SR 2-26-16 Volume 5, Issue 14

It was my pleasure to attend this year’s History Fair. The fair is an outstanding academic competition that enhances the teaching and learning of history in secondary schools.  Students who participate develop intellectual, personal and practical skills that will serve them throughout life. It was exciting to see the hundreds of quality projects that are taking place in our schools. High quality, guided research is the purest form of learning, so what students achieve through a history project is the essence of education.

Congratulations to the 2016 Best Overall History Fair winner Creekside High School senior Charles Sherwood for his research paper, “Playing Revolution: Soviet Encounters in China from 1917-1928.”

This year over 200 students from three high schools, one K-8 school, and four middle schools participated in the fourth annual History Fair. This year’s theme was “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.”  Students conduct research using primary and secondary sources on topics related to the theme and present their findings in a historical paper, exhibit, documentary, performance or website.

The District History Fair was held at First Coast Technical College on February 23. First- and second-place district winners in each category and division have the opportunity to advance to the state contest in Tallahassee in May. Similarly, first- and second-place state winners in each category and division earn the right to represent Florida at the National History Day competition in College Park, Maryland in June.

Junior division winners

Individual website: First — Kason Ancelin, Switzerland Point Middle, “Louis Pasteur’s Fight Against Disease”; second — Jennifer Balestra, Alice B. Landrum Middle, “Nellie Bly and Her Exploration of Americas Insane Asylums”; third — Joshua Jacobs, Fruit Cove Middle, “Expensive Explorations”.

Group website: First — Nathaniel Duck, Colin Ngin and Daniel Goodrich, Switzerland Point, “Challenger”; second — Jordan Sabo and Lindsey Sabo, Switzerland Point, “Encounter of the Solanas: Influence on Florida”; third — Mohit Ballikar, Deven Ellis and Joshua Prohofsky, Fruit Cove, “What went wrong between Andrew Jackson and the Cherokee Nation”.

Individual performance: First — Nima Goodman, Landrum, “Exploration of the Life of Pocahontas”.

Group performance: First — Ethan Grunow-Drew and Alan Michael, Switzerland Point, “Fibonacci”; second — Ainsley Wiechens and Kayla Wiechens, Switzerland Point, “Ruth Wakefield”; third — Philip Baratelli, Lucas Comparato, Brady Teichman and Jude Howell, Fruit Cove, “Sparta’s Encounter with Romans”.

Individual documentary: First — Elliot Kantor, Landrum, “The Silk Road”; second — Jenna Forcier, Fruit Cove, “Juan Ponce De Leon and the Myth of the Fountain of Youth”; third — Wade Miller, Switzerland Point, “Space Race”.

Group documentary: First — Lauren Donalson and Kaitlyn Rouzie, Switzerland Point, “The Cubo Line and City Gate Protection and Security to the Nation’s Oldest City”; second — Alia Farooque and Camille Aguilar, Switzerland Point, “Small Pox”; third — Marina Mechetti, Carolina Mechetti and Lily Quick, Landrum, “The Exploration of Flight”.

Individual exhibit: First — Veronica Czajkowski, Patriot Oaks Academy, “Black Death”; second — Taylor Hampson, Fruit Cove, “King Henry VIII, his Influence of the Protestant Reformation, and the Motives of Pligrimages and Exploration to the New World”; third — Remington Chenore, Landrum, “The Radioactive Lady: Marie Curie”.

Group exhibit: First — Julia Martin and Caroline Rice, Fruit Cove, “Exploration of How Greek Mythology Affects Society”; second — Ava Nelms and Sophia Peake, Sebastian Middle, “Lewis and Clark”; third — Lauren Alexis Edmonds and Addison Bullen, Switzerland Point, “Lost Ships of St. Augustine”.

Research paper: First — Angela Ramsey, Switzerland Point, “Genghis Khan”; second — Hanna Do, Patriot Oaks, “Triangle Factory Fire”; third — Ashton Monk, Landrum, “Little Boy and Fat Man”.

Senior division winners

Individual website: First — Danielle Haddock, Creekside High, “Can you Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?”; second — Adawe Bosworth, St. Augustine High, “Japanese Internment Camp”; third — Amanda Donahue, Ponte Vedra High, “Irish Immigration: A Cultural Exchange”; honorable mention — Adam Snowden, Ponte Vedra, “Fighting Yellow Jack: How the U.S. Army Yellow Fever Commission Identified the Culprit Behind the Spread of Yellow Fever”.

Group website: First — Ben Honiker and Noah Kathe, Creekside, “The Viking Invasions of the British Isles 793-900 AD”; second — Elizabeth Fox, Frank Lukens and Harrison Snowden, Ponte Vedra, “Marie Tharp: Mapping the Ocean Floor”; third — Elliott Steele and Brighton Ancelin, Creekside, “The Space Race: US vs. USSR”.

