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December 2012

High School Grades

High school grades released today show that the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) continues to be a leader in performance and FCAT scores. The high school grades are based on 2011-12 FCAT scores, as well as graduation rate, participation and performance in accelerated programs, and college readiness skills.

Out of the district’s high schools that receive a school grade, four received an “A,” Bartram Trail, Creekside, Ponte Vedra, and St. Augustine high schools. Two received a grade of “B,” Nease and Pedro Menendez high schools.

“These scores are incredible and I am very proud of all of our high schools for their effort and determination to achieve these outstanding results,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “Our success is attributed to the hard work of our students, teachers, dedicated parents and support staff as well as the exceptional leadership through our principals.”

“We continue to support high expectations for all students and this is evident in the grades released today,” he added. “All of our high schools earned well above the required points to receive an “A”, but automatic triggers placed in sub populations of students caused these two schools to receive a “B” grade.”

For detailed information on the 2011-12 high school grades, visit

Sunshine State Scholars

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 Marissa Elizabeth Rice of Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS). She is the daughter of Michael and Patricia Rice.

Marissa plans to pursue a career in science and says that long hours spent sitting in a lab running test after test is where she wants to be. Her goal is to attend Johns Hopkins University and major in immunology, virology, biochemistry or oncology. She was named PVHS Best Biotech student in 2010 and 2011, earned an AP Scholar award in 2010 and was the first place regional science fair winner in 2011-2012.

Marissa will represent St. Johns County at the annual Sunshine State Scholars event February 21-22 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. Marissa will attend with her parents and Dr. Kathryn Kehoe, a teacher at PVHS who she has chosen to accompany her for his influence in her academic career.

As St. Johns County’s Sunshine State Scholar, Marissa 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.

Maxwell Alexander Kline from St. Augustine High School was selected as the alternate and received a $75 scholarship.

The other school nominees received $50 scholarships. They are Liam Leahy from Bartram Trail High School, Nicholas Pinelli from Creekside High School, Matthew Capriotti from Nease High School, and Anissa Zacharias from Pedro Menendez High School.

Career Academies High School Showcase

The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) offers more choices to high school students to prepare them as future leaders in high-skill, high-wage industries. On Monday, December 17, students and their families can explore their options at the High School Showcase held at the World Golf Village Convention Center from 3 – 8 p.m.

The High School Showcase will exhibit all choice programs within the SJCSD. Parents and students will have the opportunity to speak with school representatives and students, as well as business partners and postsecondary representatives, to collect information about their school and future career choices. This year’s event features the variety of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) offerings available throughout the district. STEM Academies encourage students to investigate, problem-solve, and create by using what they learn in the classroom and apply it to real-world situations.

All 23 programs of choice will be represented including Career Academies, acceleration academies (such as IB and AICE) and ROTC programs. Academies are smaller learning communities within a high school that incorporate features such as integration of academic and career-related curriculum, team teaching, and business involvement. National studies show that academies have a positive impact on student performance, including improved attendance, higher grades, improved graduation rates and higher college-bound rates. Academies emphasize motivational and real-world activities including hands-on projects, business mentoring, internships and field trips. They foster students’ motivation to learn and better prepare them for postsecondary education and successful futures in their chosen professions.

Allen D. Nease High School Stellar Academy of Engineering Communications Academy at Nease International Baccalaureate Program Navy ROTC

Bartram Trail High School VyStar Academy of Business and Finance Academy of Design and Building Construction Air Force ROTC Advanced Scholars Program

Creekside High School Academy of Emerging Technology Academy of Environmental and Urban Planning

Pedro Menendez High School Academy of Architectural & Building Sciences VyStar Academy of Business Flagler Hospital Academy of Medical and Health Careers Advanced Scholars Program International Baccalaureate Program

Ponte Vedra High School Academy of Biotechnology and Medical Research Academy of International Business and Marketing

St. Augustine High School St. Johns County Aerospace Academy St. Johns County Center for the Arts St. Johns County Academy of Future Teachers Advanced International Certificate of Education Army ROTC

St. Johns Technical High School Academy of Coastal and Water Resources

Deadline for entry into a Program of Study is February 8, 2013. No applications will be accepted after this deadline. Applications are available at For more information, contact Paula Chaon, director of Career Education, at [email protected] or 904-547-4870.

CHARACTER COUNTS! 6 Pillars 6K Run/Walk

The CHARACTER COUNTS! Steering Committee is calling all walkers, runners and fitness enthusiasts to participate in the CHARACTER COUNTS! 6 Pillars 6K Run/Walk on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2 p.m. The run/walk will begin and end at Palencia Elementary School located at 355 Palencia Village Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32095. This event is presented by Bozard Ford Lincoln.

“The CHARACTER COUNTS! initiative is extremely important in St. Johns County, not just within our schools, but throughout the residential and business community as well,” said Jeff King, vice president and general manager of Bozard Ford Lincoln. “We are proud to be part of this inaugural event, and look forward to being involved for many years to come.”

Walkers and runners will enjoy a scenic course running through the neighborhoods of Kensington and The Pines within the Palencia community and can choose to participate in the 6K (3.73 miles) or 3K (1.86 miles) distance. Registration fees are as follows:

6K-$20 before January 1, $25 January1-February 7, $30 on race day 3K-$15 before January 1, $20 January 1-February 7, $25 on race day

Registration and more information is available online at

Race proceeds will support CHARACTER COUNTS! initiatives throughout the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD). The run/walk is open to all ages, and the top three winners will be awarded in each of the age categories as well as the overall male and female finishers. In addition, a festival atmosphere will surround the race events, with interactive activities, crafts and food vendors.

The SJCSD, along with area businesses, youth organizations and civic groups, selected the national character educational program of CHARACTER COUNTS! as a countywide initiative to instill positive character traits in young people throughout the county. Additionally, the SJCSD became the first school district in Florida to implement Pursuing Victory with Honor in all of its athletic programs. Character education is an important part of every School Improvement Plan and a major component of the Student Code of Conduct and the school district’s Strategic Plan.