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Contents August 2017






16 14

Orange Park Medical Center



Go Team!


Kidz in the News


Back-To-School, Back-To-You


Back-To-School Guide


The Ultimate Florida Keys Vacation!


No More Homework Hassles

18 20

The Islander Resort


Get Your STEM On

Reelax Charters


Digital Designers


History of Diving Museum



The African Queen

every issue


Feed the Tarpon at Robbie’s


Reel Life with Jane


Hawk’s Cay Resort


Fashion: Back-To-School

St. Johns County School News

Next Issue: September Fall Festivals/Top Pediatricians Plus: Hispanic Heritage, Celebrating Granparent Special Directories: Pediatricians, Primary Care Physicians 2 AUGUST 2017 (386) 437-0300

Reader Services Calendar Submissions: We publish information about family events within and surrounding our county. We would love to hear from you! If you have a family event, fundraiser or childrens activity/program please send your information to Deadline for submitting information is approximately one month prior to the month in which the event will occur. Subscriptions We now have subscription service direct to your home. We are offering these services for only $10 per year for 11 issues of Flagler Parent Magazine. You can also subscribe for FREE to our digital edition for your iPad, iPhone, NOOK, Kindle Fire, or Android Device. Visit our website and click SUBSCRIBE. Feedback: We Welcome Your Feedback & Thoughts. In our continuous effort to improve our publications, we look forward to your thoughts, questions and feedback on how we can better tailor information to your families needs. Please feel free to send me an email at Charlie@

AUGUST 2017 3


What’s New in Print & Online

St. Johns Parent Florida Baby - Fall 2017 A special section that caters to pregnancy, birth, babies, and toddlers, showcasing products, services and ideas for young families. Publishing: September 2017 Advertising Deadline: August 10th

Special Child - Fall 2017 A special section that is dedicated to special needs families and their care-givers. Providing educational articles, local resources, easy-to-use directories, product reviews, shopping guides, and much more!

New in Schools, On News Stands & Online

Call for Advertising Opportunities!

Publishing: October 2017 Advertising Deadline: September 10th

Do you want to work for the most talked about family magazine in St. Johns County? We are looking for experienced Ad Sales Representatives who are motivated, energetic, and familiar with St. Johns County. We offer a very competitive compensation package. If you’d like to be considered, please forward your resume to: stjohnsparent 4 AUGUST 2017 stjohnsparent stjohnsparent stjohnsparent

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Parent to Parent Publisher / Editor

Charlene Michaux 386-547-0161

Associate Editor

Deb Wind 386-299-6684

Graphic Artist Charlene Michaux Publisher/Editor Welcome back, I hope that everyone had a great Summer! It always seems to go too fast, doesn’t it? On the first day of Summer vacation it seemed like we had so much time to complete our “Best Summer-Ever Family Bucket List” And yet, as I sit here writing my back to school publisher’s letter, I realize that we still have so much to do. How does this happen every year? We definitely had some great adventures though, which you will read about it “The Ultimate Family Keys Vacation”. If I learned anything this Summer, it’s that life doesn’t always follow a family plan, Let go of your expectations and go with the flow, you will thank me later. Here we are, back to school season and it seems like only yesterday I was searching for summer camps! This issue is packed with information to help you get back on schedule! From articles that help you engage with your kids, to healthy lunches, to bus schedules and open houses. If you don’t see your school, visit your county school website for up to date information your child’s school. We have included an after-school directory to make it easier for you to review your choices for after school care. As you will notice our magazine is once again growing with advertiser support. I would like to thank all of our new and renewing advertisers; CentraCare, Ameris Bank, Superwash Express, Best Tutoring, Once Upon a Child, Jukido Martial Arts, Temple Beth El, Warner Christian Academy, Little Feet Academy, MediQuick, Jurassic Quest, First Baptist Christian Academy, Florida Family Dentistry, Giant Recreation World, Community Partnership for Children, Help me Grow, Villaris Martial Arts, Healthy Start Coalition, Geico, PrimeCare Urgent Care, and Flagler School of Dance. We appreciate your business and are happy to welcome you into our family. Next month, we are bringing you a special magazine insert called “Florida Baby”. Our new magazine will cater to pregnancy, birth, babies and toddlers, showcasing products, services and ideas for young families. Including a Birth-Care Delivery Guide- a comprehensive guide providing moms-to-be information about every birth-care facility in and around our community. Florida Baby Magazine will give you all the tools you need to be informed and ready for the arrival of your baby. We cover everything from diet and exercise for moms-to-be (and dads, too!), to maternity fashion and must-have baby gear. Our expert advice helps you make the best decisions that are right for your family. Inside you’ll find: product reviews; local resources; ask an expert; recipes; DIY decor ideas and so much more! Call or email me for more information, advertising opportunities are available. Finally, don’t forget to log-on to our website or digital app and sign up for digital delivery to complement your print edition. You can view our editions directly from your smart phone, iPad, or tablet through newsstand. We appreciate support from our readers and advertisers, without you we could not continue to bring you the quality content and programs that you have come to expect from us. Wishing you and your family a great new school year! And, thank you for your continued support of our magazine!

Charlie 6 AUGUST 2017

Stephen Savidge


Marina Pierre 386-283-8005

Advertising Consultant

Megan Rizzo 386-931-6684 Flagler Parent, Volusia Parent, and St. Johns Parent Magazines are published by Brady Media, Inc. and are copyrighted 2008. Brady Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission from Brady Media, Inc. is prohibited. Flagler Parent and Volusia Parent reserve the right to reject advertisements or listings that are not in keeping with the publication’s satndard. Submissions are welcome, but the publisher assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited materials. Flagler Parent and Volusia Parent do not endorse or assume responsibility for information, products, services or statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The Flagler County or Volusia County School Boards are not affiliated with these publications in any manner, nor do they endorse ro assume any responsibility for any of the information or advertisements contained in therein.

Brady Media, Inc. 800 Belle Terre Parkway Ste. 200-207 Palm Coast, FL 32164 (386) 437-0300 Office (386) 246-2950 Fax Proud Member of

AUGUST 2017 7


in the


Math Madness Competition Friday, June 2, 2017 Flagler Schools congratulates all our competitors at this year’s Math Madness! This is a math competition for students in grades K through 6 at each of our elementary schools. We all know that learning addition/subtraction and multiplication is an essential part of our students’ elementary education. Students who master these skills gain a solid foundation in mathematics that will help them throughout middle school, high school, and beyond! The purpose of this county-wide event is to develop fluency and confidence with fact families, multiplication, and mental math skills. This year’s competition was held May 22nd at Wadsworth Elementary School. 8 AUGUST 2017

Our first place winner were: 3rd Grade: Robert Yost Old Kings Elementary 4th Grade: Jojo Taylor Rymfire Elementary 5th Grade: Tyler Grady Rymfire Elementary 6th Grade: Sebastian Azevado Wadsworth Elementary Principal: Marcus Sanfilippo Bunnell Elementary School

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Go Team!

