CLAY COUNTY – After hosting numerous interviews with several outstanding leaders, Superintendent David Broskie will recommend the following individuals for new administrative roles for the …
CLAY COUNTY – After hosting numerous interviews with several outstanding leaders, Superintendent David Broskie will recommend the following individuals for new administrative roles for the 2023-2024 school year.
He asked the School Board to approve the following changes at its June 1 meeting:
Jennifer Collins, Supervisor of School Improvement and Leadership Development: Collins has just completed her 13th year as a principal and her 16th year as a school-based administrator. She has served as a principal at three different schools in two counties (Duval and Clay). Collins has served as Principal of Fleming Island Elementary for the past six years. Her work at Fleming Island Elementary includes earning the Purple Star of Distinction, improving staff culture to the top of Clay County, implementing the Cambridge Primary program for all students, creating the first research-based sensory room in the District, and bringing programs such as Anchored 4 Life to support the large military population of students. Collins was selected as Clay County District Schools’ Principal of the Year in 2021-2022. Before serving as an administrator, she taught third and fourth grades at two schools in Duval County.
During her years as an administrator, Collins has served on countless district committees and completed course and facilitator certification through the National Institute for School Leadership. She is also a Best and Brightest Principal and mentors new principals, assistant principals, and aspiring leaders. She led Fleming Island to be a “School of Excellence” multiple years in a row.
She earned a B.A. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed. in Education from the University of Florida and an M.Ed. degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida. Collins is proud that both of her daughters attend Clay County schools, including Taylor, a rising senior at Fleming Island High and Kate, a rising seventh grader at Lakeside Junior High.
Collins is passionate about working with aspiring and current leaders in order to promote student achievement. She is excited to bring her passion and experience to the district level to support all students, staff and schools.
Kyle Seymour, Supervisor of Budget: Seymour was born, reared and educated in Clay County before attending the University of Florida, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, a Master’s in International Business and a Master’s of Science in Information Systems and Operations Management. While studying for his Bachelor’s, he began work as Business Coordinator at the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery. His support of the nursing school would quickly earn him the title of Business Director. As he took on more responsibility, businesses in the community reached out for his support. Throughout his studies, he provided tax, payroll and bookkeeping services part-time, including his time abroad. After obtaining his Bachelor’s, Kyle pursued a Master’s in International Business. He studied business administration in France and extended his international network while living abroad for nearly six months. He returned to the University of Florida for two more semesters to complete his business education and obtain his Master’s of Science.
Completing projects with Walt Disney World and the Association for Information Systems, he would add technical skills to his pool of administrative knowledge. He is ready to bring new ideas to an experienced and well-oiled workplace. He looks forward to working with Dr. Susan Legutko and the Business Affairs office and living closer to friends and family.
Lydia Creel, Principal at Lake Asbury Junior High: Creel is a dedicated educator with 18 years of experience in Clay County District Schools. She’s served in various teaching, coaching, and leadership roles. Her work as a classroom teacher, math coach, K-12 instructional coach, 6-12 mathematics curriculum specialist, and assistant Principal at both the junior high and high school level has provided her the opportunity to broaden her understanding of culture-building and data-driven action plans that lead to positive student outcomes.
Creel earned her Bachelor’s degree at University of Florida and her Educational Leadership degree from the University of West Florida. She and her husband have deep roots in our local community and all four of their children are proud graduates of Clay County Schools. Creating a safe and nurturing environment where all students and teachers thrive and work together toward high expectations is fundamental to a positive school experience. Creel has worked diligently to foster and develop relationships and build a culture of collective responsibility at each school she’s served in.
Creel is excited to join the Lake Asbury Junior High team as Principal and looks forward to working with this community’s faculty, staff, and families to continue the tradition of excellence.
Jim Herrholtz, Principal at Discovery Oaks Elementary: Herrholtz has been an educator for 30 years. He is a graduate of Youngstown State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. He has two Master’s degrees: one from Youngstown State University in Curriculum and Instruction and a second from Ashland University in Educational Administration. Herrholtz has been the keynote speaker at several National Conferences when serving in his role as the Ohio Department of Education Associate Superintendent for the Division of Learning. Additionally, he was an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School at Bowling Green State University, teaching all the requisite coursework to become a School Principal in Ohio.
Herrholtz has served at all levels of education. He has been a teacher, Principal, superintendent, county superintendent and served in senior leadership at the Ohio Department of Education. After moving to Florida, Jim taught Civics and U.S. History at Green Cove Junior High, and served as Clay High School Dean and Keystone Heights Elementary Assistant Principal.
Jim lives in St Augustine with his wife, Samantha, and has two married daughters who have given him seven grandchildren to enjoy. Herrholtz is a passionate educator with boundless energy – always willing to go the extra mile for others. He strives for excellence for himself and anyone he comes in contact with. He is looking forward to positively impacting the students and families at Discovery Oaks Elementary.
