By Sade Goodridge

Each year, eighth-grade St. Johns County students face a choice — the graduating middle schoolers must decide whether to apply to a St. Johns County Career Academy at any of the district’s nine high schools. 
The St. Johns County Career Academy website describes career academies as “a sequence of specific elective courses designed around a career theme. Career Academies create a ‘school within a school’ feel since students select to be grouped by a common area of interest. Each Career Academy has a Program of Study that helps guide students in course selection and plan for postsecondary experiences.”
Ponte Vedra High School has four Career Academies: The Academy of Biotechnology & Medical Research, The Academy of International Business & Marketing, The Academy of Information Technology, and the St. Johns County Academy of Future Educators. 
To aid with the process, the middle school’s zoned high school visits each middle school and presents a presentation encouraging eighth graders to attend their zoned high school and to join a career academy. On Friday, Dec. 9, PVHS Career Academy ambassadors and PVHS Academy Coordinator, Marisa Leonard visited Landrum Middle School. Career Academy ambassadors are current academy students who represent the academy to students and parents. 
During the school visit, Academy ambassadors gave a presentation outlining their respective Academies and shared their experiences within the program. Afterward, middle school students had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Academy ambassadors if lingering questions remained. 
According to the Career Academy website, eighth-grade students interested in joining an academy or special program can complete an online application through the student’s Home Access Center (HAC), opening on Jan. 5, 2023. The application will close promptly on January 31, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. 
Students interested in applying for the International Baccalaureate (IB) or the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) program should request a completed teacher recommendation form from the student’s four core content area teachers. Finally, students interested in applying for the St. Johns County Center for the Arts at St. Augustine High School, need to apply and audition by Jan. 21, 2023. 
Students or parents with remaining questions can refer for more information. 

Photo courtesy Sade Goodridge
Landrum students ask questions to the PVHS International Business and Marketing Academy ambassadors.

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