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Women of Distinction St. Johns County 2019

Women of Distinction St. Johns County recognizes the movers and shakers in St. Johns County who positively impact and support their community.

Thursday, Sept. 19, 11 a.m.
Casa Monica Hotel
95 Cordova St., St. Augustine, FL 32084

Purchase tickets here.

2019 Honorees

Jeanette Bajalia
Jeanette Bajalia

Jeannette is the president and principal adviser of Petros Estate & Retirement Planning, where she has designed and implemented some of the most innovative estate planning solutions for clients and their families. She is also the founder and president of Woman’s Worth, where she has specialized in the unique needs facing women as they plan for their retirement. 

Jeannette has over 40 years of leadership experience as an independent business owner and as a retirement planning professional. She is an Ed Slott Master Elite Advisor, a published author, a radio host, and has appeared as a guest on First Coast Living on WTLV and Look Local. She was also recognized as one of 20 Women of Influence by The Jacksonville Business Journal in 2012. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Growing Bolder, Forbes, Jacksonville and Orlando Business Journal, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and Bloomberg Businessweek, as well as several local publications. 

In addition to her business and professional experiences, Jeannette has significant experience with the issues facing the aging population. She has a passion for ensuring individuals have a Retirement Lifestyle Protection Plan that allows them to enjoy a successful retirement and they are treated with dignity and respect through their various life stages.

Jeannette has lived in Ponte Vedra Beach for more than 18 years. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville and is a proud aunt to 32 nieces and nephews.

Monique Keaton
Monique Keaton

Monique Keaton has dedicated her professional and personal life to education. What steers her inner drive to meet the unique characteristics and needs of each student, teacher, and the collaborative community member is her core belief that education on all levels is synonymous to respect, dignity, and integrity. This fervor for educating future generations and creating caring, lifelong learners is what she has carried throughout her professional career as an administrator and advocate for education.

During her 24 years of experience in education, Monique has served in several key leadership roles, including her current role as assistant principal at Ketterlinus Elementary school. Prior to this service, she was the assistant principal at Julington Creek Elementary. Her educational background reflects many dedicated years of professional development, lifelong learning, and growing. Her degrees include specializations in gifted education and education leadership. She has completed Leadership Academies, Phase I and Phase II for both the St. Johns County School District, and the Metropolitan Nashville Public School District. Prior to becoming an educator in St. Johns County, she served as assistant principal designee in Nashville, Tenn., and she served as a classroom teacher for 15 years in Nashville, in Ashville, N.C., and in St. Augustine. Twice, she was named Teacher of the Year. In addition to her Master of Science degree in education leadership, she has completed 30 hours toward an Education Specialist Degree and has endorsement in the areas of ESOL and Gifted Education. Over the past few years, she has served as the Northeast Region director of the Florida Assistant Principals Association, served on the SJCSD Recruitment Committee, worked alongside the leadership team at Ketterlinus Elementary to bring the school from “C” school status to “A” school status, and accumulated nearly 4,000 hours of professional development in the St. Johns County School District alone.

Her education and experiences have afforded her opportunities to interpret, support, and enforce school, district, state, and federal regulations and rules regarding education, as well as to enforce collective bargaining agreements. Monique believes professional development, self-growth, and servant leadership are vital to growing educators, students and the learning community at large.

Prior to the start of her career as an educator, and directly after undergraduate school, Monique worked as the human resources manager of Hyatt Regency Nashville and Crown Point Nashville for four years. It was in the hotel restaurant industry she learned the importance of refined customer service, a skill that she uses today as she provides a service to students, teachers and community stakeholders. She does it all with a smile — both physically and from within. Monique believes children deserve five-star service, and she intends to continue being instrumental in making sure they receive it.

She enjoys, in order of priority, faith, family, children, teaching, learning on all levels, inspiring people one person at a time, reading to educate, running, Tennessee Walking Horses and peace. She recently celebrated 16 years of marriage to Michael Keaton, a very kind, hardworking gentleman who supports education as well.

Megan Wall
Megan Wall

Megan Wall currently works as the managing attorney and St. Johns pro bono coordinator for St. Johns County Legal, a role she has held since 2005. Her legal career includes roles with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Central Florida Legal Services and Legal Service of Greater Miami.

A University of Florida alum, Megan earned her JD in 1991, following bachelor and master degrees in English.

Megan is active in numerous organizations in St. Johns County and around the state of Florida. Currently she serves on the Florida Supreme Court Tobia Simon and Circuit Awards Committee, Justice Teaching, Indigency Committee for Seventh Judicial Circui, Veterans Treament Court and Drug Court team member, Unaccompanied Youth Homeless Student Committee, and Home Again St. Johns/Homeless Advocacy Continuum of Care Providers Group.

She has also received several awards for her community work and advocacy. Most recently, she received the EPIC Drug Treatment Center Advocacy Award and ElderSource Senior Advocacy Luminary Award, and she was named among the St. Augustine Record's 10 Who Make a Difference community recognition. 

JuAnne Weeks
KM_C364e-20190724105503

JuAnne Kennedy Weeks was born in Batesburg, S.C., on April 15, 1927, to Ralph Guy and Martha Shealy Kennedy. She had a lively childhood full of fun with two brothers and many cats and dogs. Being a Girl Scout in elementary school helped establish leadership skills and helped her learn the importance of helping others. In 1944 she graduated from Batesburg-Leesville High School. She continued her education at Columbia College in Columbia, S.C., and received her bachelor's degree in 1948. While at “C.C.” she was listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. She served as president of Wesley Foundation for the University of South Carolina and Columbia College students. JuAnne enjoyed acting and she was a member of Alpha Psi Omega (Drama). She was president of Chi Beta Phi (Science). In 1977 she received her master's degree in education from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

JuAnne credits her mother and grandmother, both educators, with influencing her career choice. She spent 29.5 years as a teacher in public schools. Five years were in South Carolina Elementary Schools: North Augusta, Columbia, and Little Mountain. She taught 24.5 years in St. Johns County: Crookshank, Fullerwood, and R.B. Hunt. In 1982 she was honored as Teacher of the Year for St. Johns County.

JuAnne met her future husband, Claude L. Weeks, former executive director of Flagler Hospital, while they were counselors at a Methodist youth camp. They married in 1951 and are still enjoying 68 years of life together. They have three children: Len Weeks and wife Kristy, Ken Weeks and wife Sharon, and Susan Sturm and husband Harold. They are the proud grandparents of Austin Weeks and wife Tricia, Claudia and Schaffer Weeks, Shealy and Reid Weeks, and Emily and Martha Sturm.

Some of the organizations in which JuAnne is active include: Gamma Gamma Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International- charter member and past president; Chapter D.C.- P.E.O, Sisterhood- past president; Las Adelfas Garden Circle- past president; Woman's Exchange of St. Augustine; First United Methodist Church- Administrative Board, Trustee, Council on Ministries, Sunday School Teacher, United Methodist Women, Church Circle- past president. She is a former member of The Junior Service League of St. Augustine and Flagler Hospital Auxiliary. In spite of claiming two left feet, she and Claude spent many happy years as members of the St. Augustine Ballroom Dance Association. They were longtime volunteers with the Council on Aging delivering Meals on Wheels.

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