Justin Jones, Principal at Grove Park Elementary: Jones has served as an educator in Clay County for 19 years. He began his career teaching Economics at Middleburg High, where he spent eight years, followed by three years at Wilkinson Junior High teaching Physical Education.
Jones became an Assistant Principal in 2015, beginning at Tynes Elementary and Green Cove Springs Junior High. He then spent six years working alongside the faculty and staff of Lake Asbury Junior High School as Vice Principal. For the last year, Jones has supported the District as the Coordinator of Student Engagement, providing behavioral support to students across Clay County.
Jones is a graduate of Harding University, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in History and Economics, and The University of North Florida, where he earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.
Jones is passionate about leveraging any available resource to accelerate learning and close achievement gaps for students at risk. As a teacher and administrator, he has been a proponent of the power of proactive behavior management to support student success. He believes that the strength and excellence of each school are grounded in developing strong relationships between staff, students and the community.
Justin and his wife Jeanette, both graduates of Middleburg High, will celebrate 20 years of marriage this August. He is excited to be a member of the Grove Park family.
Mallory McConnell, Principal of Fleming Island Elementary: McConnell is an accomplished educator who has worked for more than 15 years as a teacher and school administrator.
She is a graduate of Stetson University, earning her Bachelor of Music, and her Master’s in Educational Leadership and Specialist of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of West Florida.
McConnell’s classroom experience includes teaching sixth-12th grades, where she was recognized as an exemplary teacher. She started her leadership career as an Assistant Principal before being promoted to Principal of the same middle school. In this role, she worked hard to increase instructional opportunities that challenged learners and supported teachers.
She transitioned to Clay County District Schools as the Principal of Lakeside Junior High School in 2017, where McConnell worked directly alongside teachers to enhance quality instruction. During her tenure, the Florida Department of Education recognized Lakeside Junior High School as a School of Excellence. McConnell has been the proud Principal of Lake Asbury Junior High for the past four years, where you will find evidence of professional learning communities focused on analyzing data to make informed instructional decisions. Under her leadership, Lake Asbury Junior High developed strategic plans to address school-wide student behaviors, supporting both the students and the teachers in the learning environment.
McConnell lives on Fleming Island with her family, including her husband and a son who attends Fleming Island Elementary. She enjoys being an adjunct professor for Saint Leo University, visiting new places with her family in their camper, and is excited to cheer on the Jacksonville Jaguars this season! McConnell is thrilled to join the Stingray Family and is looking forward to continuing the excellent work at Fleming Island Elementary.
Amanda Strickland, Principal at Charles E. Bennett Elementary” Strickland graduated from Keystone Heights Junior/Senior highs, and has served Clay County Schools for 13 years as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, curriculum specialist, and Assistant Principal. She graduated with her Bachelor’s from Harding University and her Master’s in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education.
Strickland has taught at several elementary schools, including RideOut, Charles E. Bennett, and Plantation Oaks, before becoming a district instructional coach at Middleburg Elementary.
Strickland’s time as an instructional coach, curriculum specialist, and Assistant Principal has given her a wide range of experiences that enable her to fully immerse herself in the work alongside teachers. She has also worked with the FLDOE for the FL Department of Education Item Content Review Committee for the Grade 5 SSA and as a liaison between FLDOE and CCDS teachers.
Mrs. Strickland’s belief that all students should have equal access to learning experiences that are rigorous and meaningful led to an improvement in inclusionary practices. Mrs. Strickland worked with the PBIS committee to change the school-wide expectations and improve student recognition and attendance, which moved the school grade from a B to an A for the second time during her service at MBE. She was recognized as Clay County’s 2023 Assistant Principal of the Year.
Strickland’s husband Tyson and three boys are all a proud part of the Clay County Schools. Mrs. Strickland is excited to return to her roots at Charles E. Bennett to serve the scholars, staff and community of Green Cove Springs.
Toni Phillips, Coordinator of Health Benefits: Phillips joined the District with 26-plus years of experience in the healthcare and employee benefits industry. She brings a deep business acumen in health benefit plan design, pharmacy programs, alternative funding arrangements, enrollment, billing, claims processing, customer service, wellness and health care programs, client reporting and clinical analytics.
Before joining the District, Toni was employed at Mercer Consulting for 2-plus years as a Health and Benefits Consultant. She was a consistent top producer in designing and delivering outstanding strategic and support solutions for major accounts and large employer clients.
Before joining Mercer, Toni worked at Florida Blue for 24 years, where she held various roles within the service, sales, and strategy organizations. In her most recent role, Toni managed prospective and in-force Private Exchange models to ensure alignment to strategy and advancement of objectives. She established and maintained critical broker/consultant relationships, facilitated issue resolution, led cross-functional business collaboration, and supported critical partners in decision-making and action planning.
Toni brings a wealth of knowledge to the District and the Business Affairs Division. This experience, coupled with innovative techniques and efficient practices, will benefit the District as we continue to improve our benefit offering each plan year.