high school students was initiated in 1997 to recognize excellence in mathematics and science. It has evolved into a program designed to recognize Florida’s top high school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students and recruit them to pursue their postsecondary education in Florida. This year’s St. Johns County recipient is Erol Jullian Bahadiroglu of St. Augustine High School (SAHS). He is the son of Andrea and Frank Matzke, St. Augustine and Murat Alpman.

Erol is interested in pursuing a career in the nuclear field. He sees a need for a new generation of nuclear engineers who can master the power of the atom. Erol views nuclear science as a fascinating area of study and a tantalizing challenge. While he feels nuclear technology has an incredible potential to improve the world, there are still several obstacles to overcome. Erol hopes to develop new technologies to harness and use nuclear energy as an unlimited, nonpolluting power source in a way that is safe and practical.

Erol will represent St. Johns County at the annual Sunshine State Scholars event February 13-14 in Orlando, which recognizes the best and brightest STEM students. These scholars will meet with representatives from Florida’s colleges, universities and STEM industry leaders, and will learn about STEM research initiatives, degree programs and internships. Erol will attend with his parents and Mr. Clark Johnston, a mathematics teacher at SAHS who he has chosen to accompany him.

As St. Johns County’s Sunshine State Scholar, Erol is the recipient of the annual Elaine Crutchfield Math and Science Scholarship of $100. Elaine Crutchfield worked for the school district for 29 years, serving as both a math and science teacher before being named the district curriculum coordinator. In recognition of Ms. Crutchfield’s contributions to math and science education, the Curriculum Department created a special scholarship fund with the St. Johns County Education Foundation in her honor. It was decided that the Elaine Crutchfield Math and Science Scholarship would be presented annually to the district’s Sunshine State Math and Science Scholar.

Charis Wang from Ponte Vedra High School was selected as the alternate and received a $75 scholarship.

The other school nominees received $50 scholarships. They are Sierra Marie Biastre from Bartram Trail High School, Hunter Clary from Creekside High School, Zacharias Anastasiadis from Allen D. Nease High School and Yohancie Blas from Pedro Menendez High School.

Teachers and Rookie Teachers of the Year

The 2013-2014 Teachers of the Year and Rookie Teachers of the Year have been selected from each of the district’s 36 schools and will be recognized at the monthly School Board meeting on Tuesday, January 14 at 6 p.m.

These nominees represent the very best among St. Johns County School District teachers. Their colleagues have selected them for this prestigious honor, and they will advance to compete for the countywide title.

Nominations for the 2013-2014 Rookie Teachers of the Year have been submitted by 35 of the district’s schools. Eligible teachers must have taught less than three years.

This is the seventh year that the Rookie Teacher of the Year competition has been held. These nominees represent the top of their profession among new teachers, and will go on to compete for the countywide title.

The overall winner will be announced at the annual Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year Celebration on Thursday, February 13 at the Renaissance Resort at the World Golf Village. The St. Johns County Teacher of the Year will then be included for consideration as the Florida Department of Education Macy’s Teacher of the Year 2014.

The awards banquet is produced by the St. Johns County Education Foundation (SJCEF) to recognize excellence in the teaching profession and is sponsored, in part, by THE PLAYERS Championship, Beaver Toyota/Scion and Leonard’s Studios.

Below are the lists of nominees. For additional information contact Donna Lueders at the SJCEF, (904) 547-7120.

