On behalf of the St. Johns County School District Board and staff, I wish you all a wonderful and joyous holiday season. This time of year is so inspiring in our schools. I know students, teachers and staff are making every effort to finish the semester strong while looking forward to a well-deserved break. I feel excited about the new semester as we approach the holidays and start a new year. I love continually challenging us to be better than the day before.

I particularly enjoy visiting schools this time of the year since I see the spirit of giving across the district personally. Our schools have continued to provide opportunities to teach the importance of citizenship and helping others in need. I am humbled by the compassion and empathy our students have toward others. Our faculty, staff and families have worked hard to inspire a passion for generosity in the next generation. It is evident in the words of our students that they believe in the power of citizenship, caring and respect. I have seen schools working together for toy and clothing drives and collecting donations for local food pantries, children’s hospitals, and pet shelters, among others.

I am grateful to our community partners and faith-based organizations that support the school district throughout the season. Our ASSIST program has more than 800 homeless students identified to date. It is currently working with local organizations which collect and distribute toys, clothing, sports equipment, etc., to SJCSD families in need. If you are interested in supporting a family during the holidays with gifts, food or other items, please get in touch with our student services department at (904) 547-7797.

I want to congratulate our St. Johns County School District School-Related Employee of the Year, Debra Sheets, business systems analyst, Information Technology Department. Debra was selected from among 47 SJCSD employees. She has over 26 years of service with the SJCSD, and we are so grateful for her dedication and the exceptional work she has done over the years. Debra is described by her colleagues as the person who is always the “go-to” for help. She arrives early each day, and her work ethic has no rival.

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. Nominees were chosen for their significant contributions to their schools and community and the school district as a whole. Criteria for the award include exemplary job performance, dedication, interpersonal skills, leadership ability, and contributions to the school and school district environment.

I encourage all of you to take this winter break to rest, relax, enjoy time spent with loved ones and renew your spirit. My hope is for you to unplug, engage in healthy activities and rejoice in the warmth and happiness of the holidays. May the season’s blessings fill you and your loved ones with joy. I continue to be humbled and honored to serve as your superintendent. I look forward to continuing our learning and achievement in the new semester.

Tim Forson
Superintendent of Schools