Happy New Year, and welcome back!  I hope you enjoyed quality time with loved ones over the holidays and relaxed during the winter break, ready and refreshed for the second semester. The new year is the perfect time to highlight some of the amazing educators, support staff and students we have in the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) as well as some happenings around the district.

Sree Vidya Siliveri, a sixth-grade student at Landrum Middle School, won the annual SJCSD Spelling Bee held Wednesday at First Coast Technical College. She won by spelling the word “grobian” correctly. Sree Vidya is the daughter of Sreedar and Mangamma Siliveri.

It took 10 rounds for the winner to be determined. The participants were congratulated by School Board members Kelly Barrera and Beverly Slough.

Forty-eight elementary and middle school students from 32 public schools, four private schools, and the St. Johns Virtual School competed for the honor of representing St. Johns County in the First Coast Regional Spelling Bee scheduled to be held on Friday, March 31, 2023.

The winner of the regional spelling bee will advance to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee scheduled in May in Washington, D.C. Congratulations, Sree Vidya!

Our annual High School Showcase held last month at the World Golf Village Convention Center provided our middle school parents and students the opportunity to learn about the high school Programs of Choice and meet representatives from each of our high schools to help make important decisions for the high school years.

I am so glad to announce our annual CHARACTER COUNTS! 6 Pillars 6K/3K Run/Walk! This family fun community event is Saturday, February 4 at 9 a.m. beginning and ending at Palencia Elementary School. Online registration is available at https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/StAugustine/CHARACTERCOUNTSinStJohnsCountySixPillars6K3KRunWalk. This is the 10th annual CC! Run and we’ll have some special items commemorating “10 Years Running!”

Race proceeds support CHARACTER COUNTS! initiatives throughout the St. Johns County School District. The run/walk is open to all ages, and the top three winners will be awarded in each of the age categories as well as the overall male and female finishers. A cash donation will be awarded to the top schools with the most registrants. Race participants who preregister will receive a tech t-shirt and other giveaways from area businesses and organizations.

In addition, The St. Johns County Secondary STEM Fair will be held at the First Coast Technical College, 2980 Collins Avenue in St. Augustine on February 14. Students will set up their projects on Monday, February 13 at First Coast Technical College. Judging will take place on Tuesday, February 14 and the award ceremony will be held on Thursday, February 16 at 6:30 pm. The State Science and Engineering Fair will be held in Lakeland, Florida, April 4-6.

For the most up-to-date information, recognitions, highlights and fun facts, be sure to follow the St. Johns County School District on social media! We are on Facebook @SJCSD; Instagram @sjcsd2021; Twitter @SJCSD and LinkedIn.

I look forward to the coming weeks and spending time in our schools talking with students, teachers and administrators, support personnel and school staff as we hit the ground running for the second semester!

Tim Forson
Superintendent of Schools