Happy Thanksgiving to all from our School Board and staff! In the St. Johns County School District, we have so much for which to be thankful. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to work for an organization that does the critical work of serving and educating children every day.

In keeping with the season, I would like to express my gratitude for our district’s exceptionally caring and generous teachers, staff, families and students.

I recently witnessed how kind, thoughtful and caring our students are at our recent CHARACTER COUNTS! Community Partners Recognition. This event features 8th-grade students representing each of our middle and K-8 schools speaking on the Pillar of Character that is most important to them. Everyone in the room heard the overarching theme of caring. This theme tells us that, as adults, caring is essential to a healthy society. Their messages resonated with humility, grace and eloquence and represented all six pillars.

The CHARACTER COUNTS! Pillar for November is Citizenship. It is clear that our students, families, teachers, staff and school board members have compassion and empathy toward others and show character in action by giving back to the community in various ways. Every day generous donations of clothing, care packages, weekend food bags, school supplies, etc., are collected and distributed to those in need. It is inspiring to see the continued and committed support of our community and faith-based organizations that help meet the needs of our most vulnerable students and families. Through this support, we can rise above external challenges and make a difference in the lives of students and families.

It was evident from the words of our 8th–grade students that they long to live in a world that is respectful of one another. It is vital that we work together to show how grateful we are for the hard work and dedication of our outstanding teachers and support staff, who are uplifting our students and families every day, especially those in need. Academic success only occurs when all the pieces come together for our students. I have seen schools collaborating to overcome barriers to success and help our students reach their full potential.

As the holiday season approaches, I encourage you to spread kindness and joy and cherish the time spent with your family and friends. This time of the year is special; each day is a gift. May God bless you and your families this Thanksgiving, and may you have a wonderful, safe and restful holiday.

Tim Forson
Superintendent of Schools