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Community Briefs 1/17/19

Clay Today
Posted 1/16/19

St. Johns Country Day welcomes new staffersORANGE PARK – St. Johns Country Day School has added two new staff members to it Orange Park campus.Jordan Robbins Rechcigl of Avondale, a 2010 St. …

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Community Briefs 1/17/19


St. Johns Country Day welcomes new staffers
ORANGE PARK – St. Johns Country Day School has added two new staff members to it Orange Park campus.
Jordan Robbins Rechcigl of Avondale, a 2010 St. Johns graduate, joined the school as director of development. Rechcigl has been working in fundraising with the Children’s Miracle Network, American Lung Association, and others since she graduated from the University of Florida in 2014. She brings a wealth of experience back to her St. Johns family for this position.
Caroline Morris, of San Marco, also joined St. Johns on Jan. 7 as the school’s new director of college counseling. Morris holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and master’s degrees in social work and counselor education from Columbia University and the University of North Florida.
She has served as assistant director of college counseling at The Bolles School since 2007.

Hospital raising awareness on sepsis
ORANGE PARK – As flu season heads to its peak, Orange Park Medical Center warns residents about sepsis, the body’s response to an infection. Viral illnesses such as influenza, can sometimes trigger sepsis. For some, flu can cause pneumonia which is a common cause of sepsis.
Jennifer Chapman, emergency physician at OPMC said as many as 1 in 3 people diagnosed with sepsis pass away and those that survive can be left with chronic symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss or difficulties with activities of daily living. In extreme cases sepsis can lead to amputation or organ dysfunction.
Chapman said, “In most cases, sepsis can be treated with antibiotics, intravenous fluids or medication that increases your blood pressure.”
While low grade fever and mild weakness may occur with any infection, the following symptoms are warning signs of sepsis and should be taken seriously. If someone experiences two or more of these symptoms it is recommended that they seek medical attention – shivering, fever or feeling cold, extreme pain or general discomfort, pale or discolored skin, severe sleepiness, difficulty waking or confusion, “I feel like I might Die” feeling and shortness of breath.
Chapman said the best way to avoid sepsis during flu season is to practice good hand hygiene, rest and let your body recover if you feel ill. If you come down with the flu, stay hydrated, rest and most importantly get your flu vaccination.
Orange Park Medical Center is the only hospital in Clay County and one of two in the Jacksonville area that is certified by the Joint Commission for sepsis care.

Zander to lead AFP-Florida Chapter

TALLAHASSEE – A conservative organization the lobbies the Florida Legislature has named a Clay County native as its new executive director.
Skylar Zander, who previously served as deputy director, is now leading Americans for Prosperity-Florida.
“I am excited to lead the state’s best grassroots advocacy team to continue promoting common-sense policies that have propelled Florida as the best state to live, work, and raise a family,” said Zander. “I share in the passion of our activists that are committed to creating economic opportunity and breaking barriers for all Floridians to thrive.”
“We are fortunate to have Skylar lead our team,” said Chris Hudson, who was recently promoted from Florida state director to AFP’s vice president of state government affairs. “His experience in public policy and navigating Florida positions him perfectly to lead our grassroots efforts and grow our chapter in Florida. I look forward to seeing Skylar grow the chapter and expand economic freedom and prosperity in our great state.”
A former elected member of the Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District, Zander and his wife Lindsey and daughter Emma live in Tallahassee.

Egan joins Community Foundation board

JACKSONVILLE – The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida has added George M. Egan and George E. ‘Buddy’ Schulz Jr. to its board of trustees, effective Jan. 1.
Each will serve a three-year term. Egan and Schulz replace Peggy Bryan and Paul Perez, who served three terms each before retiring at the end of 2018. Trustee Martha Frye Baker was also named chair-elect; she will become board chair in January 2020.
Egan is president and CEO of the Clay County-based Reinhold Corp., a family-owned timber and land management and investment holding company.
Prior to Reinhold, Egan spent nearly 20 years as an investment banker in New York City and Pittsburgh. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
He currently serves as a director of the Reinhold Corp., Shadowlawn Farms and Hueman People Solutions LLC. He is the current chair of the Clay County Economic Development Corp. and of the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Foundation and is a Trustee of The Paul E. & Klare N. Reinhold Foundation.

Inaugural playwright’s retreat begins Jan. 27

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County residents are invited to meet six budding playwrights who are taking part in the first-ever playwrights’ retreat sponsored by Clamour Theatre Co.
Dubbed “Clay and Water 2019,” the event runs Jan. 27-31. Playwrights from all around the country will spend a week in Green Cove Springs, working on new plays, meeting students and interested community members, and participating in free public readings of their works-in-progress every evening.
Selected after a national application process, writers Mara Dresner, Ivan Faute, Connie Schindewolf, Bob Stewart, Chris Shaw Swanson, and Danielle Wirsansky will be available for informal Q&A sessions to talk with students and interested community members about the craft and business of playwriting on Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. and Jan. 30 at 5 p.m., both at Spring Park Coffee, 328 Ferris St.
The works-in-progress will be read each evening by local actors from Jan 27, through Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. at the VIA, 17 N. Palmetto Ave. in Green Cove Springs followed by audience feedback sessions. These readings are also free and open to the public.
The plays to be read are still in progress, but the subject matter covers an array of themes – adoption; cancer, cats, and companionship; the first female battlefield doctors of World War I; a the Jewish mourning ritual shiva; a comedy about professional theatre outside of New York; and the timely topic of immigration.
“We’re excited to have found this way to continue to present exciting new work while the search for a building continues,” Artistic Director Elaine Smith said. “And we’ve invited a group of writers with varying backgrounds and of a fairly diverse age range to give our audiences a broad sampling of the kinds of things that can be available to them.”
Reservations are recommended but not required. To reserve a seat, call (917) 902-7210 or email reservations@clamourtheatre.org or visit clamourtheatre.org for more info.
Clay & Water is supported by a grant from the Art Ventures Endowment Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and is sponsored by Capital City Bank, Hagan Ace Hardware, and Denise Boykin – Financial Center Manager, Fifth Third Bank.

Two area cops finish leadership training

TALLAHASSEE – A Green Cove Springs Police officer and a Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputy are among 37 new graduates of the 43rd Florida Leadership Academy held by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Tammy Perry of GCSPD and Ken Rodgers of CCSO completed the academy that met for four week-long sessions at St. Johns River State College’s St. Augustine campus. Graduates serve in leadership roles from 29 criminal justice agencies throughout Florida.
During the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute, officers learned skills necessary to support the needs of their agencies and their communities as they prepare for future challenges.
The goal of the Florida Leadership Academy is to prepare first-line supervisors in criminal justice organizations to exemplify the character and integrity expected of criminal justice professionals and to examine the various components necessary to be an efficient leader.

Clay County Agricultural Fair now a ‘Top 20 Event’

ATLANTA – The Southeast Tourism Society named the Clay County Agricultural Fair as one of its Top 20 Events in the Southeast for April 2019.
“The Top 20 Festival and Event Program is celebrating 34 years of spotlighting the best festivals and events in the Southeast. Our goal is to provide well-deserved accolades for the dedicated event organizers and additional media exposure for their events,” said Monica Smith, president and CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society. “The Southeast offers so many unique, year-round, opportunities for attendees to create memories and support an industry that is an economic generator for its community.”
Events considered for the STS Top 20 recognition must be at least three years old and have attendance of at least 1,000. The Clay County Agricultural Fair runs April 4-13 and is expected to draw more than 115,000 guests from a seven-county area.