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March 2016

Community Forum for Superintendent Search

button1The St. Johns County School Board will hold a Community Forum on Tuesday, April 5 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the School District Administrative Building located at 40 Orange Street to gather input from the public as they start the search process for a new superintendent. The new superintendent will be chosen in the fall and is slated to begin in early 2017 when Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner retires following a long and very distinguished career including over 13 years as the Superintendent of Schools in St. Johns County. Feedback and characteristics will be solicited from attendees to assist in determining what the public desires in the future superintendent of the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD).

This forum is just one way for the public to be involved in the search process. A Citizens Advisory Committee will be created to assist in the review of applicants based on the district’s qualifications and public feedback. Community members interested in serving on this committee are requested to submit an application. The application must be postmarked or submitted by close of business Monday, April 25 and is available online on the district’s website at

In addition, a survey will be made available through individual schools and on the district’s website beginning Friday, April 15 to seek input on the characteristics of the next superintendent. The survey will be disseminated using the district’s mass notification system via email as well.

“Our school system is a testament to the success of St. Johns County and it is very important to have the public involved in the superintendent search,” said School Board Chair Patrick Canan. “I encourage everyone who has children in our schools or loves our community to participate in one or all of these options to make your voice heard.”

SJESPA Negotiated Agreement 2016

Negotiators for the St. Johns Education Support Professionals Association (SJESPA) and the St. Johns County School Board have reached an agreement on their 2014-2017 contract for the district’s non-instructional employees. Representatives for SJESPA and the SJCSD met during the school year to negotiate specific articles within the book included below:

  • Move one level up on the salary schedule for eligible non-instructional employees for the 2015-2016 school year.
  • An increase to the hourly rate of pay which ensures an annual increase that is no less than  $550 for those full-time employees who move one level up to step 14 for the 2015-2016 school year.
  • An annual increase of $200 for those at the top of the pay scale for the 2015-2016 school year.
  • Clarification language regarding compensation for attending inservice, retirement and grievances.

“Both teams worked together in a manner that exemplifies our relationship with one another,” said Cathy Weber, chief negotiator and director for Salaries and Benefits, SJCSD. “This is a contract that recognizes and commends the hard work our support employees do every day for the students of our district.”

“I am very pleased with our newest contract for all support staff in St. Johns County,” said Carole Gauronskas, president of the local SJESPA.  “It was a team effort that shows the willingness of both sides to come to the table and bargain in good faith.  I am very proud of the work that was done by our SJESPA bargaining team.”

After SJESPA ratified the tentative agreement, it was approved by the School Board at its monthly meeting on March 8.

SJESPA is the recognized bargaining agent for the approximately 1,500 non-instructional personnel including teacher aides, clerical staff, computer operators, bus drivers, custodians, maintenance and food service.


SJCSD School-Related Employees of the Year

srey2The 2015-2016 School-Related Employees of the Year have been selected from each of the district’s 36 schools, one charter school and four district departments and were recognized at Tuesday’s monthly School Board meeting. School-related employees enhance the educational experience for the children whose lives they touch, and they are essential to the successful operation of a school or school district office.

These nominees were chosen for the significant contributions they have made in their schools and community, and to the school district as a whole. Criteria for the award includes exemplary job performance, dedication on the job, interpersonal skills, leadership ability, in-service/training to upgrade skills and contributions to the school and school district environment.

A district-wide screening committee has reviewed all of the nominations and the winner of the St. Johns County School-Related Employee of the Year will be announced at a reception on Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m. at the World Golf Hall of Fame Museum. The St. Johns County nominee will be submitted for consideration at the regional level.

A list of the 2015-2016 School-Related Employees of the Year is below.


Jennifer Hicks Academic Services Department
Jane Young Bartram Trail High School
Patricia Hardy Creekside High School
Cynthia Marie Laga John A. Crookshank Elementary School
Karen Bowyer Cunningham Creek Elementary School
Yasmin Taylor Durbin Creek Elementary School
Von Raburn First Coast Technical College
Joann Williams Fruit Cove Middle School
Christina Fallica Gaines Alternative and The Transition Schools
Michelle Betrone W. D. Hartley Elementary School
Cecelia Theos Hickory Creek Elementary School
Eunice Lopez Human Resources Department
Wendy Thurston R. B. Hunt Elementary School
Todd Stone Information Technology Department
Kathryn “KD” Bender Julington Creek Elementary School
Brian Taylor Ketterlinus Elementary School
Gerri D. Garcia Alice B. Landrum Middle School
Brenda Herrera Liberty Pines Academy
Steven Sampson Otis A. Mason Elementary School
Pat Giuliani Pedro Menendez High School
Arthur “Art” Thomas Mill Creek Elementary School
La’Kevia Rollins R. J. Murray Middle School
Donald E. Colburn Allen D. Nease High School
Tyson Shank Ocean Palms Elementary School
Susan Lynch Osceola Elementary School
Michelle Leitao Pacetti Bay Middle School
Randy Villalobos Palencia Elementary School
Jenny Ware Dupree Patriot Oaks Academy
Nicholas Athanaseas Ponte Vedra High School
Maria Novoa PVPV/Rawlings Elementary School
Martha Fulford Gamble Rogers Middle School
Michael Oxborough St. Augustine High School
Rick Testasecca St. Johns Technical High School
Michael P. Marimpietri Sebastian Middle School
Emily Hoover South Woods Elementary School
Ann McCaskill Switzerland Point Middle School
Jennifer Schwall Timberlin Creek Elementary School
Rebecca Brewer Transportation Department
Joan Balerna Valley Ridge Academy
Tammy L. Stewart Wards Creek Elementary School
Kenneth P. Kehoe The Webster School


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