The mission of the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) is to “inspire good character and a passion for lifelong leaning in all students, creating educated and caring contributors to the world.” This time of the year is filled with celebrations as we begin to see the outcomes of hard work and dedication reflected in the lives of our students, faculty and staff. 

The School Board of St. Johns County recognizes May 3-7, 2021, as Teacher and Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week and the month of May as Teacher Appreciation Month. In the SJCSD, we have 3,045 instructional staff employed and approximately 815 substitute teachers. This year has been a very challenging one for us all but especially our teachers. I am beyond grateful for their commitment, passion, and perseverance. Teachers shape the future by challenging their students to learn, to think and to improve the world around them. Continuous learning by our students is critical to the mission of the district. Our teachers have influence which reaches beyond the classroom and is as boundless as the imagination and determination of every student with whom he or she comes in contact. I want to encourage you to take a moment to thank the instructional staff and substitute teachers for their hard work and dedication. Now more than ever, your tokens of appreciation lift up and encourage our teachers as we end this year with hope and optimism. 

As a system we are proud to honor students for their achievements, but we also take time to recognize and celebrate students displaying good character. This year more than 90 students were recognized for their exemplary character at the annual American Youth Character Awards (AYCA) event. Criteria for the AYCA is based on the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. These awards recognize students for serving as good role models for their peers. Nominees were evaluated based on the influence of the Six Pillars in their lives, especially as they relate to overcoming obstacles, making difficult choices, generosity and self-sacrifice, and community service. All honorees received certificates, pins and a school letter. In addition, seniors received a $400 award in recognition of their exemplary character. Eight additional seniors were also honored as Pursuing Victory With Honor nominees for displaying the Six Pillars of Character on the athletic field. The overall winner received a $1,000 scholarship and each school finalist received $400. I want to congratulate all students on their achievements as well as their families, mentors and communities that supported them throughout their high school careers. 

I am humbled and proud to serve a school district and community that recognizes and honors teachers, staff and students who demonstrate good character. As superintendent, I am grateful that I get the opportunity to have a small part in helping your students realize their potential and dreams in a world full of possibilities. Do not forget to take a moment and reflect on the pillar of the month, which is citizenship. I would encourage you to discuss as a family how you can do your share to make your school and community better. 


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

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