He will replace Principal Sue Sparkman, who has announced her retirement following this school year. Sparkman will stay on as a principal until June 30.
“Sue Sparkman has been a dedicated educator in St. Johns County for many years,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “Her service and devotion to our children will never be forgotten.”
Willets has more than 20 years of experience in the St. Johns County School District and started his career as a teacher at Switzerland Point Middle School and St. Augustine High School. He then served as an assistant principal and principal of the district’s Alternative Schools before serving as principal of St. Johns Technical High School. He joined Crookshank in 2007 and has been the principal there for the last seven years.
“Jay Willets is the perfect choice to carry on the great work at Pacetti Bay,” said Joyner. “He is an exceptional educational leader with a clear understanding of high-quality instruction. I have a great deal of confidence and respect for Jay, and I know he will be an outstanding principal for Pacetti Bay.”
He was named St. Johns County’s Principal of the Year in 2007. Active in the community, Willets is on the board of the THE PLAYERS Championship Boys and Girls Club and serves on the Department of Education Advisory Committee at Flagler College. He holds bachelor’s degrees in elementary and special education from Flagler College and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of North Florida.
“I am truly excited to become an active member of the Pacetti Bay Wildcat family,” said Willets. “Having had the opportunity to work with Ms. Sparkman at Switzerland Point, I feel fortunate to continue her legacy of academic and cultural excellence with the students, staff and community of Pacetti Bay.”