The St. Johns County Regional Science Fair was held last month at First Coast Technical College (FCTC). All of the projects were superb, and I am so proud of all the categorical and special awards winners.
Adam Snowden, from Ponte Vedra High School, won top honors as the Best Overall in the Senior Division. Adam’s project was titled “The Effect of Wnt/Beta-Catenin Signaling Inhibition on Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.”
Aditya Singh, of Valley Ridge Academy, won Best Overall in the Junior Division for his project “Developing Distance Based Edge Detection.”
Approximately 123 participants were involved in the St. Johns County Science Fair. This annual academic competition is designed to challenge students to meticulously apply science process skills and content knowledge in order to investigate scientific questions of their own choosing. Participants also experience the importance of practicing science ethics and responsibility on a personal level.
Twenty-one students representing four St. Johns County schools will attend the Florida State Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland, March 28-30. Adam Snowden will attend the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, California in May.
I look forward to recognizing both Adam and Aditya at the upcoming School Board meeting on March 21.
Recruitment Efforts Underway
The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) is looking for high-quality teachers and non-instructional personnel to help fill upcoming openings for the 2017-18 school year. If you are interested, continue reading to learn more about available college/university visits and upcoming job fairs.
College and University Visits
The district recruitment team made up of administrators and teachers has already started attending career fairs at different colleges and universities both in and out of state. The fairs allow SJCSD representatives the opportunity to talk to education majors about opportunities and teaching in the SJCSD. With over 24 events scheduled this spring, the team is looking forward to talking to high-quality teachers who have a passion for their work with students. The recruitment teams will be visiting Flager College, Florida A&M University, University of Central Florida, University of West Florida, Florida Fund Minority Teachers in Tallahassee, Miami and St. Leo, Valdosta State, University of Florida, Bethune Cookman University, Savannah State College, College of Coastal Georgia, Albany State University, Georgia Southern University, University of North Florida and Florida State.
The SJCSD recently held a teacher job fair at St Augustine High School on Saturday, February 25 and nearly 120 teachers attended. Teachers were not only local but also came from South Carolina, New York, South Dakota, and Texas. The focus of the fair was to provide interested educators the opportunity to learn more about teaching in St. Johns County Schools and to have the opportunity to sign up for 10-minute interviews with principals and assistant principals in attendance. Based on the fair’s feedback form, 96 percent of respondents indicated that the Job Fair truly met their needs and they enjoyed it. Many of the attendees expressed how grateful they were to have had the opportunity to interview face-to-face with administrators. Well over three-quarters attending shared they learned about the fair through our district’s recruitment website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/recruitment/.
Saturday, April 1
The next fair is an invitational event held Saturday, April 1 at First Coast Technical College. This fair will allow invited attendees to have a more in-depth interview with principals and assistant principals from around the SJCSD.
Saturday, April 29
Saturday, April 29 at Sebastian Middle School will be the last teacher recruitment fair of the spring. This fair allows any new education graduates the opportunity to meet with SJCSD administrators and have a limited number of short interviews with them.
Saturday, May 20
Saturday, May 20, the SJCSD will host a non-instructional job fair for anyone interested in working as a paraprofessional, food service worker, custodian, bus operator, bus attendant, extended day worker, clerk or in the maintenance department. Interested people are asked to bring copies of their resume and register online prior to the event.
Wednesday, July 26
July 26, the district is hosting an Associate Teacher Expo. This expo is designed to identify, interview and recommend associate teachers needed in schools for the 2017-18 school year. Be sure to monitor the district website for job fair information throughout the spring and summer.
Individuals planning on attending any of the job fairs need to:
- Complete an application online at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/recruitment/apply/
- Register online at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/recruitment/jobfairs/
- Bring multiple copies of their resume to the job fair.
Attendees will receive an email the week of the fair with additional information.
Critical Needs Positions Identified
The SJCSD recently identified hard-to-fill teaching positions and will be focusing on finding high-quality educators to fill positions for the 2017-18 school year. Areas identified include speech/language pathology, music, teachers for students who are visually impaired, chemistry/physics, Spanish, Algebra II and higher level math teachers. Teachers for self-contained exceptional student education (ESE) are also difficult to fill positions. The district will be looking for teachers with these particular certifications during the upcoming college/university visits and job fairs.
In addition, is in critical need of highly qualified bus drivers and bus attendants as well as paraprofessionals, extended day workers and custodians.
Individuals with certification or experience in these particular positions mentioned above are encouraged to complete an application online at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/recruitment/apply/. Positions are posted daily on the school district website. If you need assistance with your online application, please call our Application Help Desk at 547-7631.
The Human Resources (HR) Department is currently housed at First Coast Technical College (FCTC) located at 2980 Collins Ave in St. Augustine. The St. Johns County School District Administrative Building sustained damaged to the first floor during Hurricane Matthew and is currently under renovation. Construction should be finished by late summer at which time the HR Department will return to 40 Orange St. Please note that Human Resources resides in two different areas on the FCTC campus. Associate Superintendent for Human Resources Cathy Hutchins as well as the assistant director for position control and the pre-employment team are located in Building 1. The director of instructional personnel, the director of non-instructional personnel, the director of benefits and compensation and their teams are located in Building A. The department’s telephone numbers remain the same and they can also be contacted by email. Human Resources main number is (904) 547-7600. All new employee set-up meetings are currently being held at FCTC until further notice.