10 Ways To Raise Good Sports During Dramatic Times by Christina Katz

In the reality television age, when contestants are either considered superstars-in-the-making or deserving of international ridicule, parents may struggle to instill basic teamwork principles in their children. So encouraging kids to become members of a team can help them constructively channel their energy and creativity, while learning about sportsmanship first-hand. Kids can learn new things about themselves through participation in teams of many stripes: sports, leadership, performing arts, robotics, debate, etc. Teams that uphold positive leadership can evoke skills kids did not even know they possessed. Contributing willingly to something greater than themselves often increases self-esteem and personal pride in participants.   Teamwork means the coordinated efforts of members of a group in the interests of a common cause. In order for a team to be successful, the will of the members must converge in support of a shared goal or task. A team is composed of individuals, who temporarily release self-interest to focus their energy in pursuit of a desire they could not achieve on their own. The timeline of a team can be short-term or long-term but it’s usually for a specific duration. Sportsmanship is a word that 10 AUGUST 2017

describes players on any type of team who participate with character and integrity.   Teamwork has not gone out of style. In fact, teamwork has never been more important than it is today. Sports teams rely on it, and so do schools, businesses, towns, states, countries, and international partnerships. Groups of every type can benefit from better teamwork among members from you local PTA to your family’s church or temple.  Perhaps you are hesitant about your

child making a commitment to a team and if so, I don’t blame you. It’s probably a good idea to weigh the pros and cons with your child before joining any team because of the time and focus required. Once you decide to go for it, however, never fear. The experience will likely challenge and stretch everyone involved. Keep these teamwork tips fresh in your mind and your entire family will have a better experience.

1. Commit wisely.  Join teams pursuing goals your child is passionate about. It’s great to be good at more than one thing, but resist the urge to over-commit to too many teams at once. If you and your child try to please every coach at once, you won’t be able to please any coaches at all.   2. Communicate consistently.  Conflicts, illnesses, and field trips are bound to happen. Try to manage expectations by communicating schedule conflicts to coaches as early as you can. Other parents may not bother, but you don’t want to be one of them.   3. Get in the spirit.  You have heard that attitude is everything, and nowhere is this saying more relevant than once your child becomes a team member. If you want your child to be a positive contributor, have regular conversations with him about how fortunate he is to be part of such an awesome group.

6. Stay open to constructive criticism.  Part of being on a team is responding to criticism. Feedback will not likely be given perfectly every time. The coach and team administrators are also not perfect. Members need to learn to take what is helpful in feedback and try to apply it to the best of their ability without pushback.   7. Bounce back from disappointments. Sitting the bench, getting cast as the understudy, making JV instead of varsity-kids need help finding the value in experiences that don’t thrust them immediately into a spotlight. Help them find the silver lining, so they can maximize it as they keep growing.

  8. Cultivate courtesy.  Sometimes you have to say, “Good game,” when you don’t feel that way.Coaches expect kids to park their pouting and behave with humility. Increase the odds your kids will be on their best behavior by being impeccable in your behavior, too. Cultivate your family’s reputation as team players and you will raise good sports.

  9. Take confusion to the top. 

Coaches love engaged, enthusiastic players. Assume your child, no matter how capable, has not yet mastered the entire skill set. Skills are an ongoing journey. If your child does not have more to learn, than maybe it’s time to graduate from the team.   5. Contribute your best.  We need to ditch the idea that some people are natural born players and others are not. Anyone can contribute something to a team if she follows her innate instinct to be generous. Discuss the difference between giving whole-heartedly and brown-nosing with your kids so they understand the difference.  

Misunderstanding? Miscommunication? Miffed for any reason? Wait 24 hours before you fire off that email. Taking out your anger or frustration on the coach or administrators hurts your child’s reputation and yours. So compose yourself and ask for help in understanding the situation before you demand heads on a platter.   10. Encourage new members.  When you and your child became part of the team, you looked to others to learn the ropes. Once your rookie becomes a veteran, it’s your turn to welcome new members and families. Stick out your hand, introduce yourself, and offer whatever assistance you can. There is only one rule: keep your comments constructive.  

4. Be an eager learner. 

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If You Want To Raise A Good Sport, Don’t...   Be two-faced.  Showing one face in public and then talking smack about the coach or teammates at home is confusing to kids. So don’t do it.   Hover.  Your child is on the team; you are not. Sometime the coach needs you around but most of the time she does not. Parents play a supporting role and can ask for clarification as to what helpful looks like whenever unsure.   Stroke your child’s ego.  Let your child strengthen his own ego through participating fully. You don’t need to make a child feel superior to others. In fact, over-praising will undermine a player’s natural desire to progress.   Grouse.   Appreciating the coach, the administrators, and the teammates will lead to family optimism. Kvetching, complaining, and grumbling will only inspire cynicism. Choose wisely.   Imagine your child is the only one who matters.  How many members of the extended team are there? How many coaches? How many are there on the support staff? How many parent volunteers? Show appreciation and support for everyone involved. Nobody enjoys diva behavior.              Merely focus on winning.  Teams win some and lose some. Your child will have to learn to deal with emotions related to both extremes. Don’t be surprised if you are balancing cockiness as much as discouragement because kids may not have the ability to handle emotional highs and lows without guidance.

Overstay your child’s enthusiasm.  When the thrill of being on the team is gone, it’s time to move on. Don’t make the mistake of staying on a team when your child is no longer feeling the love. But never leave in a huff or quit when things don’t go your way. Instead, leave graciously when it’s a natural time to choose differently.

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Encouragements That Build Sportsmanship To your child:

To the team:

I am so proud of your efforts.

Way to come out strong!

I could tell you did your best.

Keep your chins up!

Thank you for being such a good sport.

You’ve got this!

You really came back strong.

Way to finish strong!

Your hard work is paying off.

Way to do your best!

