Sunday, February 13, 2011

Liberty Pines Academy-St. John's, Florida

In order to start our first week of "traveling," we will be talking about our cooperating schools. Starting off our trip is a visit to St. John's, Florida. St. John's is located about 40 minutes outside of Jacksonville in the eastern part of Florida. From Ashland University, St. John's is approximately 14 1/2 hours away.

                                          photo courtesy of Alicia VanZanten, Ashland University Student Intern

Liberty Pines Academy is our cooperating school in St. John's. Principal Randy Kelley says of the school that in 2010, it added ten new teachers, six associate teachers, and seven part-time paraprofessionals. Liberty Pines is a school that houses kindergarten through grade eight. The school's continuing expansion is evident. Kelley says of the expansion: "Much of our success is attributed to the many parents and community members who see the potential of our students and believe in our mission to inspire in all students a passion for lifelong learning (2010)." Liberty Pines also received an "A" grade in 2010 based on students' learning progress and test scores.

There are many opportunities for students at Liberty Pines. One of the many extracurricular activities that students in grades 4-8 can take part in is a Writer's Workshop. Students with an interest in creative writing can learn more skill in the art of writing through plays, short stories, and poems. There is also a running club for girls ages 8 through 12, a chorus opportunity, and yearbook club, just to name a few. There are also athletic programs for students in middle grades. Students at Liberty Pines are bound to find an extracurricular activity that targets their individual interests and talents. 

What is required of Liberty Pines Academy teachers? Other than being highly qualified, teachers must be able to align their lessons effectively with instructional standards. This means that teachers must take the state standards and implement them into their classrooms based on student needs and ways of learning. Not only do they have to target individual students and their educational needs, but they also must make their lessons so that students have room to grow. Teachers must be willing to stay up to date on their methods of teaching and willing to incorporate the most current technology in their classrooms. Though teachers have a full plate of expectations, they must also possess leadership qualities and a will to build relationships with their co-workers, students and the parent community. 

There are many more extraordinary qualities of Liberty Pines Academy that you can explore. For more information on Liberty Pines, feel free to visit their website here

We will be featuring our Ashland University student intern that is doing her student teaching at Liberty Pines on Thursday. We look forward to sharing her journey with you. 

Kelley, R. (2010). Paw Prints. Liberty Pines Academy Newsletter. Retrieved February 13, 2011 at

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