SR 3-8-16 Volume 5, Issue 15

March is Arts in Education month, a time to recognize the outstanding music, theater and art programs within our schools. Many schools will be participating in district and state visual and performing arts activities, so be sure to check with your school regarding upcoming arts celebrations and events.

The St. Augustine Art Association is presenting the 11th annual All-County High School Art Show March 4-26.  Art teachers in all district high schools selected a combined total of 150 student works of art for the exhibit. The materials range from experimental digital media and graphite studies to abstract pottery and sculptural assemblages.  Installed by teacher Rebecca Williams and coordinated by St. Johns County Fine Arts Program Specialist Tommy Bledsoe, the exhibition is being judged by Cable Spence, an artist, musician and Advisory Board member of the St. Augustine Art Association. The student winners will be recognized at the April 12 School Board meeting.

Our thanks to the St. Augustine Art Association, who is the partner and co-sponsor of this event as well as for the upcoming All-County Middle School Art show in April. Congratulations to all the dedicated teachers and students who participate in these incredible displays showcasing the many talents of our students.


Executive Cabinet Update



Facilities and New Construction

Facilities staff is working on the design and site plans for three new schools including an elementary school in the World Golf Village area, and two K-8 schools, one in the Aberdeen community and one in the Nocatee community.

A two-story, 22-classroom addition at John A. Crookshank Elementary School is underway and on schedule to be completed by summer of 2016.

Design and planning for renovations and an expansion at Allen D. Nease High School is progressing and construction is scheduled to begin in May.  Included in the plans are a 60,000 square-foot, two-story classroom; new administrative offices and a new media center; a dining room expansion; kitchen renovation as well as a new bus loop.

The portable classrooms at Sebastian Middle School have been fully renovated and now house the Sebastian Administrative Annex.


The Maintenance Department is currently conducting preventative maintenance (PM) visits to all schools and administrative facilities throughout the district. These visits consist of three PM teams who perform preventative maintenance and repairs required for the preservation of each facility. The teams spend two weeks at the elementary and middle schools, as well as the administrative facilities, while spending three weeks at each high school. At this time 33 schools have received PM for the 2015-2016 school year, ensuring all facilities are well maintained. Additionally, the Maintenance Department is preparing for the completion of capital outlay projects scheduled to take place during spring break and the summer months.

Building Code Administration

Annually the Building Code Administration staff perform Fire Safety, Casualty and Sanitation inspections at all of the district facilities. As of February 2016 all safety State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF) inspections have been completed. Re-inspections to verify corrections to observed deficiencies will begin the first week of March. Any deficiencies noted will be corrected by April 1.

Energy Management

The district experienced a cost avoidance of over $85,000 during the two-week Winter Break. Seven years after implementing an energy management program, compliance continues to improve with the 2015 winter break energy audit the best to date. The Energy Management Department would like to commend employees for making sure all electronics were turned off in all areas, and as well as maintenance coordinators for setting all air conditioning/heating schedules to unoccupied.


The Transportation Department has been transporting approximately 19,672 children to and from school each day since the start of the second semester in 2016. The transportation team is demonstrating innovation and foresight to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and, most importantly, safety in student transportation operations. Among the initiatives is Operation Safe Ride, which allows for state certified instructors to validate the bus operator’s compliance to state statutes and the Florida Department of Education guidelines. Additionally, the Transportation Department is preparing to pilot a student accountability and ridership system aboard six school buses beginning in April, as well as upgrading the transportation radio systems on all 220 buses this summer. The new radio system is the same 800 MHz series used countywide by the law enforcement, fire rescue, public works and other county services.

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.

STAR Banquet

The STAR Banquet will be held on Wednesday, April 6 at the Renaissance WGV at 5:30 p.m. The STAR Awards Banquet honors the top 3 percent of the graduating seniors in high school. Each student recognizes an influential teacher and writes a brief summary that is read by the principal.  Parents are also invited.  Please contact the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce for more information.

Outstanding School Volunteer Reception

The annual reception to honor school volunteers and volunteer coordinators is Thursday, April 7 at 6 p.m. at First Coast Technical College, Bldg. C, located at 2980 Collins Ave. Please contact the Volunteer Services Department at 547-3945 for more information.

Status Report


School-Related Employees of the Year

The 2015-2016 School-Related Employees of the Year have been selected from each of the district’s 36 schools, along with four district representatives and one charter school. School-related employees enhance the educational experience for the children whose lives they touch, and they are essential to the successful operation of a school or school district office. These nominees were chosen for the significant contributions they have made in their schools and community, and to the school district as a whole. Criteria for the award includes exemplary job performance, dedication on the job, interpersonal skills, leadership ability, in-service/training to upgrade skills and contributions to the school and school district environment. A district-wide screening committee has reviewed all of the candidates and the winner of the St. Johns County School-Related Employee of the Year will be announced at a reception to honor all of the nominees on March 17 at the World Golf Hall of Fame Museum. The St. Johns County nominee’s name will then be submitted to compete at the state level.

Jennifer Hicks Academic Services Department
Jane Young Bartram Trail High School
Patricia Hardy Creekside High School
Cynthia Marie Laga John A. Crookshank Elementary School
Karen Bowyer Cunningham Creek Elementary School
Yasmin Taylor Durbin Creek Elementary School
Von Raburn First Coast Technical College
Joann Williams Fruit Cove Middle School
Christina Fallica Gaines Alternative and Transition Schools
Michelle Betrone W. D. Hartley Elementary School
Cecelia Theos Hickory Creek Elementary School
Eunice Lopez Human Resources Department
Wendy Thurston R.B. Hunt Elementary School
Todd Stone Information Technology Department
Kathryn “KD” Bender Julington Creek Elementary School
Brian Taylor Ketterlinus Elementary School
Gerri D. Garcia Alice B. Landrum Middle School
Brenda Herrera Liberty Pines Academy
Steven Sampson Otis A. Mason Elementary School
Pat Giuliani Pedro Menendez High School
Arthur “Art” Thomas Mill Creek Elementary School
La’Kevia Leeona Rollins R.J. Murray Middle School
Donald E. Colburn Allen D. Nease High School
Tyson Shank Ocean Palms Elementary School
Susan Lynch Osceola Elementary School
Michelle Leitao Pacetti Bay Middle School
Randy Villalobos Palencia Elementary School
Virginia “Jenny” Ware Dupree Patriot Oaks Academy
Nicholas Athanaseas Ponte Vedra High School
Maria Novoa PVPV/Rawlings Elementary School
Martha Fulford Gamble Rogers Middle School
Michael Oxborough St. Augustine High School
Rick Testasecca St. Johns Technical High School
Michael P. Marimpietri Sebastian Middle School
Emily C. Hoover South Woods Elementary School
Ann McCaskill Switzerland Point Middle School
Jennifer Schwall Timberlin Creek Elementary School
Rebecca Brewer Transportation Department
Joan Balerna Valley Ridge Academy
Tammy L. Stewart Wards Creek Elementary School
Kenneth P. Kehoe The Webster School

Did You Know…?

  • The 3rd annual Pinwheel Parade Against Child Abuse will be held on Saturday, April 2, 10-11:30 a.m. at the St. Augustine Youth Services (SAYS) campus located at 6624 US 1 South . There will be a ceremonial “parade” around the campus, refreshments, free children’s activities plus tables set up with parenting information and people on hand to answer questions about the resources available in St. Johns County. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and since 1989, people nationwide wear the blue ribbon and carry blue pinwheels in April to create awareness of the need to keep kids safe and families strong.

“A promise made is a debt unpaid.”
~Robert W. Service, American poet (1874-1958)