Way to be a supportive teammate. You are growing so much; keep it up. Mantras to memorize: It’s not whether you win or lose; it’s knowing you did your best. You’ll win some and you’ll lose some, but always be a good sport. It’s easy to get swept up in the drama, so take a deep breath and just play. Acknowledge your mistakes without being hard on yourself. Be the first one to tell a teammate, “That’s okay. Shake it off.” Forget your mistakes, forget your record, and just have a good time out there. Celebrate everything you do well while working to improve any weaknesses. Teams are works in progress. They are never finished and they are never done. Enjoy being an enthusiastic member of the team; that’s where the memories are.     What’s Going To Work? Teamwork! If your child wants to join any type of team, she is going to get a crash course in sportsmanship. Parents need to remember the games teams play are opportunities for members to grow. Most coaches know that developing skills and character are just as important as playing well. Unfortunately, team members sometimes bring negativity, distraction, and dissipation into a team. Never underestimate the static even one unhappy team member can create. Kids-and their parents-who consistently undermine team goals are considered poor sports. Families that care about the team, can all grow together. Families that don’t care to grow, should probably find other pursuits.

AUGUST 2017 13


Back-To-School, Back-To-You by Christina Katz

School is back in session and after-school activities are starting to kick in. Suddenly, besides the before-school shuffle and the after-school shuffle, stay-at-home parents suddenly have a lot more kid-free time. But time is tricky-there never seems to be enough of it no matter how much you have. And somehow, even though the kids are in school again, their needs and schedules always take priority.  Sound familiar? If so, this might be a good opportunity to make time for you a priority, as well. Before your newly kid-free schedule starts filling up to overflowing, put a few want-to’s at the top of your priority list. Here’s a few ideas to get you started: Journal. Journaling can help you get in touch with your personal priorities. Just remember: there is no right way to do it. So whether your scrawl page after page at a rapid clip, cut and paste images into a blank book with inspirational quotes, play with images you admire on Pinterest, or keep carefully scrapbooked records of all that has recently transpired, reflective time will calm and center your mind.   Energize.  Take a yoga class, a dance class, or swim laps. You can also run, walk, and bike outside and enjoy some of the most beautiful weather of the year. Exercise the way you 14 AUGUST 2017

should (aerobic exercise plus strength training) and the way you want (enjoying the season outside on your way to the gym) and double the payoff.   Learn.  Feeling bored at home? Perhaps there’s a class you’ve been dying to take. With the kids back in school and so many classes offered online, there’s no longer room for excuses. Online classes are also a great way to connect with like-minded others who might not live in your neighborhood. You can find just about any kind of class in a wide range of prices, so hop online and start searching.

Earn.  If the economy isn’t rebounding fast enough to create the quality of life your family enjoys, a part-time job might be just the ticket to increasing your household income. After a few classes in the same field, you might be able to turn a skill you learn online into a part-time, work-at-home income. Just be shrewd about how much time and money you invest up front before you start counting on profits. Plan ahead to determine what you can reasonably earn from your investment, so you can manage your expectations accordingly.  

Accomplish.  Make a list of all the major strides you intend to make between now and the end of the year. Then break each project into steps. Clip the master list to a clipboard you can keep handy. If you check even a few things off the list each school day when the kids are out from under, big projects will eventually get done. If you are not a list maker, just try to get three things done each day, including one thing you really would rather not do, and you’ll find yourself more productive in no time.   Express.  If you are so busy nurturing everyone else’s creative growth that you start feeling out of touch with your own, remedy the situation with some singing, art, dance, writing or whatever ways you enjoy expressing yourself. Why not set up a special work area for yourself at home or rent a space in a co-op or studio with access to the kind of equipment you need? Be sure to work your creative outlet into your weekday schedule.   Enrich.  The concept of the “Artist’s Date” in Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, suggests spending five bucks on yourself in a way that stimulates your creative juices. It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself wandering around a store, with five bucks burning in your pocket to spend on yourself for a change. Take an hour and try it.   Connect.  Now is your chance to schedule some playtime with your friends. Who do you genuinely miss seeing or speaking with? Get back in touch via videophone, cell phone, a coffee shop chat, a spa visit, a lunch date or a shopping trip. Don’t delay. The pre-holiday rush will be here before we know it.   Indulge.  You don’t have to do anything, if doing nothing is what you really need. That novel you never finished this summer? Curl up on the couch and relish every word. That family album you swore you’d complete in time for ordering holiday gifts? Finish it up. Relaxing means different things to different people. Ask yourself what would make you feel happy and relaxed and then do that.  

Books For Balanced Moms Are you so busy you are not sure what you need most? Pick up one of these books for inspiration to slow down and get centered:

A Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The Art of Extreme Self-Care, Transform Your Life One Month At A Time  by Cheryl Richardson

The Balanced Mom, Raising Your Kids Without Losing Yourself  by Bria Simpson

The Mother’s Guide To Self-Renewal  by Renee Peterson Trudeau

A Moment’s Peace: A Mom’s Guide To Creating Calm Amidst Chaos  by Elizabeth Irvine

AUGUST 2017 15

Earns Asthma-Friendly Hospital Recognition “We are pleased to announce Orange Park Medical Center is the first hospital in the state to earn Asthma-Friendly Hospital Recognition! We commend your efforts to help those living with asthma and improve their overall health and well-being,” Florida Asthma Coalition.


Florida Asthma Coalition has announced Orange Park Medical Center as the first and only asthma-friendly hospital in the state. Florida Asthma Coalition recognizes the valuable role hospitals play in caring for patients with asthma and developed the Asthma-Friendly Hospital Recognition by collaborating with administrative, clinical, and supportive partners across the state. “Asthma is the leading cause of pediatric visits to our emergency room so this is a huge win for Orange Park Medical Center. I am so proud to work with a team that makes helping those that live with asthma a priority. The high level of asthma care we are able to offer is due to the collaborative efforts of our physicians, respiratory therapists, pediatric and emergency department nurses and pharmacists,” said Orange Park Medical Center’s Director of Respiratory Therapy. The steps taken by hospitals to earn this recognition helps to significantly reduce unnecessary hospital visits, re-admissions, and overall health outcomes due to asthma.

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Orange Park Medical Center, serving Clay County and its surrounding communities, is a full-service, acute care hospital with 317 inpatient beds. Orange Park Medical Center is a Joint Commission Top-Performing Hospital, ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country for heart, lung and surgical care. For more information about services, facilities and physicians, please visit

ABOUT FLORIDA ASTHMA COALITION The Florida Asthma Coalition works to improve asthma outcomes and reduce associated costs for Floridians. The Florida Asthma Coalition is a state-wide group of volunteers, committed to improving the health and quality of life for Floridians with asthma. Coalition members include representatives from local/community asthma coalitions, state and local governmental agencies, childcare centers, schools and school districts, PTAs, clinicians, hospitals, advocacy groups, health care plans, non-profit organizations, and individuals with asthma and those who care for them.


t’s summertime! That’s right, it’s time for the annual trip to the beautiful Florida Keys! Okay, sometimes it’s the second or third trip because we love it so much. This time we are searching for the Ultimate Family Vacation fun spots for you, our readers. In the next few pages you will read about two of our resort stays; The Islander Resort and Hawks Cay Resort plus some of our adventures along the way. This year we tried to add some of our bucket list items, like kayaking in the shallow waters of the back county and visiting the iconic Robbie’s for some Tarpon feeding. You will also read about two unique stops, the History of Diving Museum and our voyage on The African Queen. We hope our journey will inspire those of you who have yet to experience the beauty and wonder of the Florida Keys to start planning a trip of your own as soon as possible. From Key Largo to Key West, you can’t go wrong. We’ll be back next month with fun stories about our second week from the Lower Keys and Key West!

