The mission of the St. Johns County School District will “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 outcome of hard work and dedication reflected in the lives of our students, faculty and staff. 

As an organization, we are proud to honor students for their high academic achievements, but we also take time to recognize and celebrate students displaying good character. This year more than 100 students will be recognized for their exemplary character at the annual American Youth Character Awards (AYCA) Banquet on April 21. 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 are evaluated based on the influence of the Six Pillars in their lives, especially as they relate to overcoming obstacles, making difficult choices, generosity, self-sacrifice and community service. All honorees will receive a certificate, pin and school letter. In addition, seniors will receive a $500 award in recognition of their excellent character. Eight additional seniors and one junior will also be honored as Pursuing Victory With Honor nominees for displaying the Six Pillars of Character on the athletic field. The overall winner will be awarded $1,000. I want to congratulate all students on their achievements as well as their families, mentors and community that support these students throughout their high school careers.  

April is National Volunteer Month, affording us a chance to step back and look at the many ways individuals have selflessly supported the SJCSD. During the very challenging times that we have experienced with COVID-19, volunteering has taken on a different look. Volunteers who have been in schools abided by health and safety guidelines and sometimes did work at home that would have historically been done in schools.  School support groups such as PTO and booster clubs continued to do what was necessary but in a safe and different fashion. Although the world changed drastically, volunteers found safe ways to meet student and school needs in surprisingly creative ways. The resolve of our volunteers to continue making a difference only grew stronger during this time, and we want to thank them for “never saying never.” As we go forward in a cautiously optimistic future, it is certain that volunteers will always be needed and appreciated. If you would like to explore ways to assist in St. Johns County schools, please contact Cheryl Freeman, RSVP/Volunteer Services Coordinator at (904) 547-3952 or Cheryl.Freeman@stjohns.k12.fl.us.

Tim Forson
Superintendent of Schools

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