SJR STATE ALUMNI SPOTLIGHTS
MATT REYNOLDS (2004)
Putnam County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller
Each month, St. Johns River State College will honor one of its own in an alumni salute, celebrating the career milestones, community contributions and personal reflections of those who began their collegiate journey as SJR State Vikings.
MATT, WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO STUDY AT SJR STATE?
While attending Palatka High School, I was given the opportunity to participate in the first dual enrollment classes that were offered to juniors. It wasn’t possible at the time to receive a full two-year associate’s degree while dual enrolling in high school, but I decided to take advantage of the opportunity. This helped me to receive my two-year degree much quicker than if I had to wait until after high school. I believe I only had to take additional classes for two semesters after graduating high school to complete my A.A. degree, which was absolutely wonderful!
WHAT DID YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A STUDENT AT SJR STATE?
I felt like I could focus on my studies and work full time without having the additional pressure of living in a “college town.” We are all young at some point, and we want to have fun, spend time with friends, meet new people and go new places, but I also knew if I was surrounded by lots of opportunities to have fun, my academics and career path may have suffered.
What also helped my decision was that I had already completed several dual enrollment courses, and having a completed associate’s degree would transfer much easier to other colleges whenever I wanted to pursue additional higher education.
WHAT/WHO IMPACTED YOU THE MOST DURING THAT TIME?
There are two educators I distinctly remember from SJR State: Dr. Humerick, my chemistry professor, and Mr. Miller, my calculus professor. Mr. Miller was truly dedicated to his work, took his instructions very seriously, was always there to help or answer a question, and he pushed me to grow. He saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself until years later, and I often think back to the time I spent with him in class.
Dr. Humerick just absolutely amazed me with her knowledge and wit. She was much like Mr. Miller in that she was as dedicated to her work as anyone I’ve ever met. When I stop to think these days about careers and work in general, I often think back to both of them and how they were such great role models to aspiring young professionals who are striving to learn and grow. Truly great memories!
WHAT DID YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING DURING YOUR STUDIES AT THE COLLEGE?
Chemistry was the hardest subject for me, personally. I was just happy to have gotten a C! Dr. Humerick was absolutely amazing, but the light bulb just never seemed to come on for me.
WHAT DID YOU DO AFTER GRADUATING FROM SJR STATE?
After graduating from SJR State, I decided to stay in my hometown of Palatka and continue working for a small local business developing software. I researched my next options and decided to attend the University of North Florida to continue my education, where I received a bachelor’s degree in finance. I was easily able to transfer my A.A. degree, and I didn’t have to take any remediation courses to start on my four-year degree.
PLEASE TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH AND WHAT YOU FIND MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR WORK.
Once I completed my bachelor’s degree, I began working for the City of Palatka. From there, I was very fortunate that I was given the opportunity to serve as the City’s Finance Director for almost a decade. I left the City to become the Deputy County Administrator at Putnam County; however, my most recent career move was being elected the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller for Putnam County in 2020.
The reason I ran for election was due to my experience in local governmental finance and education. I have always been interested in safeguarding governmental assets and ensuring that they are being handled properly. Being an independently elected constitutional officer who is statutorily charged with the duty to protect and safeguard county funds is quite literally my dream job.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE CONSIDERING SJR STATE?
If you are serious about receiving an absolutely fantastic education from some of the best professors I’ve ever met, then you do not have to look any further than SJR State!
ARE YOU AN SJR STATE ALUMNUS?
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