AUGUST 2017 17


he perfect Florida Keys vacation getaway and sport fishing destination, Islander Resort, the newest Guy Harvey Outpost Resort, is ideal for vacationing with friends and family, as well as the perfect spot for a wedding, a romantic getaway or believe it or not, a business meeting. Islamorada gives you the best in boating, fishing, diving and dining. The pet-friendly Islander Resort offers families oceanfront rooms, suites and Lanai Villas set on, a 1300-foot private coral sand beach, a picnic area with grills, a saltwater pool and zero entry freshwater pool. Kids will

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enjoy checking out the local marine life and maybe throw in a line from the resort’s 200-foot lighted fishing pier. They offer on-site watersports

activities such as boat rentals, aqua cycles, rafts and snorkeling gear as well as bicycle rentals for those who want to explore the area. As we reached Islamorada, I told my son to start looking for the big funky iconic motel sign. I was excited to bring him back to this resort and show him the first resort pool we brought him to as a toddler. After we checked in, we made our way to our villa, where we were greeted by the local iguanas walking though the courtyards. It was apparent that the property had been renovated as Guy Harvey artwork was everywhere

— the gift shop, bedroom walls, bedspreads and even parking spaces. In 2013, the resort was rebranded the Islander as a Guy Harvey Outpost. Renovations to the 20-acre property included new banquet facilities, a new gift shop and the Guy Harvey Beachside Bar and Grill next to the pool. As well as the addition of the Florida History and Discovery Center. Located near the Islander’s main office in a new 7,500-square-foot building, the Discovery Center shares exhibits and archives featuring the environment, wildlife and history of the Keys with visitors. This was a great first stop on our week-long journey through the keys as a family. There is truth to the Jimmy Buffet song, “Changes in Lattitude, Changes in Attitude”! The Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost, 82100 Overseas Highway, Islamorada: All villas have kitchenettes and lanais. The resort includes two pools, a hot tub and watersports activities. There are two restaurants, Bonefish Flats, for breakfast only, and Guy’s Beachside Bar and Grill with a view of the ocean. Summer rates start around $189. They also offer Bayside Townhomes and Boat slips. One mile from the Islander on the island’s bayside, it includes 25 two-bedroom cottages. Rates start at $269. AUGUST 2017 19


xplore the Keys in a completely new way by touring the backcountry.

Enjoy an all-inclusive backcountry experience that will take you on an easy 20-minute motorboat trip to an ideal kayaking and swimming hideaway. Perfect for all ages, families and individuals alike can partake in this unique and exclusive adventure tour with friendly owner and expert guide of 15 years, Captain Andrea Paulson.

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Up to six people can tour together from 4 hours or longer depending on your interests. This experience is a wonderful way to spend a day in the Florida Keys viewing birds and aquatic life in a natural serene habitat. Sea Kayaking is the best way to experience the Keys! Kayaking is a great form of exercise and the perfect way to enjoy the peaceful backcountry off Sugarloaf Key and get back to nature. Captain Andrea provides a unique and wonderful trip through the mangrove is-

lands of the Lower Florida Keys and Sugarloaf Key area. Kayaks for one or two people at a time are provided along with instruction and a guided tour of many of the interesting plants, birds and aquatic life that exists here including tropical fish, turtles, dolphins, and more. Located at the Sugarloaf Marina at Mile Marker 17 in Sugarloaf Key, a short beautiful drive from Key West. Escape the crowds and discover what the Florida Keys are really about, REELAXing!

About Captain Andrea Paulson You’ll find Captain Andrea Paulson at the Sugarloaf Marina at Mile Marker 17 on Sugarloaf Key. She has been in business as a charter boat captain for a few years now. She started out doing these backcountry trips to keep her and other wives of fisherman in the neighborhood busy for a day. Now she offers custom backcountry excursions for anyone interested in the beautiful waters and mangrove islands of the Lower Florida Keys. Your Trip Each trip is customized so the departure time varies. She has a boat with a 10-foot beam to accommodate the kayaks, cooler, beach chairs and even has wheelchair accessibility. There are many reasons why people choose Reelax Charters but some of them are to get a better perspective of the Florida Keys and the nature of the surroundings here. Others want a romantic trip where they can comb beaches, kayak, and just have some quality time together.

Captain Andrea Paulson REELAX CHARTERS Sugarloaf Key Marina, MM17 305-744-0263 or 305-304-1392 AUGUST 2017 21

Exploring the Deep at the

Sailing Aboard the

History of Diving Museum

African Queen



he History of Diving Museum on Islamorada traces the history of underwater exploration back thousands of years. Browse the 13 interactive galleries to

see diving paraphernalia and relics recovered from the ocean floor and visit the museum’s aquarium to see tropical fish. As you vacation in the Florida Keys, which is surrounded by some of the world’s best dive sites, you’re likely to grow curious about the origins of this increasingly popular sport. A visit to the History of Diving Museum is sure to answer all your questions about scuba diving. Drs. Joseph and Sally Bauer, the founders of the History of Diving Museum, both trained as marine biologists and became diving historians. The History of Diving Museum is located at mile marker 83 on U.S. Route 1 and is best reached by car or on foot from other parts of Islamorada. There is free parking outside the museum. An admission fee applies. Special rates for seniors and groups are available. Active military and children under age 5 are admitted free. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days. To gain real insider knowledge, call ahead to arrange a guided tour. 22 AUGUST 2017

he newly restored African Queen is again plying the waters of beautiful Key Largo offering daily canal cruises which depart from the Marina Del Mar ma-

rina at mile marker 100 in Key Largo. Get comfortable and watch her steam pressure build to take you on a sightseeing cruise along the Port Largo Canals to the ocean where you will about turn and head back. Ask the Captain for a turn at the helm and enjoy her whistle blowing along the way. Take a canal cruise. 1.5 Hour cruise that departs from the Marina Del Mar and travels down the Port Largo Canals to the Atlantic Ocean before turning around to return. Or take a dinner cruise, 2 hour cruise that departs from the Marina Del Mar and travels down the Port Largo Canals to the Pilot House Marina and restaurant where you will disembark to enjoy a specially prepared three course menu before boarding the vessel again to return to the Marina Del Mar. Gratuities are included in the ticket price. The African Queen 305-451-8080 or 305-896-8004 99701 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037