On the Horizon
The Character Cup
The Character Cup is a student-centered event highlighting physical education which links academics and character education through athletic competition. In 2016, 200 student-athletes representing 20 elementary schools participated, and this year’s event looks to be even bigger and better.
The 2017 Character Cup will take place Wednesday, March 22 at St. Augustine High School. Parents, teachers, administrators, school mascots and community members are strongly encouraged to come out in support of these hard-working students. The Character Cup Trophy will once again be awarded to the winning team for display at their elementary school during the 2017-18 school year.
Outstanding School Volunteer Reception
The annual reception to honor school volunteers and volunteer coordinators is Thursday, April 6 at 6 p.m. at First Coast Technical College, CHARACTER COUNTS! Conference Center, located at 2980 Collins Ave. Please contact the Volunteer Services Department at 547-3945 for more information.
The St. Johns County Elementary Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Fair
The St. Johns County Elementary Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fair will be held at Palencia Elementary School Saturday, May 13. The purpose of this event is to encourage and celebrate student interest in STEM, with the primary goal to promote student use of these subjects to solve real-world problems. Student representation will be decided at the school level. Teachers, parents, administrators, and community members are welcome to attend.
School-Related Employees of the Year
The 2016-2017 School-Related Employees of the Year have been selected from each of the district’s 36 schools, St. Johns Virtual School and First Coast Technical College, along with four district representatives. 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 was announced, along with runners-up Ms. Renee Baker of the School Services Department and Ms. Caroline Russ of Mill Creek Elementary, at a reception honoring all of the nominees March 9 at the World Golf Hall of Fame Museum.
Mr. Stevenson Mitchell, a diesel mechanic for the Transportation Department, was named the 2017 School-Related Employee of the Year for the St. Johns County School District. Mr. Mitchell has worked in the transportation department for 33 years. His duties as the lead inspector for the district’s fleet of nearly 250 buses include performing corrective and preventative maintenance, service and repairs. Steve is a Florida Department of Education State Certified School Bus Inspector and completes his job with incredible attention to detail as well as enthusiasm. Mr. Mitchell’s name has been submitted to compete at the state level.
2016-2017 School-Related Employees of the Year
|Renee Baker||Academic Services Department|
|Constance McLaurin||Bartram Trail High School|
|Marvin Jenkins||Creekside High School|
|Peter Ryan Bartell||John A. Crookshank Elementary School|
|Philip Rado||Cunningham Creek Elementary School|
|Christine Kelley||Durbin Creek Elementary School|
|Ronald Hitchcock||First Coast Technical College|
|Vicki Barfoot||Fruit Cove Middle School|
|Danielle Sisk||W. D. Hartley Elementary School|
|Eric Rathmann||Hickory Creek Elementary School|
|Christine Hector||Human Resources Department|
|Kenneth Schreiber||R.B. Hunt Elementary School|
|Robert Chrzanowski||Information Technology Department|
|Judy Fuhr||Julington Creek Elementary School|
|Janet Bryant||Ketterlinus Elementary School|
|George Wood||Alice B. Landrum Middle School|
|John Valastro||Liberty Pines Academy|
|Catherine Nix||Otis A. Mason Elementary School|
|Holden Duke||Pedro Menendez High School|
|Caroline Russ||Mill Creek Elementary School|
|Ida Wright||R.J. Murray Middle School|
|Greg Annucci||Allen D. Nease High School|
|Jessica Weeks||Ocean Palms Elementary School|
|Rona Welch||Osceola Elementary School|
|Dawn Gillis||Pacetti Bay Middle School|
|Abra Murrell||Palencia Elementary School|
|Sobrina Martin||Patriot Oaks Academy|
|Susan Gelb||Ponte Vedra High School|
|Jennifer Scarbrough||PVPV/Rawlings Elementary School|
|Darlene Delaney||Gamble Rogers Middle School|
|Stefanie McMaugh||St. Augustine High School|
|Patricia Eighmey||St. Johns Technical High School|
|Jeffery Baldwin||Sebastian Middle School|
|Kouvaris Davis||South Woods Elementary School|
|Cheryl Terry||Switzerland Point Middle School|
|Jerita Sizemore||Timberlin Creek Elementary School|
|Stevenson Mitchell||Transportation Department|
|Andres Vega||Valley Ridge Academy|
|Stacy Neal||Wards Creek Elementary School|
|Claire Heffernan||The Webster School|
Did You Know…?
- Celebrating traditional and modern bluegrass music, the Anastasia Music Festival will debut at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre Thursday, March 16 through Saturday, March 18. In an epic three-day bluegrass celebration, the festival will host over 20 of the brightest bluegrass stars today including The Del McCoury Band, David Grisman’s Bluegrass Experience, Sam Bush, Elephant Revival, Fruition, Cabinet, Jeff Austin Band, The Travelin’ McCourys, Mandolin Orange, Joe Pug and much more! VIP Festival Passes, 3-Day Passes and Individual Day General Admission tickets are on sale now. The VIP Festival Pass includes VIP Viewing Pit Area Access, Parking Pass, Laminate, Bag and VIP Area with private bathroom access. Children 10 and under are free with paid adult admission. Purchase tickets online at www.staugamphitheatre.com.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”