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January 2013


The St. Johns County School District will hold pre-registration for children entering kindergarten and students new to St. Johns County and/or public schools on Wednesday, February 6 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Wednesday, March 6 from 1-6 p.m.; Wednesday, April 3 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; and Wednesday, May 1 from 1-6 p.m.

To be eligible for public kindergarten in St. Johns County, children must be 5 years old on or before September 1 and must reside in St. Johns County. To register for first grade, children must be 6 years old on or before September 1 and have documentation of successful completion of kindergarten.

Parents must register children at the school where they are zoned for the 2013-2014 school year. Three proofs of residency must be provided such as a current mortgage statement, lease or rent agreement and two other forms of residency documentation such as a current electric bill, car registration and/or driver’s license. Additional information on residency and guardianship as well as a link to the Attendance Zone Locator can be found on the website at under “Featured Links.”

Florida law requires any student entering a Florida school for the first time to show proof of required immunizations documented on the HRS Form 680. Proof of a physical examination that has been obtained within one year prior to enrollment in school is also required. Physical examinations can be performed by either a private physician or by the county health department.

Students can be registered during the spring and summer for the 2013-2014 school year, however; parents are encouraged to register during the designated dates above so that schools can adequately prepare for the new school year. Additional information regarding registration and school attendance zones may be obtained from the Student Services Office at 547-7598.

2013 Teacher of the Year Finalists

Four finalists for the 2012-2013 St. Johns County Teacher of the Year have been chosen from 35 nominees representing each school in the St. Johns County School District. They are Rob Hall of The Webster School (TWS), Julie Pantano of Switzerland Point Middle School (SPMS), Dr. Kathryn Kehoe of Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS), and Jessica Geronimo of St. Johns County Transition School (SJCTS). Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner, School Board Vice-Chair Bill Mignon and School Board Member Bill Fehling, along with school district staff and representatives from the St. Johns County Education Foundation (SJCEF), surprised the finalists at their schools. The winner, in conjunction with the Rookie Teacher of the Year, will be announced on Thursday, February 21 at the Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year Celebration at the Renaissance Resort at the World Golf Village.

Rob Hall, a fourth-grade teacher at TWS, has been teaching for 15 years. His years of teaching have all been within St. Johns County Schools, and he has been at TWS since 2007. Mr. Hall received his certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He has had the opportunity to host practicum students from Flagler College and the University of North Florida and has served as a directing teacher for full-time interns and mentor for new teachers. He places an emphasis on the fact that sometimes asking questions are more important than the answers, which encourages his students to work collaboratively to investigate and share different ideas and discoveries.

Julie Pantano has been the Gifted/Advanced Language Arts Teacher for seventh graders at SPMS since 2010. She possesses six years of teaching experience which has spanned both middle school and college level instruction and was previously the Assistant Professor of English for the University of Maryland University College in Heidelberg, Germany. She holds memberships in the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English and has presented at both national and local conventions. Every day Mrs. Pantano’s students recite a poem written by her which reiterates their focus on writing and reading to further literate connections and contributions to the world.

Dr. Kathryn Kehoe teaches science and biotechnology at PVHS. She possesses 22 years of teaching experience and has been teaching within St. Johns County for the last eight years. She previously taught for Greenhills School in Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Jacksonville University. Dr. Kehoe currently mentors a new biotechnology teacher in Madison County, Florida while she also serves as a resource to other science teachers at PVHS. She was awarded as the Regional Outstanding Teacher by the American Chemical Society in 2006. Dr. Kehoe regularly combines hands-on activities with traditional methods of instruction. This ensures that her students understand why they are learning a topic, how they can apply the information learned and the ability to further their knowledge through independent thinking and problem-solving skills.

Jessica Geronimo has been a middle school, self-contained autism teacher at St. Johns County Transition School since 2011. She possesses four years of teaching experience with more than half of those in St. Johns County. In addition to her classroom instruction, Ms. Geronimo participates as a big sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and as a volunteer for the Special Olympics and the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. Her philosophy on teaching is to create coherence among the school, home and community environments for her students. A large part of her job, especially in dealing with students with severe autism, is to determine and develop what functional job and life skills will resonate in their post-academic lives.

The annual Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year Celebration is produced by the SJCEF to recognize excellence in the teaching profession. For more information on the SJCEF visit

2013 SJCSD Spelling Bee Winner

Grace Remmer, an eighth-grade home school student, won the 2013 St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) Spelling Bee held Wednesday at the School Board Administration Building. She won by spelling the word “recuperate” correctly. Grace is the daughter of Raymond and Jennifer Remmer of St. Augustine.

Thirty-one elementary and middle school students from 26 public, one home school, and four private schools competed for the honor of representing St. Johns County in The Florida Times-Union Regional Spelling Bee on February 23 at the Jacksonville Main Public Library. If for any reason the winner is not able to attend, runner-up Nikitha Raju of Wards Creek Elementary School will represent the county.

It took 28 rounds for the winner to be determined. The participants were congratulated by School Board Member Bill Fehling, Superintendent Joseph Joyner, and Deputy Superintendent Martha Mickler.

WFOY Newstalk 1240 AM broadcasted the spelling bee live and streamed it on their website at Media Services also taped the event and will air it via Comcast SEA-TV Channel 99 next week.

The winner of the regional spelling bee will advance to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee scheduled in May in Washington, D.C.

Laurie Hays, program specialist for elementary language arts, served as the spelling bee coordinator and the pronouncer was Lyla Springfield, retired grants coordinator. Judges for the event were Adrienne Paone, program specialist for secondary language arts, Sandy Waldeis of Catholic Charities; and Jim Welu, retired director for student services.