Feeding the Tarpon at

Robbie’s of Islamorada


e have been traveling to the keys now for over 10 years. Once the blue green waters come into sight we can’t wait to get to our hotel so we can start enjoying all that this beautiful oasis has to offer. There has always been one place on my bucket list, Robbie’s! Every time we pass Robbie’s, we promise ourselves that we’ll stop on the way back. Well what better time to check it out, than when we’re researching awesome destinations for our readers! Here’s what they have to say… “Welcome to Robbie’s Marina of Islamorada, home of the world-famous tarpon feeding!” What they’re referring to is the school of more than 100 tarpon that come here daily and linger for hours. Occasionally, a tarpon rises from the water in a powerful flash of silver and green to meet the fish as it leaves your hand. It’s a sight to behold! Maybe the “Silver Kings” just come here to see the humans, but toss a baitfish among them and the water churns as these monsters and the resident pelicans vie for the snack, causing quite a spectacle. Create memorable moments with your family and friends enjoying a few hours by the water exploring all Robbie’s has to offer. You can find Robbie’s in Islamorada at 77522 Overseas Hwy. Admission to the dock is $2 per person, and each bucket of fish is $3 (tax not included). AUGUST 2017 23


ur travels ended with one of our favorite locations, Hawks Cay Resort. You will find Hawks Cay located about halfway between Key Largo and Key West. Situated on the secluded and intimate isle of Duck Key - where guests can enjoy watching both the sunrise and sunset - the resort is the ideal vacation spot for families, couples and groups interested in the quintessential Florida Keys experience, centered on fun in the sun with virtually every water- related activity imaginable. This year marks our fifth trip to the beautiful oasis, geared largely toward families, sportsmen, and boaters. Each day there is a calendar jam-packed with resort activities, from paddle boarding and yoga to scavenger hunts and marshmallows at the fire pit. Hawks Cay features 60 acres of para24 AUGUST 2017

dise with a collection of 250 two- and three-bedroom Hawks Cay Villas are perfect for groups and families. Most villas feature complete kitchens with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances and oversized decks with water views. Four restaurants, a saltwater lagoon, five swimming pools and an award-winning spa, as well as onsite water sports, fishing charters and Dolphin Connection facility. The centerpiece of Coral Cay, the adventures and activities center for younger guests, is the Pirate Ship Pool, complete with slides, tunnels and water shooting cannons. With a shallow beach-style entry and only reaching a depth of eight inches, the Pirate Ship Pool is a great place for babies and toddlers to splash around and explore while the older children are at the helm of the ship. It’s a great idea to sign the kiddos up for

Camp Hawk Educational Program. They offer activities with educational components. Kids can participate in noodle races as well as arts and crafts activities, play video games, or just chill out with a fully trained staff. The resort also offers bike rentals, sports fields, and volleyball and basketball courts, and the Dolphin experiences are top-notch for kids. There are 90-minute sunset boat rides that serve as a good orientation to the Keys. There’s also snorkeling, Segway tours, mini golf, beach volleyball, SNUBA courses (for kids ages 8 and up), feeding the resident tarpon, or taking a fishing trip and then eating the caught fish for dinner — what the resort calls “Hook & Cook.” There’s always something exciting happening at Hawks Cay in The Florida Keys.



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No more



7 Simple Ways To Raise Conscientious Students By Christina Katz

Homework serves many helpful purposes. Students learn how to follow through on lessons taught in the classroom. Homework tests a student’s comprehension of material that has already been covered in class so that learning gaps can be caught early. Finally, homework teaches kids how to focus in locations outside of school. Being able to settle down and get to work on a project is a skill that serves students not only in school and throughout the rest of their lives.   Like it or not, parents, homework is an important part of school and learning. Over an academic career, the amount of work your child brings home will gradually increase as a student progresses through the grades. Homework will also become more challenging and complex as the years go by. Many parents are surprised when they can no longer confidently answer their child’s homework questions, especially in math, but don’t let this throw you.   Of course, you are not the person who needs to complete your child’s homework. You are the person who can help create a space at home where your student can apply focused concentration in the completion of assigned tasks. If you want the transition from school to homework to go as smoothly as possible, be forewarned, you are going to need to monitor your behavior as much as your child’s. If you follow these simple tips you can help all your children avoid homework hassles.   1. Be pro-homework.  Whatever you do, parents, do not get down on the idea of homework. If you do, you might implicitly grant your student permission to dismiss it, too. If your child cannot handle the load that is considered typical for each grade, discuss your child’s challenges with the teacher. However a generally negative or

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critical attitude towards learning, teachers or school only will only undermine your child’s ability to prioritize homework.   2. Make space for each student.  If you have more than one student doing homework, try to create a separate space for each of them to work. The goal of homework is to take students out of a group environment and teach them to work independently. If others are always nearby creating distractions or trying to help, students won’t get a chance to see what they can accomplish on their own steam. Of course, some homework is meant to be collaborative. Look to your student for invitations to participate. Otherwise try to give each student space where they can spread out and concentrate uninterrupted for the appropriate amounts of time recommended for their grade. Declare quite time in the house until every student has had time to complete work.   3. Participate but don’t take over. Sometimes you will be invited to participate in homework, but more often, your child needs to see what can be accomplished alone. Even when you are invited to pitch in, let students lead the collaboration process. Make sure you are the helper, not the boss. Once you take over your child’s homework, it’s difficult to get them to reclaim responsibility. After all, you can get it done so much faster and more accurately than they can. So be mindful about not taking over in the first place. If your child is lost or confused about homework instructions, seek out teacher input to help get your student back on track.

4. Encourage routine.  Use the first few weeks of the school year to establish a set routine for getting homework done throughout the year. Your child might be crabby or tired during the first weeks of school as they adjust to new schedules and juggling more responsibilities than they did during the summer. But resist the urge to make exceptions to the expected homework routine in the first few weeks, as these habits set the tone for the rest of the school year. In fact, you will likely find yourself going through a homework adjustment period after each school vacation throughout the year. Stand firm that homework is the first priority when students return home each weekday. Homework for Mondays can be completed on Fridays or Sundays, according on what works best for your student and family.    5. Take advantage of student-teacher interaction.  Some children are more shy than others. Other children may have trouble listening carefully to homework instructions in class. Others may forget to write down assignments or leave needed materials behind at school. Try to see all of these homework pitfalls as opportunities for your child’s growth. Don’t interfere unless you have to. Conspire with your child’s teacher to work together to help your student overcome unproductive habits. Don’t get down on your child. Instead, brainstorm with the teacher about ways to inspire improved academic performance. Teachers always have plenty of experience in this department.  