Individual documentary: First — Shelby Brackett, Creekside, “Mabury vs. Madison”.

Group documentary: First — Ciara Boulos and Mia Andrews, St. Augustine, “Dr. Seuss: Perfectly Political”.

Individual exhibit: First — Nicholas Famularo, Ponte Vedra, “Zheng He: Admiral of the Western Seas”; second — Andrew Brownett, “The Young Apprentice of WWI”.

Group exhibit: First — Katherine Slava and Maia Medley, St. Augustine, “One Small Step for a Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind”; second — Matt Adams and Nicholas Rodgers, St. Augustine, “Midway”; third — Mairead “Maggie” Boylan, Taylor Noon and Aleyna Turker, Ponte Vedra, “Feminist Art and its Movement”.

Research paper: First — Charles Sherwood, Creekside, “Playing Revolution: Soviet Encounters in China from 1917-1928” (overall winner); second — Rachel Barden, Creekside, “Horace Mann and the Public School Reform”; third — John Middleton, Ponte Vedra, “Exchanges and Encounters: Early New Spain in the North American Southwest”.

Business and Fiscal Services Update

Executive Cabinet Update


Accounting, Payroll and Accounts Payable Departments

The payroll department issued 5,663 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statements to current and former district employees.  Of these, 2,541 were processed electronically to employees on January 15 and the remaining 3,122 were provided in paper format on January 30.  In addition, the accounts payable department processed and issued 632 IRS 1099 Tax Forms to district vendors.

Budget Department

Beginning each February, the budget department turns its attention to the next school year.  Preparations are being made to build the schools’ operating budgets.  At the same time, all district department budgets are being formulated.

Food and Nutrition Services Department

Food and Nutrition Services is getting settled into a new office at the Sebastian Middle School Administrative Annex.  Planning for the summer feeding program is in high gear.  The Summer Feeding Program serves breakfast and lunch to children 18 years of age or younger.  Sites are determined by geographical economic need.  There are two types of summer feeding sites, closed and open.  Closed sites serve children who are enrolled in a sponsor’s program, and open sites serve anyone 18 years of age or younger as walk-ins.  Summer feeding sites will be determined as the end of the school year gets closer.  Information on available sites can be found on the Summer BreakSpot website at

Purchasing Department

Marathon Health

The Purchasing Department, in partnership with Human Resources, has worked to negotiate and enter into an agreement with Marathon Health.  This agreement allows the district to continue providing quality onsite health care services at our three existing health centers.  The transition is expected to take place in April.

Competitive Bids

Members of the purchasing department will conduct a workshop this spring focused on “How to Participate in Competitive Solicitations.”  Numerous topics will be discussed that should prove helpful when responding to a Bid, Request for Proposal, Request for Qualifications or Formal Quote.


On the Horizon

Kindergarten Pre-Registration

Pre-Registration dates for the 2016-2017 school year are scheduled as follows:   

Thursday, March 10 1 – 5 p.m.
Friday, April 8   9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Monday, May 9 1 – 5 p.m.


The list of required documents can be found on the school district website. Updates and changes have been made to the residency process and can be found at

School-Related Employee of the Year Reception

The School-Related Employees of the Year (SREY) have been chosen from each of the district’s 36 schools, one charter school and four district departments. A reception in their honor will be held on Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m. at the World Golf Hall of Museum at World Golf Village.

Status Report

St. Johns Technical High School Student Wins Local PSA Contest

Congratulations to Lorin Capallia, a 10th-grade student at St. Johns Technical High School, as one of two student winners in the Positively Jax Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest sponsored by WJXT Channel 4. Students in grades 6-12 created storyboards for a 30 second PSA on an issue important to teens.  Some of the topics submitted included Teen Suicide; Stress; Bullying; Texting and Driving; Body Image; and Peer Pressure.  Entries were judged based on creativity, effectiveness of message, relevance to teen audience and overall presentation.  Winning PSAs were professionally produced by WJXT Channel 4 and aired on Channel 4 and ThisTV Jacksonville. Lorin created her Safe Driving PSA, which focused on the hazards of distracted driving, under the direction of teacher Megan Young.

Did You Know…?

  • VSA Florida recently announced a partnership with the St. Johns County School District. From March 4-18, St. Augustine High School, located at 3205 Varella Ave. in St. Augustine, will exhibit artwork created by students with disabilities from St. Augustine High School and The Webster School.  A public reception will be held on March 9 at 5 p.m.  This program is supported by a generous grant from the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida through the Dr. JoAnn Crisp-Ellert fund. VSA Florida, a not-for-profit organization, coordinates a statewide My Art My Way artist in residence program for students with and without disabilities in the public schools.

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”
~Anthony J. D’Angelo, American author