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November 2011

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Elementary School “L”

The St. Johns County School District will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for a new 738 student elementary school to be constructed at 355 Palencia Village Drive (just east of U.S. 1 in the Palencia community).   The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Monday, December 5 at 11 a.m. and will include a performance by the Mill Creek Elementary School Mustang Chorus.
This new elementary school is being constructed as part of the District’s Five-Year Building Plan and is funded through a $16 million Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB).  Elementary School “L” will be approximately 100,000 square feet with 738 student stations and 44 classrooms. It is being constructed to Green Building Standards.  Movable walls will open to create flexible-sized classroom spaces and enable teachers and paraprofessionals to work cooperatively to facilitate learning for students through a variety of activities.  This new school facility will also include state-of-the-art technology.  It is scheduled to be open for the 2012-2013 school year.
The project architect is SchenkelShultz Architecture.  The bid for the construction of the new elementary school was awarded by the School Board on June 14, 2011 to Mark Construction Company.
The public is invited to attend this ceremony.
For additional information please contact Paul Rose, Executive Director for Facilities & New Construction, St. Johns County School District, 40 Orange Street, St. Augustine, Florida 32084, (904) 547-8150.

St. Johns County School District 2012 Sunshine State Scholar

The Sunshine State Scholars Recognition Program for high school students was initiated in 1997 to recognize excellence in mathematics and science. It has evolved into a program designed to recognize Florida’s top high school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students and recruit them to pursue their postsecondary education in Florida. This year’s St. Johns County recipient is Caroline Knight Snowden of Ponte Vedra High School. She is the daughter of Robert and Catherine Snowden.
Caroline plans to pursue a career in mathematics or Cellular Biology.  She has been a Regional, State and International Science Fair recipient and has received school awards for excellence in both math and science.  In 2010, she coauthored an article that was published in Audiology Today. Caroline is not only accomplished in the classroom, but in the community as well. She has participated in Habitat for Humanity and performed with the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra. Recently, she was recognized for achieving a perfect score on both the SAT and ACT.
Caroline will represent St. Johns County at the annual Sunshine State Scholars event February 16-17 in Orlando, which recognizes the best and brightest STEM students. These scholars will meet with representatives from Florida’s colleges, universities and STEM industry leaders, and will learn about STEM research initiatives, degree programs and internships. Caroline will attend with her parents and Mr. Steve Lyons, a teacher at Ponte Vedra High School who she has chosen to accompany her for his influence in her academic career.
As St. Johns County’s Sunshine State Scholar, Caroline is the recipient of the annual Elaine Crutchfield Math and Science Scholarship of $100. Elaine Crutchfield worked for the school district for 29 years, serving as both a math and science teacher before being named the district curriculum coordinator.
In recognition of Ms. Crutchfield’s contributions to math and science education, the Curriculum Department created a special scholarship fund with the St. Johns County Education Foundation in her honor. It was decided that the Elaine Crutchfield Math and Science Scholarship would be presented annually to the district’s Sunshine State Math and Science Scholar.
Sierra Nicole Riter from St. Augustine High School was selected as the alternate and received a $75 scholarship.
The other school nominees received $50 scholarships. They are Chad Saunders from Bartram Trail High School, Jordan McLeod Walker from Creekside High School, Cassie Ann Perrella from Nease High School, Emma Faith Cockram from Pedro Menendez High School, and Rachel Courson from St. Johns Virtual School.

SJCSD Recognized as Energy Star Top Performer

The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) has been recognized as a Top Performer for 2011 by ENERGY STAR, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The SJCSD is receiving this award for the second year in a row, and this year it is the only school district in Florida to earn this distinction.
The SJCSD was recognized for improving its district-wide energy efficiency by more than 30 percent compared to its baseline year in 2008 when the district implemented an energy management program. An average ENERGY STAR performance score of 87 was achieved within 38 buildings throughout the district.
 “This honor simply reiterates our commitment to keep the reduction of energy consumption in the forefront,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner.  “It is proof that by working together we can make a difference.”
The SJCSD began an energy management program in September 2008 with assistance from Energy Education, Inc. All district employees, along with the superintendent and school board members, have been fully committed to the success of the program. Participants in the district’s energy efficiency program have lowered annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 14,800 metric tons, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 379,000 tree seedlings planted and grown for 10 years.
Since January 2009, the district has avoided more than $10,000,000 in energy costs. These achievements are largely attributed to behavioral changes made by students, faculty and staff members. Teachers and staff members have been instrumental in ensuring that lights, computers and other electronics are turned off. Custodial staff members serve as the “last line of defense” for wasted energy, turning off unnecessary lights and equipment and implementing cleaning practices that reduce the need for additional lighting when the building is unoccupied. The principals of each school are accountable for the consumption of their buildings, and an on-site building manager helps ensure the energy management system is operating as intended and as needed. As a result, very few equipment upgrades have been necessary.
Encompassing more than 4,500,000 square feet of floor space, the SJCSD educates over 30,000 students each year.