  6. Check grades regularly.  At some point, your child’s grades will be posted online with the expectation that students and parents will keep up with academic progress. When this happens, it means that you won’t likely hear from teachers beyond parent-teacher conferences and report cards. The onus falls on parents to help students monitor each child’s progress in classes and address any discrepancies in grading. Don’t merely check your child’s quiz and test scores. Students are expected to turn in homework in a timely manner and to participate in class in addition to working hard on quizzes, tests, and projects. Don’t let a few misplaced homework assignments bring your child’s grades down.   7. Use tutors as needed.  Despite your best intentions and your child’s best efforts, you may find yourself in need of a tutor during the school year, the summer, or even throughout the year. One of the best things we ever did for our daughter was to say yes to suggestions from teachers to enlist extra help beyond the school day. Academic challenges often show up during the elementary school years and when they are met with helpfulness instead of judgment, academic frustration can be addressed and improved swiftly, especially when parents and teachers work together. Remember you are not your child and seek the type of help most likely to remedy the situation. If you find yourself taking your child’s disappoints too personally, working with a tutor is your opportunity to demonstrate detachment and humility for your child. Life presents challenges to us all. How we meet them determines how successful we will be in school and in life.

Don’t Forget Class Participation Another way parents can really help students succeed in school is by encouraging them to participate in class. Teachers can’t stress enough how important it is for children to be involved in class discussions and debates. The key is to start early. Start the pep talks as early as Kindergarten and keep bringing up ways to participate all through elementary school. When asking about the school day, ask about ways your child participated in class. If your child is shy, encourage babysteps that will help them become more involved. If you remember to do this frequently throughout elementary school, the habit will be ingrained by the time kids start middle school. This way your child will learn from experience that students who participate do better academically and enjoy school more overall.

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Get the latest answers, activities and videos related to hot science questions such as How are bones made? What’s a booger? Or Why is the ocean salty? Planet Smarty Pants: is a blog written by an enthusiastic mom and filled with hundreds of activities exploring science, engineering and art. Great literature supporting STEM projects are offered as well as the everyday activities she and her daughter do at home. Ages 9- tweens Design Squad: Is a reality-based show in which teens aged fifteen to nineteen tackle real-life design problems. They design machines to solve problems. The teens compete to win college scholarship money. May be interesting to teens as well as the 9-12 group. Cyber-Chase: Jackie, Matt and Inez are earthlings who have been pulled into a digital universe. They work together to keep their motherboard safe from Hacker. Math, weather and environmental knowledge help them solve their problems.

Get Your STEM On: Best Sites for Science-minded Kids

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: STEM. That’s what the education buzz is about these days. And with good reason. The future job market for your young learners will most likely rely heavily on the problem solving and technical skills that go with these subjects. Your kids love their screen time. Why not direct them to programs, games and sites that will teach them important educational skills along with having a great time? Here are some of the best games and websites for interacting with science, technology and mathematics skills.

Ages 3-5 Sesame Street: Yes, the favorite of pre-schoolers for generations, has updated their programming to include more than the alphabet. Now you’ll find problem-solving, nature and environmental issues as well as science and engineering segments on this classic OPB program. Peg + Cat: This animated math-based site is found at The songs, activities and interactive games make learning math skills a ton of fun. Nina and the Neurons: is available from BBC. It’s chock full of basic science,

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engineering and coding games, plus songs, videos and activities available in both Spanish and English. Hands on proof that science is fun. Ages 5-8 The Odd Squad: Another offering from PBS Kids, this show follows two young agents, Olive and Otto as they save the day using math skills. Each episode is twelve minutes long and full of great math insights for kids. Ask Dr. Universe: Join Dr. Wendy Sue Universe of Washington State University on her site found at

STEM Collaborative: This site has four major components: math by design, road trip, scale city and proportionland. Each module offers virtual environments, simulations, videos and interactive math challenges. High School Xploration Outer Space: This two hour program is produced by Emily Calandrelli, a former NASA employee. It is shown on FOX affiliate stations. Each of the four half-hour blocks focuses on STEM topics related to space exploration. Sparticl: This site is a treasure trove of information for teen-aged learners. It’s divided into living things, matter and energy, body and brain, tech and invention and earth and space. Each section contains informative articles, videos, and experiments to try at home. Most of these websites and programs are interactive and very entertaining. Be sure to set an expectation for hands-on, real-life projects done in your home as well as screen learning. Kids love to experiment and problem-solve. These sites are a great way to get their creative juices flowing and take them into the world of real-life applications of STEM learning.

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Build a family webpage. Help your child design a free family website using platforms like uKit, Wordpress, Weebly, Wix or Squarespace. Some of these sites are more user-friendly than others. Check around to see what would work best for your youngster. Direct a movie. Kids love to play with video. Show them applications like iMovie (Mac), which gives them an opportunity to choose templates, edit, add audio and share their short films. Slo-mo and Timelapse are also fun video features on many smartphones. On Timelapse, my kids like to record themselves cleaning up their room. They get a kick out of going back and watching the process in fast-forward. (That’s a win for parents too!)

Digital Designers: Creative Ways Techy Kids Can Express Themselves Sick of the amount of time your kids are spending on video games this summer? When boredom strikes, give your digitally-charmed youngster a summer time project that enhances their technical skills while also fostering their creativity. by Christa Melnyk Hines

Write a digital storybook. Introduce your young storyteller to which features illustrations that kids can use for story inspiration. They can write and design picture books, long form stories or write poetry. Subscription-based monthly writing challenges can help boost a child’s literacy skills. Young authors can choose to keep their work private, publish it to Storybird’s public library, share it on social media, email it to friends and family, or print off the books for special keepsakes or gifts. Other story sites include and Draw comic strips. The StripDesigner app enables kids to take pictures of their artwork or upload photos to create their own comic strips using the site’s comic book template. They can play with fonts and filters and write dialogue in speech balloons. Also check out the family friendly website MakeBeliefsComix.comcreated by Bill Zimmerman. The free site provides writing prompts for kids, comic strip templates and suggestions for family activities. Younger children might like Superhero Comic Book Maker and Princess Fairy Tale Maker available at, which are designed 30 AUGUST 2017

for kids who aren’t writing yet. Create a digital photo book. Ask your kids for help in putting together a photo memory book of your family’s vacation. Or suggest they take photos throughout the summer and make photo books in August. Have them include captions of the places you visited, the things they learned, and short anecdotes. Walmart, Picaboo and Shutterfly are a few sites that offer templates for photo books. Play with music. From Garage Band on Mac for older kids to for younger ones, turn kids on to playing around with pitch, tone and rhythm. Many teens love the app which lets them lip sync to popular music, browse videos and share their videos. (Be aware that some song lyrics in contain swearing and sexual content. The app can be adjusted to protect privacy and users don’t have to share their videos.) Start a family newspaper. My 12-yearold son likes to write up short “ripped from the headlines” news briefs, family news and car advertisements. He also draws cartoons for a “funnies” section. My son prefers to use GoogleDocs so that he can easily email or print his paper, but Word or Pages (Mac) also offers templates for newsletters.