Teachers and Rookie Teachers of the Year

The 2012-2013 Teachers of the Year and Rookie Teachers of the Year have been selected from each of the district’s 35 schools and were recognized at the monthly School Board meeting on Tuesday, January 8.

These nominees represent the very best among St. Johns County School District teachers. Their colleagues have selected them for this prestigious honor, and they will advance to compete for the countywide title.

Nominations for the 2012-2013 Rookie Teacher of the Year have been submitted by 34 of the district’s schools. Eligible teachers must have taught less than three years.

This is the sixth year that the Rookie Teacher of the Year competition has been held. These nominees represent the top of their profession among new teachers, and will go on to compete for the countywide title.

The overall winner will be announced at the annual Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year Celebration on Thursday, February 21 at the Renaissance Resort at the World Golf Village. The St. Johns County Teacher of the Year will then be included for consideration as the Florida Department of Education Macy’s Teacher of the Year 2013.

The awards banquet is produced by the St. Johns County Education Foundation (SJCEF) to recognize excellence in the teaching profession and is sponsored, in part, by THE PLAYERS Championship and Leonard’s Studios.

Below are the lists of nominees. For additional information contact Donna Lueders at the SJCEF, (904) 547-7120.

2012-2013 Teachers of the Year

Elementary Schools
John A. Crookshank Elementary Ms. Renata Russell
Cunningham Creek Elementary Ms. Judith Greenberg
Durbin Creek Elementary Ms. Shelby Rogerson
W. D. Hartley Elementary Ms. Mary Ellen Kriener
Hickory Creek Elementary Ms. Donna McGill
R. B. Hunt Elementary Mr. Charles Durr
Julington Creek Elementary Ms. Jaclyn Clarke
Ketterlinus Elementary Ms. Jane Wood
Otis A. Mason Elementary Ms. Sheryl Lepera
Mill Creek Elementary Ms. Amy Borie
Ocean Palms Elementary Ms. Elizabeth Skiba
Osceola Elementary Ms. Gail Jones
Palencia Elementary Ms. Kristin Harrington
PVPV/Majorie K. Rawlings Elementary Mr. Vance Edeker
South Woods Elementary Ms. Coral Jones
Timberlin Creek Elementary Ms. Jessica Lane
Wards Creek Elementary Ms. Angela Rodgers
The Webster School Mr. Rob Hall
Liberty Pines Academy Ms. Joy Reichenberg
Secondary Schools
Bartram Trail High Mr. Robert Bruns
Creekside High Ms. Nicole Bak
Fruit Cove Middle Ms. Catherine Bavuso
Alice B. Landrum Middle Ms. Jodi Johnson
Pedro Menendez High Ms. Beth Morucci
R. J. Murray Middle Mr. Benjamin Hudson
Allen D. Nease High Ms. Stefanie Martineau
Pacetti Bay Middle Ms. Della Thompson
Ponte Vedra High Ms. Kathryn Kehoe
Gamble Rogers Middle Ms. Tracy Melgard
Sebastian Middle Ms. Kimberly Evans
St. Augustine High Mr. Adam Ringwood
St. Johns Technical High Ms. Paula Davis
Switzerland Point Middle Ms. Julie Pantano
Alternative Schools
Gaines Alternative and Transition Ms. Jessica Geronimo
Charter Schools
First Coast Technical College Ms. Theresa Burrell


2012-2013 Rookie Teachers of the Year

Elementary Schools
John A. Crookshank Elementary Ms. Kelly Thigpen
Cunningham Creek Elementary Mr. Andrew Bajorek
Durbin Creek Elementary Ms. Edith Xanders
W. D. Hartley Elementary Ms. Caitlin Eggimann
Hickory Creek Elementary Ms. Amber Culbreth
R. B. Hunt Elementary Ms. Kelsey Holloway
Julington Creek Elementary Ms. Suzanne Caldwell-Gentile
Kettlerlinus Elementary Ms. Veronica Celeste
Otis A. Mason Elementary Ms. Rebekah Barnes
Mill Creek Elementary Ms. Jessica Selph
Ocean Palms Elementary Ms. Whitney Jacobs
Osceola Elementary Ms. Kathleen Gruman
Palencia Elementary Ms. Cheryl Kerekes
PVPV/Rawlings Elementary Mr. G. Taylor Morris
South Woods Elementary Ms. Jaime Smith
Timberlin Creek Elementary Ms. Kadiann Palmeri
Wards Creek Elementary Ms. Rachel Griffin
The Webster School Mr. Casey Bradshaw
Liberty Pines Academy Mr. Stephen Kirsche
Secondary Schools
Bartram Trail High Ms. Megan Young
Creekside High Ms. Leia Fixel
Fruit Cove Middle Mr. Emmanuel Wellington
Alice B. Landrum Middle Ms. Sara Kaufman
Pedro Menendez High Mr. Christopher Cofield
R. J. Murray Middle Ms. Carrie Fihe
Allen D. Nease High Mr. David Maynard
Pacetti Bay Middle Ms. Brianna Shaner
Ponte Vedra High Mr. Thomas Stanton
Gamble Rogers Middle Ms. Morgan Champion
Sebastian Middle Mr. Kevin Hayes
St. Augustine High Ms. Kendra Eaton
Switzerland Point Middle Mr. Andrew Wilson
Alternative Schools
Gaines Alternative and Transition Mr. William Wood
Charter Schools
First Coast Technical College Mr. Vincent Annese