2013-2014 Teachers of the Year
Elementary Schools
John A. Crookshank Elementary Ms. Ewa Kolk
Cunningham Creek Elementary Ms. Becky Russell
Durbin Creek Elementary Ms. Courtney Duprey
W. D. Hartley Elementary Ms. Shannon Kelso
Hickory Creek Elementary Ms. Mindy Gilleland
R. B. Hunt Elementary Ms. Bonnie Proctor
Julington Creek Elementary Ms. Alice “Marie” Woodard
Ketterlinus Elementary Ms. Suzanne Brush
Otis A. Mason Elementary Ms. Laura Strauss
Mill Creek Elementary Ms. Lee DeWitt
Ocean Palms Elementary Ms. Sandi Watson
Osceola Elementary Ms. Rebecca Westover
Palencia Elementary Ms. Katrina Worthington
PVPV/Rawlings Elementary Ms. Yvette Cubero-Gonzalez
South Woods Elementary Ms. Jennifer Luettich
Timberlin Creek Elementary Ms. Ann-Marie Butler
Wards Creek Elementary Ms. Traycee Klein
The Webster School Ms. Elizabeth Every
Liberty Pines Academy Ms. Dianna Carlson-Bright
Secondary Schools
Bartram Trail High Mr. Jay DiMartino
Creekside High Ms. Aletha Dresback
Fruit Cove Middle Ms. Barbara Farbo
Alice B. Landrum Middle Ms. Sarah Sacharski
Pedro Menendez High Ms. Kate Neff
R. J. Murray Middle Mr. Marion Boyd
Allen D. Nease High Ms. Jamie Beck
Pacetti Bay Middle Ms. Meghan Ryan
Ponte Vedra High Ms. Katherine Conklin
Gamble Rogers Middle Ms. Rebecca Lindberg
Sebastian Middle Ms. Teri Lydigsen
St. Augustine High Ms. Daryl Cullipher
St. Johns Technical High Ms. Nicky Schotman
Switzerland Point Middle Ms. Marian Campbell
Alternative Schools
Gaines Alternative and Transition Mr. Kristopher Rule
Virtual Schools
St. Johns Virtual School Mr. Nicholas Vasiliades
Charter Schools
First Coast Technical College Ms. Sherry Gaynor
2013-2014 Rookie Teachers of the Year
Elementary Schools
John A. Crookshank Elementary Ms. Christina Giuliani
Cunningham Creek Elementary Ms. Clare Wamsley
Durbin Creek Elementary Ms. Magan Curtis
W. D. Hartley Elementary Ms. Shannon Sugrue
Hickory Creek Elementary Ms. Kathleen Zielinski
R. B. Hunt Elementary Ms. Tiffany Stetson
Julington Creek Elementary Ms. Janet Fussman
Kettlerlinus Elementary Ms. Emily DaBruzzi
Otis A. Mason Elementary Mr. Anthony Pacholek
Mill Creek Elementary Ms. Synethia Brown
Ocean Palms Elementary Ms. Stephanie Malcolm
Osceola Elementary Ms. Misty Lake
Palencia Elementary Ms. Rebecca Royal
PVPV/Rawlings Elementary Mr. Ian Zerrahn
South Woods Elementary Ms. Megan Marasigan
Timberlin Creek Elementary Mr. Thomas “Trey” Leonard
Wards Creek Elementary Ms. Amanda Zikos
The Webster School Ms. Kristen Villacci
Liberty Pines Academy Ms. Luanne Small
Secondary Schools
Bartram Trail High Ms. Danielle Parker
Creekside High Mr. Drew Chiodo
Fruit Cove Middle Mr. Thomas McNerney III
Alice B. Landrum Middle Ms. Laurie Stanton
Pedro Menendez High Ms. Ashley Jasmin
R. J. Murray Middle Ms. Karen Tiner
Allen D. Nease High Ms. Melissa O’Steen
Pacetti Bay Middle Mr. Daniel Hawkinson
Ponte Vedra High Mr. James Lyons
Gamble Rogers Middle Ms. Nicole Bohanan
Sebastian Middle Ms. Amanda “Blair” Brawner
St. Augustine High Mr. Nathaniel Wuellner
St. Johns Technical High Mr. Jeff Damus
Switzerland Point Middle Ms. Amy Huber
Virtual Schools
St. Johns Virtual School Ms. Mary Maddox
Charter Schools
First Coast Technical College Ms. Nancy Ste Marie