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January 2017

Principal Announced for Allen D. Nease High School

Lisa Kunze, principal of Switzerland Point Middle School (SPMS), has been selected by Superintendent Tim Forson to be the principal of Allen D. Nease High School (NHS). Her nomination will be presented to the St. Johns County School Board at their February 14 meeting.

Kunze will replace Kyle Dresback, who was recently selected as Associate Superintendent of Student Support Services.

Employed with the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) since 2005, Kunze previously served as the assistant principal at NHS before joining Ponte Vedra High School as an assistant principal to help open the school. She began her career in education in Duval County as a science teacher at Mandarin High School. She taught for seven years before becoming the assistant principal at Stanton College Preparatory School. She was later promoted to vice principal at Sandalwood High School before joining St. Johns County.

“Mrs. Kunze is an outstanding leader as demonstrated by the success of SPMS for more than seven years,” said Forson. “Her focus on the academic success as well as the emotional and social development of her students will serve her well at NHS and complement existing programs offered there.”

Kunze holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University and a master’s degree from the University of North Florida.

“I am very excited to return to Nease and the high school environment,” said Kunze. “By joining the team this school year, I will have the unique opportunity to observe and listen to the faculty, students and parents about the culture of the school and their goals for the future.”

The transition of Kunze and Dresback will not take place until a new principal has been appointed for SPMS. Forson will begin the process of gathering input from staff and the community within the next two weeks.

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SJCSD Spelling Bee Winner 2017

Sreeniketh Vogoti, an eighth-grade student at Fruit Cove Middle School, won the 2017 St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) Spelling Bee held January 18 at First Coast Technical College. He won by spelling the word “fatuous” correctly. Sreeniketh is the son of Padamja and Balasubramanyam Vogoti.

Thirty-three elementary and middle school students from 28 public and five private schools competed for the honor of representing St. Johns County in The Florida Times-Union Regional Spelling Bee Saturday, March 4 at the Jacksonville Main Public Library. If for any reason the winner is not able to attend, runner-up Jackson Willis of Liberty Pines Academy will represent the county.

It took 37 rounds for the winner to be determined. The participants were congratulated by School Board Vice Chair Bill Mignon, School Board Member Kelly Barrera, Deputy Superintendent for Academic and Student Services Brennan Asplen and Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dawn Sapp.

Laurie Hays, SJCSD program specialist for Elementary Language Arts, served as the spelling bee coordinator and the pronouncer was Linda Villadoniga, retired SJCSD teacher. Judges for the event were Jay DiMartino, SJCSD Language Arts and World Languages program specialist; Cheryl Freeman, SJCSD volunteer coordinator; and Sandy Waldeis, community representative.

WFOY 102.1 FM broadcasted the spelling bee live and Murphy Alexander, SJCSD instructional television specialist taped the event. The Spelling Bee will be broadcast on SEA TV channels 99 or 262 and available for viewing at