SJCSD announces nominees for Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year awards


Allen Anderson, principal of Palencia Elementary School (PES), has been selected as the St. Johns County School District’s (SJCSD) nominee for the 2017-2018 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership.

In addition, Tiffany Cantwell, assistant principal at The Webster School, was selected as the district’s nominee for the 2017-2018 Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award.

These programs honor principals and assistant principals who utilize teamwork and leadership skills to increase student performance, establish partnerships with parents and community members and promote safe learning environments.

Awardees are also recognized for ethical leadership and their use of innovative technology, as well as their commitment to forging personal, social, economic and cultural relationships in the classroom, the school and the community to build and support a learning organization focused on student success.

Anderson has been the principal of PES since the 2013-2014 school year and has more than 20 years of experience within the SJCSD. He was recently appointed principal of the K-8 school known as “LL” currently being constructed in St. Johns. 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.  

“Allen is an outstanding leader who has the ability to build strong connections with both students and parents,” said Superintendent Tim Forson.  “What will be best for the child(ren) is the first question he asks when faced with touch decisions.”

Anderson holds a bachelor's and master’s degree from the University of North Florida and a master’s degree from Jacksonville University.

Outstanding Assistant Principal Nominee Tiffany Cantwell has over 16 years of educational experience. She was recently appointed to be the next principal of Ocean Palms Elementary School (OPES). She will replace Jessica Richardson, who was selected to be the principal of the new K-8 school known as “KK” in Nocatee.

Cantwell joined St. Johns County in 2001 as a fourth-grade teacher at Cunningham Creek Elementary. She went on to teach at PVPV-Rawlings Elementary School and became the curriculum resource coordinator there. In 2013, she was appointed as assistant principal at The Webster School and continues to serve in this position.

“Tiffany is an innovative leader at The Webster School and is an integral part of its success,” said Forson. “She is always looking for ways to improve and streamline processes to enhance the educational experience for students.”

Cantwell holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Thomas University in Miami and a master’s degree from the University of North Florida.

These two St. Johns County nominees have been forwarded to the state to compete at the regional level.