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April 2016

Principal Appointments

Wayne King, principal at Valley Ridge Academy (VRA), has been selected by Superintendent Joseph Joyner to be the principal of Sebastian Middle School. His nomination will be presented to the St. Johns County School Board at its May 10 meeting.

Ryan Player, principal at White Knoll High School in Lexington, SC, has been selected by Superintendent Joseph Joyner to be the principal of Alice B. Landrum Middle School. His nomination will be presented to the School Board at its May 10 meeting.

Sandra McMandon, principal at Durbin Creek Elementary (DCE), has been selected by Superintendent Joseph Joyner to be the principal at VRA. Her nomination will be presented to the School Board at its May 10 meeting.

King opened and has served as principal of VRA since 2014. He also served as principal at St. Johns Technical High School from 2011-2013 and Landrum Middle School from 2007-2011.  He has 19 years of experience in the school district as a teacher and administrator at the Gaines Alternative Center, the Evelyn Hamblen Center, SJTHS and Switzerland Point Middle School. King was named the St. Johns County School District’s (SJCSD) Outstanding Principal of the Year in 2010. Prior to his experience in the SJCSD, King spent three years at Flagler College as the assistant dean of students. King has a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Flagler College and a Master of Arts in Education Administration from Jacksonville University.

“Wayne King is one of our finest leaders with a wealth of diverse experiences,” said Joyner. “His innovative style and dedication to the success of students make him the perfect match for Sebastian Middle School.”

Player has served as the principal at White Knoll High School since 2012. Prior to this position he served as assistant principal at WKHS and D.W. Daniel High School. He has 16 years of instructional experience in Columbia, Rock Hill and Lexington, SC serving as a middle school math teacher, varsity football coach and summer school director. WKHS received the Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School of Excellence Award and an Excellent rating on the state school report card for 2013, 2014 and 2015, under his leadership. Player has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Teaching from Clemson University and a Master of Education in Education Administration from the University of South Carolina.

“Mr. Player is a high performing principal and will be an excellent addition to the leadership team in St. Johns County,” said Joyner.  His personal and professional values are a clear match with our school district and he will be an outstanding principal at Landrum Middle School.”

McMandon has served as the principal of DCE since 2011. She has been employed by the SJCSD since 1993 and is a lifelong resident and graduate of St. Johns County. She served as a teacher at Julington Creek and Cunningham Creek elementary schools, an assistant principal at Gamble Rogers Middle School and South Woods and Otis Mason elementary schools before joining DCE. In addition to maintaining an “A” status at DCE, she encourages her staff to grow as professionals and was appointed to the Florida Department of Education’s Commissioner’s Leadership Academy in 2015. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Florida State University, Master of Education in Elementary Education and certification in Educational Leadership, both from the University of North Florida.

“Ms. McMandon has been one of our highest performing principals for many years,” said Joyner.  “She is one of those rare leaders who has both middle and elementary experience.  I am confident she will take Valley Ridge Academy to the next level of excellence.”

King will replace current SMS Principal Kelly Battell who will be joining the district office as Director of Student Services replacing Sallyanne Smith who is retiring in June.

Player will replace LMS Principal Jewel Johnson who will be joining the district as Director of Instructional Personnel replacing Cathy Geiger who is retiring in May.

“I know that Ms. Battell and Ms. Johnson will continue to the level of service and the excellence that has been established in these positions by Ms. Geiger and Ms. Smith,” said Joyner. “Ms. Battell and Ms. Johnson are both servant leaders with outstanding skills and I have the highest confidence in their ability to take on these new roles.”

Pending School Board approval, these principal nominees will begin their new positions on July 1.


Annual STAR Banquet

Eighty-three of St. Johns County Schools’ best and brightest were honored by Flagler Hospital and St. Johns County School Board at the annual Students Taking Academic Responsibility (STAR) Awards Banquet held Wednesday, April 6 at the World Golf Village Renaissance Resort.

The STAR Awards recognize the top three percent of all graduating seniors in the county. Thirteen students from Bartram Trail High School, two from Beacon of Hope Christian School, 20 from Creekside High School (CHS), 9 from Pedro Menendez High School (PMHS), 13 from Nease High School (NHS), 11 from Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS), 10 from St. Augustine High School (SAHS), and five from St. Joseph Academy received commendation for their outstanding academic performance.

“Flagler Hospital is pleased to bring this very special event to our community in recognition of our county’s top students, their parents and their mentors,” said Flagler Hospital President and CEO Joe Gordy. “St. Johns County’s ongoing success would not be possible without our area’s stellar educational system, led by Dr. Joe Joyner and the dedicated members of our school board.”

During the recognition ceremony principals introduced each student and then a special mentor selected by the student. Principals shared their STAR students’ future plans and why they selected the teacher they chose to honor. In addition to making top grades, these students are involved in athletics, performing groups, school clubs and community service.

