JUNE 2022

Florida School of the Arts honors graduates

Florida School of the Arts recently bid farewell to 24 graduates now on their way to pursue careers in art galleries, on stage, or behind the scenes in the entertainment industry. Many will continue their education at universities before pursuing their niche in the arts. The College honored students who received their associate degrees in the visual and performing arts at the St. Johns River State College Palatka campus.

Outstanding graduates were recognized during the ceremony. The Outstanding Graduate for Performing Arts Award was presented to Courtney Elise Burnett and Morgan Lynn Johnston.

Burnett plans to move to New York in January 2023 to pursue a career in musical theatre. Johnston will join the dance faculty at the Dance Arts Center dance studio in Melbourne.

Sebastian Parks, who plans to become a character artist, was the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate for Visual Arts Award.

Nicole Joy Barnes received the Outstanding Graduate for Design and Technical Theatre Award, and will pursue various internship opportunities.

Rebecca Anne Miller, recipient of the Outstanding Graduate for Academic Achievement Award, will transfer to the University of Florida to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance.

During the commencement ceremony, musical theatre graduates gave a vocal presentation of “Grow as we Go” by Ben Platt.

Richard Shusterman, Ph.D., philosopher and Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in the Humanities at Florida Atlantic University delivered the commencement speech.

The exhortation reading of a speech by Wynton Marsalis was given by FloArts graduate Peyton Kalaczynski.

The 2022 degree and certificate candidates were Nicholas Thomas Aiello IV, Vyn Arellano, Nicole Joy Barnes, Kathryn Amber Blankenship, Chad Michael Boyd, Courtney Elise Burnett, Caley Marie Costello, McKenzie Lynn Dobson, Suzannah Hathaway Gaston, Kira An Heuring, Brendon Michael Hudson, Ashley Morgan Ionescu, Morgan Lynn Johnston, Peyton Kalaczynski, Rhianna Rosa Kirkland, Paige Danielle Lane, Rebecca Anne Miller, Rogerio Jeronimo Montenegro, Connor Liam O’Sullivan, Sebastian Meyani Parks, Mariah Severina Savage, Dmitri Eve Sieracki, Rebekah Elenore Spradlin and Asya Brianna Young.

Florida School of the Arts is part of the academic and administrative structure of SJR State and awards the two-year associate degree in the following areas of study: visual art, stage management, dance performance, theater technology, acting and musical theater. The School serves the entire state of Florida. Admission is based on an audition or portfolio review, an interview with the faculty and admission to SJR State. Students produce and perform in approximately four visual arts exhibitions and 10 performances each year. For more information about Florida School of the Arts call 386-312-4300 or visit online at

Group photo of 2022 Florida School of the Arts graduates
Courtney Elise Burnett (Outstanding Graduate for Performing Arts Award)
Morgan Lynn Johnston (Outstanding Graduate for Performing Arts Award)
Sebastian Parks (Outstanding Graduate for Visual Arts Award)
Nicole Joy Barnes (Outstanding Graduate for Design and Technical Theatre Award)
Rebecca Anne Miller (Outstanding Graduate for Academic Achievement Award)

22 FloArts graduation group

Courtney Burnett Morgan Johnston Sebastian Parks Nicole Joy Barnes Rebecca Miller



Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4020