Investing in Kids honors Bill Mignon, retiring from lifetime career in education and military service

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Investing in Kids (INK!) is honoring the retirement of Bill Mignon after more than 56 years of educational service in St. Johns County.

Mignon’s support of INK! began when the nonprofit was established in 1994 as the St. Johns County Education Foundation. INK! is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that directly benefits students and educators in the St. Johns County School District with programs, services, activities and resources to reach their full potential. 

Mignon was born in Bronx, N.Y., and later moved to New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In 1952, he moved with his parents to St. Augustine.

Mignon graduated from Ketterlinus High School in 1955. He received Bachelor of Arts in education and Master of Arts in education degrees from the University of Florida and holds a State of Florida post graduate certificate in secondary education, junior college and administrative supervision at the primary through secondary levels of education from kindergarten through grade 12. 

He has 34 years of military experience and 31 years as an officer in the U.S. Army and Florida National Guard. He is a graduate of a number of military schools.

During the 1960s, Mignon served as an Army aviator with the 11th ARMD CAV (armored cavalry) in Germany. In 1991, his Florida National Guard unit, Med Evac, was activated for Desert Storm. He retired from the Florida National Guard in 1992.

Mignon has served as a St. Johns County School Board Member for District 3 since 2006 with retirement slated in November.

According to Mignon, throughout his service on the school board, he has endorsed INK! and Donna Lueders, the organization’s executive director, along with her staff for helping teachers fund projects needed to help students while inspiring the community to support education.

He added that his tremendous respect for INK!’s staff, board of directors and partners included their work in growing the organization and its ongoing programs and fundraisers.

“INK! is essential, instrumental and a key element in developing and maintaining the county’s ranking as a top public school district in Florida,” Mignon said. Recently, Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) scores for students in St. Johns County once again led the state with the highest results.

Mignon’s teaching experience includes all levels of primary and secondary education, including serving as principal of adult education at St. Augustine Technical Center, principal of R.B. Hunt Elementary School for 14 years, principal at Allen D. Nease High School for 13 years and principal at Pedro Menendez High School for five years.

He has been employed by Flagler College as a supervisor in the Educational Department for nine years.

“Bill has always been involved in supporting INK! and its mission,” said Lueders. “We commend him for his dedication to local youth and community service involvement.”

Mignon has served as a sponsor, faculty representative and chairman for the National Honor Society, Key Club and senior class at St. Augustine High School, and past leader and commissioner of the Cub Scouts Osceola District. As a Kiwanian, he was a past president and projects chairman, and coordinated club activities in the areas of crime prevention and handicapped youth.

Mignon has also been active in professional and civic affairs as a former member of the Florida Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation team and as a negotiator for the St. Johns County School Board. He served as a member of the St. Augustine Jaycees, the Toastmasters and Matanzas Bay Club, and as vice chair of the Board of Trustees for the Flagler Hospital Health Care System Inc.

He was also a member of the Flagler Health Care Foundation Board. Mignon serves on the School Health Advisory Council and the Prevention Coalition for St. Johns County, along with the Head Start Policy Council and Community Hospice.

Mignon is a member of the Association of the U.S. Army, the Army Aviation Association of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 2391, American Legion, Post 391, the National Guard Officer's Association and the St. Augustine Officer's Club. 

His accolades are numerous, including district honors for the St. Augustine Jaycees project of the quarter as coordinator for the March for MANKIND and Outstanding Young Educator in 1971. He was recognized among honorees of the Outstanding Secondary Teachers of America and as the recipient of the National Honor Society's Citizenship Award.

In 1993, the Commissioner of Education for the state of Florida presented Mignon with the Commissioner's Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Educational Leadership. He was entered into the Principals’ Hall of Fame in Tallahassee, and in 2002, was awarded the St. Johns County School Board Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, he was inducted into the St. Augustine High School and Ketterlinus High School Hall of Fame. He has also been included in The Who's Who American Registry. 

Mignon resides in south St. Augustine near his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who have all attended public schools in St. Johns County. His plans for retirement include spending time with his family, fishing and travelling while continuing local community engagement.

Lueders’s gratitude for Mignon’s beliefs in her organization, and his lifetime of service in St. Augustine and St. Johns County is a testimonial to an extraordinary man in his 80s.

“Bill has never ceased to help young people and teachers as a mentor,” she said. “Plus, his work with military personnel and their families helps them to attain better lives through a myriad of opportunities. We commend Bill and thank him for his service and wish him a wonderful retirement.”

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