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December 2013

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. High school grades are based on 2012-13 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 Nease high schools. Two received a grade of “B,” St. Augustine and Pedro Menendez high schools.

“These scores are incredible and I am very proud of all of our high schools for their efforts 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 2012-13 high school grades, visit

Region II Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year

Mimi Haley, a senior at Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS), has been selected as the Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year for Region II by the Florida Department of Education. This honor makes Mimi one of the top five youth volunteers in the state.

Nominated by both Ocean Palms Elementary School (OPES) and PVHS, Mimi has given her time and shared her talents with students and teachers alike. At OPES, she serves as a role model for younger students by reading and playing educational games with them, and helping them off the bus and with technology. She also assists OPES teachers by working in their classrooms, organizing materials and demonstrating new technology.

“It brings the Ocean Palms staff great joy to honor such a leader as Mimi Haley,” said OPE Principal Betsy Wierda. “This young woman of courage and excellence has overcome numerous odds to excel herself and then to pay it forward by giving of herself to Ocean Palms students and staff, Ponte Vedra High School, as well as our community. Mimi makes us all want to be better people, and there is no one more deserving of this honor.”

At PVHS, she is an active member of the English Honors Society, Science Honors Society and Senior Women as well as being the vice president of the National Hispanic Honors Society. Currently Mimi is collaborating with the Mayor’s Hispanic American Advisory Board in Jacksonville to help compile and evaluate resource guide information which offers services to those of all ages. In addition, she has demonstrated remarkable leadership by organizing events and promoting awareness of the dangers of texting and driving. She has coordinated events and letter writing campaigns in support of Senate Bill 52 which banned texting while driving and became law on October 1 of this year.

“Mimi brings a positive energy to everything she does, her can do attitude is infectious making her an outstanding leader,” said PVHS Principal Craig Speziale.

Through all of her volunteerism and activities, she continues to maintain a high grade point average, and even finds time to help at the Jacksonville Humane Society. Mimi strives to always make a positive impact on her community. She plans to attend college, become a psychiatrist and continue her efforts to always give back and be an inspiration to others.

“Mimi has selflessly provided service to our students and teachers, and has taken a regional, even statewide, approach to making a difference in the lives of others.” said Superintendent Joseph Joyner. “She is a wonderful example of great character and is extremely deserving of this honor. We are very proud of her.”

Register Now for the CHARACTER COUNTS! 6 Pillars 6K/3K Run/Walk

The CHARACTER COUNTS! Steering Committee is calling all walkers, runners and fitness enthusiasts to participate in the CHARACTER COUNTS! 6 Pillars 6K/3K Run/Walk on Saturday, February 8, 2014 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.

Walkers and runners will enjoy a scenic course running through the neighborhoods of Kensington and Las Calinas 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 forms and more information are 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. A cash donation will be awarded to the school with the most registrants.

This event is produced by the CHARACTER COUNTS! Steering Committee and is presented by Beaver Toyota Scion with support from Action News as well as other community groups and sponsors.

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.

2014-2015 Proposed Calendar Survey

The St. Johns County School District is seeking comments on the proposed 2014-2015 school calendar.

A survey link is now available on the school district website for community members to provide input on the calendar. The proposed calendar can be downloaded and printed.

The survey link can be accessed at or under “What’s New” on the school district home page. Individuals are encouraged to submit any ideas, suggestions or concerns about the proposed calendar.

Feedback will be collected through Monday, December 16.

The final proposed calendar must be approved by the School Board.