St. Johns County School District Superintendent Joseph Joyner has selected Catherine Van Housen as the new principal of PVPV/Rawlings Elementary School. The St. Johns County School Board will consider her nomination next week at its June 15 meeting.
Currently the assistant principal at Patriot Oaks Academy, Van Housen will succeed Kathleen Furness, who is retiring after 17 years with the school district. Furness served as principal of PVPV Elementary from 1999 to 2006, at which time she was named principal of Rawlings Elementary as well, combining the two adjacent schools under her leadership.
“After carefully reviewing the principal profile, including the skills and attributes outlined by parents and staff, it was clear that Ms. Van Housen would be the perfect match for PVPV/RES,” Joyner said. “She is a leader of great character and integrity who will continue the excellence created and maintained by Ms. Furness.”
Van Housen joined the St. Johns County School District in 2008 as an English Language Arts and Journalism teacher at Alice B. Landrum Middle School. She then became that school’s instructional literacy coach before joining PVPV/RES as assistant principal in 2014. In 2015, she joined Patriot Oaks Academy as the assistant principal.
Van Housen also spent more than 16 years as a staff and freelance newspaper reporter, copy editor and web manager at publications including the San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Dog Fancy Magazine, Hollywood Reporter and for the Business Journal in San Diego, St. Louis and Jacksonville.
“It has been my absolute pleasure to be an educator in Ponte Vedra for eight years,” said Van Housen. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to continue serving the families in this wonderful community, to carry on the legacy of Kathleen Furness, and to steer the PVPV/RES ship into the future.”
Van Housen holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, an Educator Preparation Institute Certification from St. Johns River State College, and a master’s degree from the University of North Florida.