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December 2016

Administrative Appointments

Kyle Dresback, principal of Allen D. Nease High School (NHS) has been selected to be the Associate Superintendent of Student Support Services. His nomination will be presented to the St. Johns County School Board at their January 10 meeting by incoming Superintendent Tim Forson who will assume his position on January 1.

Dresback will replace current Associate Superintendent of Student Support Services Cathy Mittelstadt who has been selected to serve as the Deputy Superintendent for Operations. This nomination will also be presented to the School Board on January 10.

Employed with the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) since 1996, Dresback has served as the principal of NHS since 2009. Prior to this, he served as principal of Switzerland Point Middle School for more than two years. He was also an assistant principal at St. Augustine High School, the district’s director of Purchasing, the registrar at NHS and a math and computer science teacher at NHS.

“I am honored by the opportunity to take on this new position,” said Dresback. “I am excited to work with the Student Support Services team to expand and grow our assistance to students.”

Dresback holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Florida (UNF) and is working on his doctorate at the University of Florida.

Mittelstadt has been the Associate Superintendent for Student Support Services since 2015 and has also served as interim-principal of First Coast Technical College. She began her career in Apopka High School in 1993 and joined the SJCSD in 2003. She served as the assistant principal at Pedro Menendez High School, principal of R.J. Murray Middle School and principal of St. Augustine High School.

Mittelstadt holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida and an Educational Specialist degree from Nova Southeastern University.

“I am humbled and honored to serve in this capacity,” said Mittelstadt. “I look forward to expanding my knowledge and building relationships to support student success and growth throughout the district.”

The transition of Mittelstadt and Dresback will not take place until a new principal has been appointed for NHS. Forson will begin the process of gathering input from staff and the community in mid-January.


2016-2017 Teachers and Rookie Teachers of the Year

The 2016-2017 Teachers of the Year have been selected from each of the district’s 36 schools as well as St. Johns Virtual School, First Coast Technical College and The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.

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 2016-2017 Rookie Teacher of the Year have been submitted by 36 of the district’s schools. Eligible teachers must have taught less than three years.

This is the 10th 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 winners will be announced at the annual Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year Celebration Monday, January 23 at the Renaissance Resort at 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 to serve for 2018.

The awards banquet is produced by Investing in Kids (INK) to recognize excellence in the teaching profession. For additional information and tickets to the event, contact INK at (904) 547-7124 or

Below are the lists of nominees.

Rookie Teachers of the Year

Elementary Schools
John A. Crookshank Elementary  Ms. Jenny Moore-Jones
Cunningham Creek Elementary  Ms. London Marlar
Durbin Creek Elementary  Ms. Victoria Cobb
W. D. Hartley Elementary  Ms. Kimberly R. Sikes
Hickory Creek Elementary  Ms. Aishla Acevedo Rodriguez
R.B. Hunt Elementary  Ms. Cagney Carbone
Julington Creek Elementary  Mr. Trey Lewek
Ketterlinus Elementary  Ms. Pamela P. Jett
Otis A. Mason Elementary  Ms. Virginia Jones
Mill Creek Elementary  Ms. Danielle Johnson
Ocean Palms Elementary  Mr. Christopher Arcuri
Osceola Elementary  Ms. Alexandria L. Pappas
Palencia Elementary  Ms. Angela Erney
PVPV/Rawlings Elementary  Ms. Susan Luce
South Woods Elementary  Ms. Sydney Newton
Timberlin Creek Elementary  Ms. Whitney Fischer
Wards Creek Elementary  Ms. Lauren Seckinger
The Webster School  Ms. Stephanie Colsant

Liberty Pines Academy  Ms. Jenna Josephson
Patriot Oaks Academy  Ms. Megan Doxzon
Valley Ridge Academy  Ms. Sarah Lively