Create a digital slide show. On your next family field trip or vacation, provide your child with an inexpensive digital camera if they don’t have access to smartphone. Afterwards they can upload their photos to your computer and create a digital slideshow with music, transitions and creative fonts. Check out smilebox. com, iPhoto, or Movavi. Start a blog. Help your budding artist, writer or photographer start a private family blog where they can share their work with family and friends. If your child likes to cook, suggest she take photos during each step of the cooking process and post her recipes onto the blog. For a group of friends who love to read, watch movies or play video games, suggest setting up a group blog that they can use to take turns posting book, movie or video game reviews. Snap a photo a day. Using apps like “Photo 365” or “Everyday app”, have your child take a photo a day throughout the summer. Choose a specific subject like a tree, a seed that they plant, their puppy or kitten, a sibling or take daily selfies. At the end of the summer, watch the subject in a quick time lapse. How does the subject matter change over the course of the season? Get curious. Check out a list of sites for kids featuring links to art, science, music, games, sports and more at As always, ensure that your kids are taking appropriate personal safety precautions to protect their identity and location while online. Unsure about an app or online platform? Check out

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JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it. Two Reels – Coulda been a contender Three Reels – Something to talk about. Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick! Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

Movies for kids and teens in August include a new “Nut Job” movie, a Stephen King adaptation, an inspiring dance movie and more. Let’s take a closer look. THE DARK TOWER Rated PG-13 for thematic material, including sequences of gun violence and action. In theaters 8/4. Ok for kids 13+. Reel Preview: Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” is the most ambitious and expansive story from one of the world’s most celebrated authors. Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) is an 11-year-old adventure seeker who discovers clues about another dimension called Mid-World. Upon following the mystery, he is spirited away to Mid-World where he encounters a Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), who is on a quest to reach the “Dark Tower” that resides in End-World and is the nexus point between time and space that he hopes will save the world. But with various monsters and a vicious sorcerer named Walter o’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), the Man in Black hot on their trail, the unlikely duo find their quest difficult to complete. Directed by Nikolaj Arcel, this movie also stars Jackie Earle Haley, Claudia Kim and Abbey Lee. LEAP! Rated PG for some impolite humor and action. In theaters 8/30. Ok for kids 6+. Reel Preview: It’s 1884 and a young orphaned girl arrives in Paris from Brittany. Félicie Milliner is 11 and has no money, but she does have one big, passionate dream: to become a dancer. With nothing left to lose, Félicie takes a big risk: she “borrows a spoiled brat’s identity and enters the Opera Ballet School. Mentored by the tough and mysterious cleaner Odette, Félicie learns that talent is not enough – it takes hard work and friendship to be better than her ruthless, conniving fellow students. Felicie’s inventive, exhausting and charismatic best friend Victor also has a dream: to become a famous inventor. Together, they encourage each other to reach for the stars. Elle Fanning, Nat Wolff, Carly Rae Jepsen and Kate McKinnon are among the voice talent for this inspiring movie. 32 AUGUST 2017

THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE Rated PG for action and some rude humor. In theaters 8/11. Ok for kids 6+. Reel Preview: Surly Squirrel (Will Arnett) and the “Nut Job” gang are back! The story takes place once again in Oakton, where the evil mayor has decided to bulldoze Liberty Park and build a dangerous amusement park in its place. Surly and his ragtag group of animal friends must band together to save their home, defeat the mayor, and take back the park! Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Jackie Chan and Jeff Dunham are among the voice talent for this cute movie, directed by Cal Brunker. THE GLASS CASTLE Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and for some language and smoking. In theaters 8/11. Ok for kids 13+. Reel Preview: Based on the New York Times best-selling 2005 memoir by Jeannette Walls, this movie chronicles the adventures of an eccentric, resilient and tight-knit family. Brie Larson stars as a young woman who, influenced by the joyfully wild nature of her deeply dysfunctional father (Woody Harrelson), finds the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, this movie also stars Naomi Watts, Max Greenfield and Sarah Snook. STEP Rated PG for thematic elements and some language. In theaters 8/4. Ok for kids 8+. Reel Preview: This documentary follows the senior year of a girls’ high-school step dance team set against the background of inner-city Baltimore. As each dancer tries to become the first in their family to attend college, the girls strive to make their dancing a success while social unrest embroils the troubled city. Directed by Amanda Lipitz, this movie features Blessin Giraldo, Cori Grainger, Tayla Solomon, Gari McIntyre and Paula Dofat.

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Thanks to For participating in our fashion section this month!

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St. Johns County School News New Principal Appointments “I am extremely proud of this group of leaders and their ability to take on new challenges,” said Superintendent Mr. Tim Forson. “Their dedication to children is unparalleled and I look forward to working with them as principals of their respective schools. I am also honored to welcome Linda Edel to the St. Johns County School District family and know that she will be a great asset to this exemplary team of leaders.” Bethany Mitidieri, principal at The Webster School, has been named the new principal of Wards Creek Elementary (WCE) replacing Edie Jarrell who was named as the new principal of Cunningham Creek Elementary (CCE) last week. Mitidieri joined the SJCSD as principal of The Webster School in 2012. Prior to this she served as principal of Suwannee Intermediate School in Live Oak. Mitidieri has worked with Exceptional Student Education (ESE) programs as a teacher and administrator since 1995 in school districts within New York and Florida. Mitidieri holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, NY, and a master’s degree from State University College at New Paltz.

Linda Edel has been named as the new principal of Timberlin Creek Elementary (TCE). She will replace Traci Hemingway who was named the new principal of Liberty Pines Academy (LPA). Edel has almost 20 years in education and most recently served as the principal at Central Elementary School in Beaver Falls, Pa. Prior to this position she was an elementary teacher in Beaver Falls and New Brighton, Pa. Edel holds a bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University of Pa and a master’s degree from Slippery Rock University. She also holds a K-12 principal certification from Slippery Rock University.

