Allen Anderson, Principal
Allen Anderson was selected by Superintendent Tim Forson to be the principal of the new K-8 school, Freedom Crossing Academy in 2018. “Allen is an innovative and collaborative leader,” said Forson. “I know that his familiarity with the community and ability to build rapport with students and parents will serve him well.” Anderson was the principal of Palencia Elementary School since the 2013-2014 school year and has more than 20 years of experience within the SJCSD. Prior to PES he served as principal at Cunningham Creek Elementary, assistant principal at Mill Creek Elementary and Durbin Creek Elementary schools, a curriculum coordinator at Switzerland Point Middle School and a teacher at CCES. Anderson was chosen as the 2017-2018 Principal of the Year for St. Johns County. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of North Florida and a master’s degree from Jacksonville University.
He has made maintaining a positive school culture a high priority at FCA and ensures that state and district mandates are communicated in a way that supports the school’s mission and vision. He is extremely supportive of his staff and always lauds their successes, even when they won’t. “I am very thankful for the trust and confidence from Superintendent Forson,” said Anderson.
Melissa Lime, Assistant Principal
Melissa Lime serves as the Middle School Assistant Principal at Freedom Crossing Academy, one of the newest K-8 schools in St. Johns County, Florida. In her 16+ years in K-12 education, Melissa has served students in St. Johns County School District as a classroom teacher, instructional literacy coach, coordinator for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, curriculum coordinator, and assistant principal. Melissa has a track record of school success and has presented at state and national conferences in the areas of innovative instructional strategies, social and emotional learning best practices, and positive behavior interventions and supports. Her specialized areas of concentration include: school culture and climate, student engagement and motivation, instructional leadership, and inclusion best practices.
Melissa Lime’s outstanding leadership and commitment to student success has been recognized at the local and national level. Melissa was recently recognized as the 2021 St Johns County School District Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year. She is nationally recognized as an ASCD Emerging Leader and PDK Emerging Leader and represents St. Johns County’s “40 Under Forty” young professionals who demonstrate outstanding leadership and commitment to the community. Melissa was also recognized by the White House during National Teacher Appreciation Week for her effective leadership during COVID-19 school closure. Melissa Lime is passionate about educating, inspiring, and empowering her school community to break barriers and achieve success.
Amy Rugen, Assistant Principal
Amy Rugen is thrilled to join Freedom Crossing Academy and the St. Johns School District! She comes with more than 20 years of educational experiences. She previously served as an assistant principal in three elementary schools in Clay County. Mrs. Rugen was also a literacy coach in Clay County and Duval County as well as a classroom teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida in Early Childhood Education and her master’s degree from the University of North Florida in Educational Leadership. She is passionate about literacy education, elementary curriculum, and collaborative teaching practices. Mrs. Rugen believes a collaborative school environment with a focus on Professional Learning Communities is the key to creating a successful teaching and learning environment. Mrs. Rugen is proud to be an FCA Falcon!
Jessica Hamelin, Assistant Principal
Dr. Jessica Hamelin is thrilled to join the administration team at Freedom Crossing Academy. Dr. Hamelin earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and her Master of Education in Elementary Education from Jacksonville University as well as her Doctorate of Educational Leadership from The University of North Florida. Dr. Hamelin has served in various roles in St. Johns and Clay County Schools. Dr. Hamelin assisted in opening Palm Valley Academy in its inaugural year as the Instructional Literacy Coach and was also a classroom teacher, previously nominated for teacher of the year, as well as a Model Classroom Teacher, SAC Chair, Leadership team member, and graduate of the St. Johns County Leadership Academy. Dr. Hamelin also presented on a panel at the “Girls Can” event held in Putnam County, FL that promoted leadership and career readiness skills for 10th and 11th grade students. Dr. Hamelin brings a wealth of knowledge regarding the MTSS system, Professional Learning Communities, as well as Professional Development in Curriculum and Instruction in order to best serve students and teachers. Dr. Hamelin is passionate about collaborative learning, highly effective instructional practices, curriculum support, community involvement, and servant leadership. She is proud to be a Falcon!
Matthew Duggan, Assistant Principal
Matthew Duggan is excited to be named the newest Assistant Principal at Freedom Crossing Academy. Mr. Duggan earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and his Master of Education in Elementary Education from University of Florida as well as a Master of Educational Leadership from Saint Leo University. Mr. Duggan has served in various roles in St. Johns, Duval, and Hillsborough County Schools. Mr. Duggan most recently was the Testing Coordinator and Athletic Director at Patriot Oaks Academy. He has also been a SAC Chair, Leadership Team member, and graduate of the St. Johns County Phase I Leadership Academy. Mr. Duggan has also been a Dean in Duval County and has extensive experience teaching grades 4-8, for close to 15 years. Mr. Duggan cares deeply about the safety and well-being of all students, especially in their social and emotional health. Mr. Duggan is about supporting collaborative learning, teacher support and servant leadership. He is proud to join the FCA administrative team.
About our School
School Established – 2018
School Location – Aberdeen community, St Johns County, FL
Area Served – Aberdeen and Rivertown Communities
School Cost – $38 million, funded by the Half-Cent Sales Tax
School Mascot – Falcon
School Colors – Navy, Grey, Kelly Green
School Capacity – approximately 1,490 students
School Building – 190,000 square feet
Feeder Pattern High Schools – Bartram Trail HS & Creekside HS
School Design – The design is a modification of Patriot Oaks and Valley Ridge Academies with the addition of a third floor that houses 8 classrooms, 3 science labs, ESE classrooms, a Technology Lab, Business Lab, Skills Lab and Resource Room. Due to tremendous growth, 20 modular classrooms have been added in 2020.
Teacher of the Year 2018 – Matt Ostrowsky – St Johns County TOY Finalist
Teacher of the Year 2019 – Julie Haden – St Johns County TOY Finalist
Teacher of the Year 2020 – Jessica Brown
Rookie Teacher of the Year 2019 – Ashley Alford
Rookie Teacher of the Year 2020 – Alyssa Gavron
School Related Employee of the Year 2018 – Staci Boyer – St Johns Co Employee of the Year
School Related Employee of the Year 2019 – Katie Richards
School Related Employee of the Year 2020 – John Reed
School Mission Statement: “Falcons take FLIGHT”
The letters in FLIGHT encompass qualities that we want for our students and staff = Focus, Leadership, Imagination, Grit, Heart, and Team
School Vision Statement: “Breaking Barriers”
It is our goal for our students, staff and school to ‘break the barriers’ that are holding us from the next step in our dreams and achievements. These could include such things as the fear to fail, misconceptions, a fixed mindset, self-esteem, etc.
Falcons In the News:
Creekline: “Falcons Soar Through their First Year”
Who are the Funky Falcons?
Funky Falcons all started with a fun, simple idea. “Let’s do a flash mob for our students.” We got together and decided on fun outfits and found the perfect song to dance to at our first home basketball game. It was so much fun that we had to do it again. Since then, we have performed many more times and gained new members each time. Funky Falcons consist of teachers, faculty members, and administration. We are dancing through barriers!