Tim Croft | The Star
Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School Principal Jeremy Knapp had an idea about bringing sharper focus on this school and the community it calls home.
The aim was to promote the small-town values and beauty of the Port St. Joe community while also spotlighting the efforts of students, teachers, parents and administrators to produce graduates ready for the 21st Century residing beyond the town’s limits.
The theme of the effort, “Small Town, Big Aspirations”, Knapp said, is appropriate for a school that has won 24 state championships in sports and sent students out into the world where they have become doctors, lawyers, engineers and scientists, among other vocations.
The project thus far has been centered on banners created to spotlight school and community.
“We want to promote the area and the school at the same time,” said Knapp, in his second year at the school. “This isn’t just about the school; we want people who don’t know about Port St. Joe to come here.”
A school that has helped the district earn state kudos as a honor roll district, which is based primarily on outcomes from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, and a high-performing district, a measurement of educational and operational excellence.
“This is about the town, this is about the school and this is about what we have,” Knapp said of his campaign, which already includes several banners on the downtown artery of Reid Avenue.
“We do a very good job here,” Knapp added.
Knapp said the next step in his vision is to enlist assistance from alumni who have gone out into the world and created something of themselves. The aim is to show that even a small-town school can provide a platform for big-time opportunities.
“We are going to reach out to graduates and see what they are doing,” Knapp said. “We want to show where our students are going on to and what they are doing with their lives, what they have done with the education that started here.”
Knapp said his short-term goal is to raise the profile of the school within the community.
“Our ultimate goal is to get more community involvement in the school,” Knapp said. “We are going to hang these posters any place we can hang them and get them visible.”
As the campaign notes, this maybe a small town, but its citizens include many with big aspirations.