Mr. Paone is a graduate of Flagler College with a BA in Graphic Design and minors in fine art and advertising. As a resident of St. Johns County since 1990, and a teacher at RJ Murray Middle School for the last 17 years, Mr. Paone is fully invested in the students and families at Murray as well as the community as a whole. Additionally, his prior experience includes working for seven years as a graphic artist for Tree of Life, Inc., at the time, the largest health food distribution company in the US. In 2000, he also started a very successful entertainment company in St. Johns County that continues to this day. Mr. Paone relies on all of this excellent experience to share with his students in the classroom, making him a truly unique and highly effective teacher.
Mr. Paone started the Graphic and Digital Design Program at RJ Murray in 2004. Since that time, numerous students have used the skills developed to transition to the Digital Design Program at St. Augustine High School, many of whom have gone on to receive their Adobe certification. Mr. Paone has one of the only Apple computer labs in the county and manages 36 computers in a unique lab setting to provide students with a real-word experience unlike any school in the area. Moreover, lessons, projects and activities are presented in a way that is engaging for the diverse student body at RJ Murray Middle School. Lessons are often created in a flipped classroom style through video recordings, live presentations, and hands-on activities and allow for students to incorporate their own interests and unique personalities. Additionally, Mr. Paone tries to supplement lessons with outside guest speakers through his connections and resources in the local arts community. Within the scope of all projects, the elements and principles of design, art history, and craftsmanship and presentation are strongly emphasized. At the end of each school year, all advanced students are required to build a portfolio of their work and present it at the annual portfolio review held for each of the last 13 years on campus. During this time, design professionals such as artists, web designers, graphic artists, photographers, art educators and even former students come to score and review the portfolios, providing excellent feedback to these promising, new designers of tomorrow. The program and its structure are truly unique, making RJ Murray a great place to learn and Mr. Paone a highly effective digital arts teacher.