Superintendent Tim Forson has announced two principal appointments for the 2019/2020 school year. Travis Brown, assistant principal at St. Augustine High School, has been selected to be the principal of R.J. Murray Middle School (MMS). Brown will replace Paula Steele who has been serving as interim principal at MMS. She will resume her duties as the director of Leadership Development within the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD).
Kirstie Gabaldon, principal at Switzerland Point Middle School (SPMS), has been selected to be the principal of Sebastian Middle School. She will replace Wayne King who was recently appointed as associate superintendent of Accountability and Intervention Services at the SJCSD. Both of these nominations will be presented to the School Board at their June meeting.
Brown began his teaching career as a social sciences teacher at Omaha South High School in Nebraska. He joined the SJCSD in 2006 and was a social sciences teacher at Bartram Trail High School and then Creekside High School (CHS). In 2012 he became a program specialist for secondary studies and advanced programs at the district office followed by his most recent position as assistant principal at SAHS.
“Travis possesses a strong focus on students and their individual needs,” said Forson. “He will be an excellent principal who understands the importance of continuous learning and collaborative school environments. In addition, I am extremely grateful for the leadership Paula has provided to MMS as its interim principal. I look forward to having her back at the district office to develop leaders at all levels.”
Brown holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s degree from the American College of Education.
With more than 22 years of experience, Gabaldon has spent her entire career serving the students in St. Johns County. She started as a teacher at Nease High School and then went on to be the registrar at Bartram Trail High School before joining CHS as an assistant principal. She also served at Murray and Sebastian middle schools as an assistant principal before becoming the principal at SPMS.
“Kirstie has been an exceptional leader at SPMS,” said Forson. “I am confident she will continue to create opportunities for success and leadership at SMS whether it is for her students or the staff she serves.”
Gabaldon has a bachelor’s degree from the University of East Anglia, England and a master’s degree from UNF.
District administrators will gather input from staff and the community for the new principal of SPMS on Thursday, May 16 at 2:15 p.m. at SPMS.