Like your best friends from college or the kids you grew up with in the neighborhood, that’s what stands out immediately about the morning anchors at News4JAX on Channel 4. “We’ve been a team for so long, we really are a family.” That’s how newsman Bruce Hamilton describes the group which consists of him, co-anchors Melanie Lawson and Jennifer Waugh, and Meteorologist Richard Nunn. Where some anchor teams try to create the illusion they like each other, the genuine affection this group has for one another was obvious on a recent morning spent over breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit Company in Julington Creek. “We really care about the community because our viewers are our family, and you truly can’t get the family feel anywhere else.” That was Hamilton’s message when asked to describe the “secret sauce” that’s made this group the most trusted morning news anchor team in town.
Lawson says their success comes from a strong desire to move past the obvious. “We’re just like you. We want you to know what’s happening, yes, but we really want you to know how what’s happening affects your life.We want you to feel its important to watch us every day because if you do you’ll be informed, offered solutions to problems, and learn about the good things happening where you live.”
It’s about balance according to Lawson, who met her husband in St. Johns County covering a story (Tarik Minor is also an anchor at News4JAX) and balances life as a working mom with the needs of her two young children. “We want to help you start every day the right way.” Added Nunn, “That’s right. Weather is so important in the morning. So every day I do a bus stop forecast and track storms moving through St. Johns neighborhoods.”
The viewers have clearly noticed. The Morning Show on News4JAX is St. Johns County’s number one choice for news having earned the title of most watched for six years and counting. “We love our northern St. Johns viewers and are committed to making sure you know what’s happening in your neighborhood every single morning,” says Jennifer Waugh, a Jacksonville native. “Our local roots help us sift through the news and focus on telling the important stories our viewers care about.” Waugh doubles as one of the station’s investigative reporters and insists the philosophy is simple—“We want to help you start every day with a newscast that’s worth watching.”
By St. Johns County School Board Member
Kelly Barrera, District 4
The St. Johns County School District has been busy over the summer preparing for our students’ arrival on August 10th. Principals, teachers and staff have been actively refreshing, reorganizing, updating, hiring, training, and preparing for a fantastic new school year ahead! Over the summer, professional development and training sessions have been ongoing to assist our teachers and staff in learning educational and operational best practices, technology updates and integration, and providing opportunities for accessing resources for innovation.
At the elementary school level, parents, students and teachers can look forward to the implementation of some new programs to assist with curriculum. We are excited to introduce Being a Writer in our elementary schools. This new academic program was piloted last year at two elementary schools and received strong positive feedback from teachers, parents and students. It is a structured program that involves learning about a subject, writing about the information learned, facilitating in-depth classroom discussion and comprehension, and writing again to include the greater detail and feedback.
Another successful program, Being a Reader, will be expanding in our middle schools to assist in strengthening reading strategies and comprehesion.
Starting in late August, Allen D. Nease High School will pilot a Power Hour program. This program will provide students with an hour each day to meet with teachers, access tutoring, study time, attend club meetings or work on special projects. The time slot will be scheduled in the middle of the school day and the goal will be to give students time to power forward academically and deepen their school engagement.
Site work and clearing is underway for construction of our new elementary school “M” located in the World Golf Village area at 2675 Pacetti Road in St. Augustine. The new school is being built to relieve overcrowding and is expected to open for the 2017-18 school year. It will accommodate approximately 800 students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Ongoing information, progress and attendance zones for the new school will be posted on the St. Johns County School District website: http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/newschools/
Lastly, with upcoming retirement Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner, the St. Johns County School Board in the process of selecting a new Superintendent of Schools. The application period for the position has closed. Our Citizen’s Superintendent Search Advisory Committee will make their recommendations to the school board for interview selection. Interviews will be scheduled on October 6th and 7th. The school board will be an evening reception open to public for the community to meet the finalists on October 6th at 5:30pm.
St. Johns County School District looks forward to an exciting school year as we continue to work to meet the challenges of a dynamic and growing school district!
by Elizabeth Loeser
Welcome to the new school year — a time when children and parents share one of the most difficult annual traditions (and transitions) in the family routine. With these helpful tips from Tutoring Club, St. Johns, you can be prepared for when summer fun fades and the structure of the fall schedule takes over. Get your child off to a great start by making back to school more fun and less stressful for the entire family.
SET EXPECTATIONS: Children thrive on predictable outcomes – by establishing a to-do list, you are including them in the preparation and will know what to expect.
ESTABLISH ROUTINES: Children should have a set bed time and bedtime routine each night both during the school year as well as the summer. Well-rested children are much more successful in school.
CHECK SCHOOL WEB SITES: Many school systems have classroom web pages where teachers may list important information regarding the start of the school year.
CENTRALIZE THE CALENDAR: Create your family calendar right away to make sure everyone knows the schedule between school, sports, activities, parties and trips.
PLAN MEALTIME: If your family meal habits changed over the summer, begin scheduling mealtimes to mimic the school year. Be sure all members of the family eat a healthy breakfast.
TO DO’S YOU DO TOGETHER: Get ready for back to school with your children, not for them, by including them in the process of getting ready and being prepared.
CHECK PAST PERFORMANCE: Look back at your child’s report card and determine if he or she needs an academic boost going into the new school year. Tutoring Club St. Johns has helped hundreds of students get ahead in a difficult subject, which helps them transition more easily.
COMMUNICATE TO EASE ANXIETY: Whether it’s a first grader or a teen, back to school anxiety is a fairly common problem. Talk with your child to make sure he or she feels prepared emotionally and otherwise.
MAKE IT FUN AND MEMORABLE: Back to school should be a moment in your child’s life that is positive, fun, and memorable.
Tutoring Club St. Johns provides tutoring, EOC Review, SAT/ACT prep and scholarship and admissions services for students of all ages in St. Johns County. To prepare your child for academic success in the new school year or to inquire about scholarship and admission services, call Elizabeth Loeser at 904-230-2855.