Secondary Schools
Bartram Trail High  Ms. Kathryn Gouch
Creekside High  Ms. Kaley Still
Fruit Cove Middle School  Ms. Kristen Alford
Gaines Alternative and Transition  Mr. Raymond K. Howe III
Alice B. Landrum Middle  Ms. Martha Wray
Pedro Menendez High  Ms. Kathleen Wolfe
R.J. Murray Middle  Mr. Jackson Brown
Allen D. Nease High  Ms. Amy Gruhn
Pacetti Bay Middle  Ms. Anna L. Armitage
Ponte Vedra High  Mr. Philip Sabado
Gamble Rogers Middle  Ms. Morgane Van Waeyenberghe
Sebastian Middle  Ms. Kate E. Ducote
St. Augustine High  Ms. Lynne Tiner
St. Johns Technical High  Mr. Jarrod Branco
Switzerland Point Middle  Mr. Michael Shine
First Coast Technical College  Mr. Matthew Provost


Teachers of the Year

Elementary Schools
John A. Crookshank Elementary  Ms. Renee Hobbs
Cunningham Creek Elementary  Ms. Dana Kelly
Durbin Creek Elementary  Ms. Kara Bird
W.D. Hartley Elementary  Ms. Kathleen Schooley
Hickory Creek Elementary  Ms. Wendy Teaman
R. B. Hunt Elementary  Ms. Agatha Christine
Julington Creek Elementary  Ms. Wendy Gilbert
Ketterlinus Elementary  Ms. Mary Ballinger
Otis A. Mason Elementary  Ms. Laura “Anje” Newbold
Mill Creek Elementary  Ms. Carolyn Ramsay
Ocean Palms Elementary  Ms. Lauren Tate Wade
Osceola Elementary  Mr. Ryan “Kirby” Quam
Palencia Elementary  Ms. Laura Simpson
PVPV/Rawlings Elementary  Ms. Leslie Cabo Dal Molin
South Woods Elementary  Ms. Sally Cunningham
Timberlin Creek Elementary  Ms. Lisa Barnett
Wards Creek Elementary  Ms. Kristin Fanning
The Webster School  Mr. Richard R. Thomas Jr.

Liberty Pines Academy  Ms. Kristin Latshaw
Patriot Oaks Academy  Ms. Allyson Jordan
Valley Ridge Academy  Ms. Megan Leighty

Secondary Schools
Bartram Trail High  Ms. Claire Bynum
Creekside High  Ms. Mallory Padgett
Fruit Cove Middle  Mr. Steven Whitmer
Gaines Alternative and Transition  Ms. Heather May
Alice B. Landrum Middle  Ms. Sandra Pagliughi
Pedro Menendez High  Ms. Celeste Bowker
R.J. Murray Middle  Ms. Jodi O. Lanford
Allen D. Nease High  Ms. Susan Lycke
Pacetti Bay Middle  Ms. Jennifer Cooper
Ponte Vedra High  Mr. Charles Cerrato
Gamble Rogers Middle  Ms. Robin Rucker
Sebastian Middle  Ms. Kristina Harvey
St. Augustine High  Ms. Nancy Snell
St. Johns Technical High  Mr. Ryan Sirak
Switzerland Point Middle School  Mrs. Rachel Farris
First Coast Technical College  Mr. Ronald Story
St. Johns Virtual School  Ms. Ginger Baker-Sanhueza
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind  Ms. April Wallace

Principal Selected for First Coast Technical College

Chris Force, St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) director of Career and Technical Education and First Coast Technical College (FCTC) assistant principal, has been selected to be the principal of FCTC. Her nomination will be presented to the St. Johns County School Board at their January 10 meeting.

Force will replace FCTC interim Principal Cathy Mittelstadt who also serves as associate superintendent for Student Support Services at the district. Mittelstadt will assist Force with the transition and continue to be a resource for the school and its students.

Force joined the SJCSD in 2015 as the director of Career and Technical Education. Prior to this she served 24 years in Duval County Public Schools as a Building, Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing (BEAM) Academy lead teacher at Englewood High School, the district’s director of career and technical education, and a teacher of business and marketing and director of the Academy of Finance at Samuel W. Wolfson High School. She also served at Florida Community College at Jacksonville from 1994-2008 as an adjunct professor.

“FCTC is so valued in the school district and community, it is my honor to serve in this capacity,” said Force.  “I am committed to taking a strategic approach to ensure that we are meeting the needs of students as well as workforce and economic development in the region.”

Force has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Florida State University and has pursued doctoral work at the University of North Florida with an emphasis in career academies and technology.

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