ST JOHNS COUNTY, Fla.-- It's a prestigious honor even St. Johns County has to blush at.
"It was exciting to see our efforts were recognized," Superintendent Joe Joyner said.
The district was given an Exemplary School Safety award last week by the School Safety Advocacy Council. It was one of only seven chosen around the country for a proactive approach to safety following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.
"The tragedies we've seen have created that imperative that we make sure we know who's on campus," Joyner continued.
That mindset is a relief for Nancy Norwood, who has a young niece and a daughter going into the second grade.
"I'm really comfortable with St. Johns County schools and how they run everything safety wise," she explained.
Specifically, the district held safety audits to get a good look at campus perimeters. Physical construction was also done to create a single point of entry at schools, along with a process of screening visitors and working hand in hand with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. Superintendent Joe Joyner says it's a shame we have to prepare for imminent danger, but a must and something they'll continue to do.
"Creating safe schools is an ongoing effort. You never fully arrive. You're always continuing to upgrade your facilities or systems."