Q: Can you give some insight into the decision to name High School III “Beachside High School?”
A: This was not a capricious decision and a lot of input from the community was considered. After our previous meeting where the five finalist names were announced, I started hearing from many people who were not in favor of the Sampson Creek name. People who lived in St. Johns Golf and Country Club didn’t want it since their CDD is named Sampson Creek; other people thought we had enough “Creek” school names and still others mentioned that there is a Sampson Cemetery and they didn’t want the high school to have the same name. 

Then, I started receiving emails advocating for the “Beachside” name. There was also a petition with hundreds of signatures, not only from the Twin Creeks area, but also from the west side of Interstate 95. Additionally, we received calls during the public comment portion of the school board meeting from people in Cimarrone and Shearwater who wanted this name. 

Q: So how did the vote go at the board meeting?
A: We did have a large discussion. Two board members wanted the name “St. Johns High School,” but we already have a “St. Johns Technical High School.” At the end of the discussion, the vote was 3 – 2 in favor of Beachside High School. I voted in favor and what tilted me, in addition to the public support, was the school colors of navy, gray and lime green, which seem like “water” colors to me. 

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Q: Do we know what the mascot will be?
A: As of today [interview date of Nov. 15], the principal is continuing to poll the community for their preference. The selection of a mascot is a school-based decision and not the responsibility of the school board.

Q: What is the latest on the redistricting that is required as a result of the 2020 Census?
A: At this time, the proposed redistricting plans are A, B, C, D, E, E1, and F. They are all available for viewing on the school district website. We have had two joint meetings with the Board of County Commissioners and requests made by representatives of both bodies resulted in a couple of new proposed plans being added. We will lose geographic area in District 1 in all plans as a result of our increase in population, but will still have the highest population of any district (although within the required 10 percent deviation). Both boards plan to vote at the Dec. 9 joint meeting. The process needs to be finalized by the end of the year.

Q: How can our readers contact you?

A: They can email me at beverly.slough@stjohns.k12.fl.us or call me at (904) 547-7510.

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