OPES principal Jessica Richardson appointed principal of new K-8 school in Nocatee

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The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) announced that Jessica Richardson, principal of Ocean Palms Elementary School {OPES), has been appointed the principal of the new K-8 school currently being built in Nocatee known as “KK.” Her nomination will be presented to the school board at its Dec. 12 meeting.

“Jessica has an innate ability to develop strong and lasting connections with student, staff, families and community members,” SJCSD Superintendent Tim Forson said. “She is the perfect candidate to provide a smooth transition to the new school.”

 Forson will gather input from staff and the community for the new principal of OPES on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. at OPES.

Richardson started her teaching career in St. Johns County 18 years ago and joined Ocean Palms as principal in 2014. Previously, she served as the assistant principal at Cunningham Creek Elementary School (CCES). She also taught second, third and fourth grade and served as an instructional literacy coach. Before joining CCES, she worked at PVPV-Rawlings Elementary School and Ocean Palms Elementary School, where she held her first position with the district as a third-grade teacher.

Richardson was named St. Johns County Assistant Principal of the Year in 2013. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida and a master’s degree from Grand Canyon University.

“I am very enthusiastic about continuing my own professional journey alongside the students, staff and families in Northeast St. Johns County,” said Richardson.

The “KK” school, which is adjacent to Nocatee’s Twenty Mile neighborhoods, is slated to open for the 2018-2019 school year. The building sits on 30 acres of property and consists of 190,000 square feet of operational space and 73 classrooms.

New Principal at ‘LL’

SJCSD also announced that Allen Anderson, principal at Palencia Elementary School (PES), has been appointed principal of the new K-8 school being built in St. Johns known as “LL.” His nomination will also be presented to the school board Dec. 12.

“Allen is an innovative and collaborative leader,” said Forson. “I know that his familiarity with the community and ability to build rapport with students and parents will serve him well.”

Forson will gather input from staff and the community for the new principal of PES on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 3:30 p.m. at PES.

Anderson has been the principal of PES since the 2013-2014 school year and has more than 20 years of experience within SJCSD. Prior to PES, he served as principal at Cunningham Creek Elementary (CCES), assistant principal at Mill Creek Elementary and Durbin Creek Elementary schools, a curriculum coordinator at Switzerland Point Middle School and a teacher at CCES.

SJCSD said PES has expanded its digital instruction and student use under Anderson’s leadership. He has made maintaining a positive school culture a high priority and ensures that state and district mandates are communicated in a way that supports the school’s mission and vision, the district added.

 “I am very thankful for the trust and confidence from Superintendent Forson,” said Anderson. “While changing schools is always a bittersweet experience, I look forward to once again serving those in the Northwest part of our wonderful county.”

Anderson was recently chosen as the 2017-2018 Principal of the Year for St. Johns County. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of North Florida and a master’s degree from Jacksonville University.  

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