Dr. Paul Goricki, principal at John A. Crookshank Elementary (CES), will join the district administration as a principal on assignment. His new role will include working with the student support services and curriculum and instruction departments. Linda Edel

Goricki has more than 30 years of experience in education. He began his career as an elementary teacher in Kalamazoo, Michigan and earned his first principalship also in Kalamazoo. He served as a principal in Salisbury, Md.; Easton, Md.; Charlestown, N.H.; and Newark, Del. While in N.H., Goricki was the principal of four schools simultaneously in the Alstead Attendance Area. In 1997, he joined the SJCSD as the principal at Julington Creek Elementary and in 2005 opened Hickory Creek Elementary (HCE) as principal before joining CES as its leader in 2014. Goricki holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. He also holds a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale.

Antonio Scott, principal of Cashell Elementary in Rockville, Md, has been named the new principal of W.D. Hartley Elementary. Scott will replace Joy Taylor who is retiring at the conclusion of this school year. Scott began his career in education in 2001 as a teacher in Brooklyn, NY. He then became a dance specialist for grades K-5 also in Brooklyn. His elementary teaching career also included opportunities in Fairfax, Va and Germantown, Md. Scott then became the assistant principal at Whetstone Elementary in Gaithersburg, Md where he spent five years. He also spent two years as a principal intern before being named the principal of Cashell Elementary in 2015. Prior to teaching he spent 11 years as a principal dancer, composer, rehearsal director and the lead dancer and company teacher at Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Alvin Ailey Dance Theater both in New York, NY. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pa; a master’s degree from Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, Ny and a master’s degree from Shenandoah University, Winchester, Va.

Bethany Groves, principal of HCES, has been named the new principal of The Webster School. She will replace Mitidieri who will become the principal of WCE. Groves began her career in 1994 as an elementary teacher in Kentucky, and then continued as a teacher for eight years at Southwest Elementary in Indiana. In 2006, Groves moved to St. Johns County where she taught at Julington Creek Elementary School before serving as an administrator for seven years at CES, HCES and R.J. Murray Middle School, respectively. In 2014 she joined HCE as principal. Groves holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, a master’s degree from Northern Kentucky University and Educational Leadership Certification from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Dr. Fred Oberkehr, assistant principal at Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS), has been named the new principal of PVHS replacing Steve McCormick who was named as the new principal of Creekside High School.

Dr. Fred Oberkehr

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Oberkehr has served in public education since 1989 and joined the St. Johns County School District as assistant principal at PVHS in 2015. He began his career as a mathematics teacher at the middle and high school levels. He served as a supervisor, elementary and middle school principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent of schools while in New Jersey. Oberkehr holds a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, a master’s degree from New Jersey City University and a doctor of education from Seton Hall University.

Marquez Jackson, assistant principal of Fruit Cove Middle School (FCMS), has been named the new principal of John A. Crookshank Elementary. He will replace Dr. Paul Goricki who will join district administration as a principal on assignment. Jackson has more than 18 years in education and began his career as a math teacher for 10 years before becoming an assistant principal for Beaufort County Schools, NC. In 2011 he was named principal of Northeast Elementary School a PK-8, where he served two years. He joined the SJCSD in 2013 as the coordinator for School Services/Facilities Planning and went on to serve as assistant principal at PVHS and FCMS, respectively. Jackson has a bachelor’s degree from Florida A & M University and a master’s degree from East Carolina University. He also holds an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Supervision from East Carolina University. Marquez Jackson

Dr. Joy Reichenberg, assistant principal at Osceola Elementary School (OES), has been named the new principal of Hickory Creek Elementary. She will replace Bethany Groves who was named the new principal of The Webster School recently. Reichenberg has 20 years of experience in education. She began her career as a music teacher at Seacoast Christian Academy and the Providence School and was an elementary teacher at San Mateo Elementary, all in Jacksonville. She joined the SJCSD in 2006 and taught at TCE and LPA before becoming the assistant principal at OES. Reichenberg holds a bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville University, a master’s degree from the University of West Florida and a doctoral degree from Liberty University. Joy Reichenberg

Allison Olson, principal at Julington Creek Elementary (JCE), has been named the new principal of Patriot Oaks Academy (POA). She will replace Emily Harrison who joins district administration as the director of Career and Technical Education. Olson joined the SJCSD in 2015 as the principal of JCE. Prior to this, she was the principal of Bear Canyon Elementary in Highlands Ranch, Co. and had more than 27 years in education spent in Salt Lake City, Utah; Spring Valley, Ca. Stafford, Va.; and several areas in Co. She began as a teacher and taught at both the elementary and middle school levels before serving as an assistant principal and a principal. Olson holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix.

Jeanette Murphy, assistant principal of Cunningham Creek Elementary (CCE), has been named the new principal of JCE. She will replace Olson who will be the new principal of POA. Murphy has over 20 years of educational experience. Before joining St. Johns County in 2004 as a middle school math teacher, she was an elementary school teacher and reading specialist in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. In 2008, she became the assistant principal at John A. Crookshank Elementary and went on to serve in this capacity at FCMS before joining CCES in 2015. Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University and a master’s degree from Barry University. She also has a certificate in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. Jeanette Murphy

Emily Harrison, principal at Patriot Oaks Academy (POA), will join district administration as the director of Career and Technical Education. She replaces Chris Force who was appointed as principal of First Coast Technical College earlier this year. Harrison opened Patriot Oaks Academy (POA) as principal in 2013. Previously she was the principal at Landrum Middle School and the assistant principal at Fruit Cove Middle School. She also worked as a gifted teacher at CCE for one year and has six years of elementary school teaching experience in Florida and Georgia prior to joining the SJCSD in 2005. Harrison has a bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University and a master’s degree from the University of North Florida.

Orientation 2017 and Early Registration The St. Johns County School District is hosting a districtwide orientation Wednesday, August 9 from 8-11 a.m. Orientation is an opportunity for students and parents to get supply lists, receive class schedules and meet teachers. While many schools have scheduled orientations on other dates and times, staff will be available at all schools Wednesday, August 9 from 8-11 a.m. Parents are encouraged to call or visit the school website to verify any changes in orientation and open house dates. It is also recommended that parents register their children for school as soon as possible. Parents may access information regarding registration requirements and their child’s attendance zone by visiting

the school district website at and clicking on the “Families” tab. Additional information on registration and school attendance zones may be obtained from the Student Services Office at 547-7797. The purpose of early registration is to help reduce the number of students who need to be enrolled at the beginning of school and to help the district prepare for the appropriate number of teachers. The first day of class for the 2017-2018 school year is Thursday, August 10. The district, including schools, is currently operating on summer hours 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. These summer hours are in effect until Friday, July 28.

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St Johns Parent Magazine - August '17  

St Johns County's Premier Family Magazine

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