The Evenings at Whitney Lecture Series hosted by the University of Florida Whitney Laboratory returned on March 8, 2018, at 7 p.m. with the program titled “Future Ready: STEM in Our Schools.” Staff from the St. Johns County School District talked about STEM activities and initiatives that impact students from every level in the school system. STEM is the term used in education for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This free lecture was presented at Lohman Auditorium located at 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd., on the Whitney Laboratory campus.
The guest speakers from the St. Johns County School District included Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dawn Sapp, Director for Career and Technical Education Emily Harrison, Sebastian Middle School Principal Wayne King and Creekside High School Environmental Science Teacher Alicia Pressel. The staff talked about how opportunities for students to engage and explore STEM are expanding throughout the region, which include coding activities, robotics competitions, problem-based learning, business partnerships and career exploration. The staff also shared about STEM class and club activities, the process to become a certified STEM school at Sebastian Middle School, and career academy programs in the county’s high schools.
Sapp began working with the St. Johns County School District office in July 2015 after having served as principal at Bartram Trail High School since 2011. She was selected as the St. Johns County School District’s Assistant Principal of the Year in 2008. Harrison has worked with the St. Johns County School District since 2004 and was named Florida’s Outstanding Assistant Principal during the 2010-2011 school year. King has worked with the St. Johns County School District for 20 years and was named the St. Johns County School District's Outstanding Principal of the Year during the 2010-2011 school year. He also worked at Flagler College as the assistant dean of students for four years. Pressel has been teaching with the school district since 2007 and has taught at Fruit Cove Middle School and Creekside High School.