School district honors business partners with awards

The Northeast Florida Regional Airport Conference Center in St Augustine was the scene of this year’s annual St Johns County School District Academy Awards; honoring business and community partners for their contributions to the career academies according to Director for Career Education, Paula Chaon.

Receiving an Award of Distinction for being selected “Business Partner of the Year” was Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas Estuarine Research Reserve, an active business partner with the academies for the past four years.

Programs at St Johns Technical High School and Creekside High School won recognition for the Reserve; including the Academy of Coastal and Water Resources and Academy of Environmental and Urban Planning. Dr. Mike Shirley, Kenneth Rainier, Beth O’Connor and Lauren Flynn accepted the award.

The second Award of Distinction was presented to PGA Tour Entertainment for its involvement in Ponte Vedra High School’s Academy of International Business and Marketing; naming them “Rookie Partner of the Year”.

PGA Tour Entertainment hosted externships for teachers, conducted field trips, and interactive classroom presentations; all of which received special recognition. Most recently, academy students worked with the PGA Tour on social media and marketing during the THE PLAYERS Championship. Charlene Landen and Kelly Boston accepted the award.

Career Academy students have received more than $14,000 in scholarships from the following business partners: the Air Force Association-Falcon Chapter, Flagler Hospital, Leonard’s Studios, St. Augustine Sunrise Rotary Club, St. Johns Housing Partnership, Stellar and VyStar Credit Union.

Partner time and resources dedicated to career academy students has been valued at more than $2.2 million. This “value-added” calculation takes into account the time and resources of more than 5,100 hours of involvement including student and teacher internships, guest speakers, field trip hosts, judges for student competitions, advisory board membership and donations of cash or equipment.

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