Catherine Van Housen, assistant principal at Patriot Oaks Academy, has been selected by Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner to be the principal of PVPV/Rawlings Elementary School. Her nomination will be presented to the St. Johns County School Board at its June 15 meeting.

Van Housen will replace Kathleen Furness, who is retiring after 17 years with the St. Johns County School District. Furness served as principal of PVPV Elementary from 1999-2006. In 2006 she was named the principal of Rawlings Elementary as well, combining the two schools under single 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/Rawlings Elementary School],” said Joyner.  “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 the instructional literacy coach at Landrum before joining PVPV/Rawlings as assistant principal in 2014. In 2015, she joined Patriot Oaks Academy as the assistant principal. Van Housen also spent over 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/Rawlings Elementary School] ship into the future.”

Van Housen has 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.

Photo courtesy St. Johns County School District

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