I want to encourage everyone to take a moment this month to discuss and practice The February CHARACTER COUNTS! pillar of caring with your families. May we inspire our students and children to be kind to others, be compassionate and show you care, express gratitude, forgive one another, help people in need and to be charitable and altruistic. 

Throughout the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD), I am always encouraged seeing the pillar of caring displayed in so many ways. Despite the global pandemic that continues to shift and alter many of our norms, we continue to celebrate the caring work of teachers and administrators who dedicate their time, resources and enthusiasm to inspire good character and a passion for lifelong learning in all students, creating educated and caring contributors to the world. 

Congratulations to Tina Waldrop, Principal of Osceola Elementary School (OES), for receiving the 2020-2021 SJCSD Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership. Ms. Waldrop is a remarkable leader who has been the principal at OES since 2012. She serves over 780 students with a school population comprised of 85% low socio-economic students and 26% Exceptional Student Education students. Students, faculty and staff members feel at home in the positive climate and culture that Ms. Waldrop has fostered on campus. Under her leadership, OES has become a shining star in academic achievement as an “A” school. Ms. Waldrop has implemented and improved many initiatives to increase student achievement over the years including using Professional Learning Communities, Positive Behavior Supports, Conscious Discipline, AVID, and technology integration. Her school-created “RX Plan” focuses on the overall child, mentorship programs and community support.

I would also like to recognize the 2020-2021 Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year, Melissa Lime. Ms. Lime has served as assistant principal at Freedom Crossing Academy since its opening in 2018. She served as an assistant principal at R.J. Murray Middle School, as curriculum coordinator at Switzerland Point Middle School as well as a teacher and instructional literacy coach throughout her 15 years with the district. She is an exceptional leader who always wants the very best for her students.

Investing in Kids! (INK!) along with sponsors, school board members and district leadership recently announced the finalists for the 2020-2021 SJCSD Teacher of the Year. They are Allison Birbal, sixth-grade science teacher at R.J. Murray Middle School; Andrea O’Brien, library media specialist at Durbin Creek Elementary; and Ali Pressel, biology and agricultural science teacher at Creekside High School. Based on the caliber of the finalists, the judges have a very daunting task on their hands choosing just one of these amazing teachers to represent our county at the annual the Teacher of the Year celebration January 27. I am very appreciative of the INK! staff and board members for their tireless efforts to produce the Teacher of the Year celebration each year. They spend countless hours securing sponsors, planning and bringing this special event to life in recognition of our county’s finest teachers. 


Tim Forson, Superintendent of Schools,
St. Johns County School District

Principal of the Year
Tina Waldrop
Osceola Elementary
Assistant Principal of the Year
Melissa Lime
Freedom Crossing Academy

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