Campus Update for Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Good afternoon! Can you believe there are only six more days of school until Winter Break? (You know, just in case anyone's counting.) Here are this week's news and announcements from St. Johns Country Day School:

In the News

After Hurricane Michael postponed their planned October trip, Grade 5 successfully made the journey to the Golden Isles late last month. You can read more about it and view and download pictures from the trip at  

St. Johns Welcomes New Appointees

St. Johns is thrilled to announce the appointment of two new staff members who will start in January: Jordan Robbins Rechcigl '10 has accepted the position of Director of Development. Mrs. Rechcigl has been working in development with the Children's Miracle Network, American Lung Association, and others since she graduated from the University of Florida in 2014 and brings a wealth of experience back to her St. Johns family for this position. Caroline Morris, currently with The Bolles School, also joins us in January as Director of College Counseling. Mrs. Morris holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and master's degrees in social work and counselor education from Columbia University and the University of North Florida. She has served as Assistant Director of College Counseling at Bolles since 2007. 

We look forward to welcoming them both to St. Johns on January 7, 2019!

Last Week's College Acceptances

St. Johns is incredibly proud to announce that 100% of the Class of 2019 has now applied to at least one college or university, and 80% have already been accepted to at least one. Way to go, Seniors! Here is the batch we were thrilled to be able to announce last Friday:

  Crystian DeMonbreun    

University of South Florida

  Caroline Dinkins

Temple University

  Kate Fackler Berry College
  David Gonzales University of Tampa
  Walker Hentschel University of Tampa
  Tyler Kuramoto Florida Atlantic University
  Patrick Lindholm        University of South Florida
  Madison Livingston Mississippi State University
  Jenny Pack

College for Creative Studies
University of North Florida
Valdosta State University

  Sarah Schemer

Stetson University

  Diana Shaykh

University of South Florida

  Brady Walden

University of North Florida

  Nick Wang

University of Massachusetts, Amherst   

And just a reminder that we've been adding all the "Friday photos" to our online album, so if we've announced your senior's college acceptance so far this fall, there's probably a photo of it! You can view and download those here. Congratulations, Seniors!

Next Week's Dress Code

On Tuesday, December 18, students in all divisions may wear holiday attire-- "ugly sweaters," holiday-themed shirts, etc.-- or, of course, their regular uniforms, and on Wednesday the 19th attire for all students is Special Occasion Dress, for Lessons & Carols.  

December Character Foundations

The December Character Foundations trait is compassion, which is defined as "caring enough to do something about someone else's need." Spartans from age 3 through Grade 12 will be learning about and working to demonstrate compassion during the month of December. 

"Concert, Cookies & Cocoa" Tomorrow Night

Don't miss the winter band concert, "Concert, Cookies & Cocoa," tomorrow night-- Wednesday, December 12-- at 7:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Be sure to stick around after the performance for cookies, cocoa, and festive holiday cheer! 

JP Hall Toy Collection

From Friday, December 7 through this Friday, December 14, the Lower School Student Government will be conducting its annual holiday time service project-- a toy drive to benefit JP Hall Children's Charity. Now in its 37th year, J.P. Hall Children's Charlities is a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve the quality of life for underprivileged children in Clay County. Please bring in a donation of an unwrapped new toy to contribute to this effort. Your help is sincerely appreciated!

Smart Tuition Billing

In order to help our families streamline various fees and eliminate the need to write checks and send cash in with students, this year St. Johns moved to more comprehensive billing through Smart Tuition. This means that fees for things like extra trips, AP testing, and Chick-Fil-A lunches, are now channeled through your Smart Tuition account, which is accessible through My School App. Just click on the Smart Tuition block on the Resources tab after you log in to My School App. You receive an email notification whenever charges are made to your account and when your monthly bill is ready, but you can view your billing and make payments anytime by by logging into your account and clicking “Review My Bill” and “My Billing Detail.”  If you have any questions, the Smart Tuition Parents Help Line is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call 1-888-868-8828 or email any time. 

Spirit Store

The weather outside has been frightful but don't fret-- the winter gear in the Spirit Store is indeed delightful. Stop by and check out our scarves, beanies, and socks. If you are looking for some unique gift ideas be sure to check out our new plaques, and don't forget about all those stocking stuffers! We have lots of animal key chains, Pop-Sockets, cell phone wallets, and -- just in time for the holidays -- a customized St. Johns Christmas ornament! Store hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. and Tuesday through Thursday from 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. See you there!

Upcoming Open Houses

Do you have friends or neighbors who might be interested in learning more about a St. Johns education? Please invite them to join us at one of the following upcoming Open House events!

  Upcoming Open Houses

Saturday, January 12, 2019
10:00 a.m. - Noon

  Wednesday, February 13, 2019
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
  Saturday, March 9, 2019
10:00 a.m. - Noon

Learn more at If you'd like St. Johns to send a personal invitation to someone you know to any of these open house events, please let us know

Save the Date: Student-Led Conference Day January 16

Spring parent conferences will be led by the students again this year in our second Student-Led Conference Day. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, January 16, 2019 and plan to join your student's homeroom teacher/advisor for a status update and discussion led by your student. Save the date now, and we'll have appointment signups available for you before the break! 

Save the Date: Parent Education Seminar January 23

On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, at 5:30 p.m., St. Johns will host a parent education seminar in cooperation with St. Vincent's Healthcare. Supporting our January Character Foundations trait of "self-control," Dr. Ellen A. Williams PhD, will present "Self-Control: How to Do What You Should Even When You Don’t Want To." In this helpful and informative presentation, Dr. Williams will unpack myths around self-control, solve some of the mystery about what conditions increase and decrease your willpower, and share simple skill sets that you can use to improve your ability to do what is in your best interest. Please mark your calendar and plan to join us! 

Save the Date: Insider's Guide to College Admissions Testing 

On Monday, January 28, 2019, at 6:30 pm, St. Johns will host an informative discussion for parents of Upper School students, "Insider’s Guide to College Admissions Testing." Dr. Diane Berry from Revolution Prep will uncover some secrets to help with the college admissions process. Come learn what your student can do now that can help them get into the college of their dreams! Click here to register today

Key Contacts

As always, our faculty and administration stand ready to assist with anything you might need. Please do feel free to reach out at any time to Acting Head of School and Head of Upper School Mary Virginia Fisher, Head of Middle School Jackie Lentini, Head of Lower School Otis Wirth, or Head of Administrative Affairs Tanya Powers.

Division Updates

We heard that some may have been having trouble with one or more of the links below and apologize if you've been unable to access the division updates. We've updated all of the links below and hope that this info helps keep you better informed and facilitates access to the information you need most. Please do let us know if we're missing that mark! 



We hope you have a great week!