Robin Burchfield announced to local Historic City News reporters today that the Executive Director of St Augustine Youth Services has received a prestigious award, naming her “Administrator of the Year” at the 2014 Florida Coalition for Children state conference that was recently held in Tallahassee.
Siefker was nominated for her 24 years of service to SAYS and to the hundreds of boys the agency has served by Clinical Director Susan Zitsman. Pam Young, House Manager; Robin Burchfield, Director of Development; Sari Rauls, Children’s Therapist; Susan Zitsman, Clinical Director; Susan Timmons, SAYS Development Board member, gathered in Tallahassee to congratulate Executive Director, Shuyler Siefker, on the award.
“I was very surprised when my name was called to come to the stage and accept the award,” Siefker told Historic City News. “It is the highest honor to be recognized by my peers from across the state.”
Siefker has been involved as a child welfare advocate on both the state and local level. She is the Chair of the Children’s Committee of the St. Johns County Behavioral Health Consortium. Previous positions include State Board Member for Emergency Medical Services for Children; State Chairman for GFWC/FFWC One Voice for Children Committee; St. Johns County Children’s Commission Charter Member; GFWC Junior Woman’s Club President, (Vice President, Membership Director, Dean of Chairs), St. Johns Juvenile Justice Committee Member, Hartley Elementary School PTO (Treasurer, Vice President), Leadership St. Johns Class of 2005, St. Johns Vision Quality of Life Committee; St. Johns County Exceptional Education Advisory Committee, and FCTC Adult Education Steering Committee.
In her recommendation, on the application form, Zitsman wrote that Siefker is much more than the Executive Director. “She is a mother of three children, a leader in the community and an activist for children’s causes across the state,” Zitsman said.
St Augustine Youth Services is a therapeutic group home for boys who have been victims of child abuse or extreme neglect. SAYS provides a safe, stable home in which the boys can live, learn, grow and heal, both physically and emotionally, from horrors children should never have to endure.
In March 2012, SAYS opened the “Hutson Family Campus,” a 12-acre facility on US-1 South, just north of SR-206, which is licensed to house up to 30 boys, ages 6 -18. With the generous support of the community, Siefker helped to raise over two million dollars and oversaw every detail of the building process.
As Executive Director at SAYS, Siefker has employed over 100 staff members and over the past 20 years SAYS has provided nearly 100,000 days of food, shelter and therapeutic treatment to children ages 6 to 18.