The STAR students and their mentors are as follows:

Bartram Trail High School – Evan Armstrong with Atef Soliman; Kaitlyn Burdsall with Ramona Deese; David Damiani with Kate Keating; Jenna Ellinger with Robert Bruns; Douglas Griswold with Sharon Oliver; Andrew Hoover with Paul Grybb; Nicola Martens with Ofelia Hampton; Hannah Moring with Julie Tugya; Alison Murman with Jenna Yow; Sarah Stinson with Stephanie Hammett; Melinda Szabo with Cathy Crowe; Sydnee Vaughan with Chris Patterson; and Mark Wiegreffe with James Bachhuber

Beacon of Hope Christian School – Kenneth Pavilando with Jeremy Dowler and Caitlyn Pettway with Cindy Pryor

Creekside High School – Brighton Ancelin with Jameson Pickett; Sophie de Jong with Laura Wynn;  Hope Epting with Rick Fowler; Kaitlin Huo with Rachel Kurtz; Sierra Hutchens with Ann Rush; Chelsea Janda with Angie Trentham; Karen Jeong with Denise Heidenreich; Elizabeth Johnson with Cheri Stucki; Morgan Klein with Justin Vogel; Keilani Medvec with Kelli Knowles; Elizabeth Neuzil with Kevin Davenport; Nadia Obaed with Kelli Knowles; Justin Roy with Troy Keefe; Abigail Salley with Laura Wynn; James Schnell with Richard Villadoniga; Charles Sherwood with William B. Adams; Nina Sizemore with Lynda Kelly; Maxwell Tsurumoto with Kevin Davenport; Owen Wheeler with Amy Cocchiola; and Tyler Wills with Jameson Pickett

Allen D. Nease High School – Noah Ari with Jaime Combs; Sanjana Bhargava with Amy Banton; Gabriela Castello with Derek Coghlan; Nicolas Cort with Chris Williams; Alex Jasper with Marta Senyszyn; Angelica Lagasca with H.A. Smith; Aaron Lemos with A.J. Lloyd; Divya Mahesh with Debra Tewey; Tala Mansouri with Kim Hollis; Abigail Prohofsky with Rosa Maria Weaver; Nidhi Suresh with Holly Farson; Stephanie Thompson with Melissa Bourgeois; and Kyle Wai with Matt Augenstein

Pedro Menendez High School – Michael John Atkins, II with Becci Smith; Morgan Gomez aith Rusty Luker; Hannah Kilbride with Vicki Murphy; Isabella Masarik with Paul Villavisanis; Meagan McKinney  with Amy de Vries; Bryan Miller with Gail Needham; Jasraj Raghuwanshi with Cynthia Morrison; Sabrina Schrope with Gwen Westfall; and Tiffany Vlasenko with John Miller

Ponte Vedra High School – Abhimanyu Ahuja with Randy Blake; Margaret Barnhorst with John Weinbrenner; Megan Calvin with Catherine Snowden; Yooree Ha with Katilyn Collazo; Matthew Johnson; Nicole Johnson; John Molm with James Johnson; William O’Hara with Christine Kochan; Darryl Oswald with Christophe McArthur; Marissa Reinker with Randy Blake; and Cassia Wang with Kathryn Kehoe

St. Augustine High School – Zoe Dewith with Chelsey Baker; Caitlin Douglas with Jeff Dodd; Caitlyn Hutchings with Sgt. Robert Gober; Elsa Ingwersen with Christine Mars; Jonathan Justice with Suzanne Stauble; Deryl Long with Warren McCrary; Emily Onimus with Michael Beaman; Kyle Rose with Nathaniel Wuellner; Michael Whittaker with Clark Johnston; and Brooke Woods with Tiegh Collins

St. Joseph Academy – Delany Bolton with Michael Maloney; Athena Fruehan with Jeri Williar; Isabella Garofalo with Christopher Williams; Cynthia Hund with John Monsalve; Chandler McDevitt with Erin Flannigan

Joe Gordy, CEO of Flagler Hospital, served as emcee. School Board Chair Patrick Canan and Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner provided remarks and School Board Vice Chair Tommy Allen and School Board Members Kelly Barrera and Bill Mignon were in attendance.

The annual event is produced by Flagler Hospital in partnership with the STAR Committee Members including Daniel Burkert, PVHS; Jennifer Fornera, CHS; Melissa Roughan, BTHS; Wanda Logan, SAHS; Kim Hollis, NHS; Stephanie Jones, PMHS; Jeri Williar, St. Joseph Academy; Mary Whitfield and Cindy Pryor, Beacon of Hope Christian School and John Eaton, Colleen Hobin and Emily Stimler, Flagler Hospital. VIP Presentation Products provided the student and mentor certificate holders.

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