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Tag Archives: school

Al Bismonte

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By Maureen Chodaba Upon entering the Marco Island home of Al Bismonte, you are greeted by a garden ornament with the message “All Things Grow With Love.” That is a theme that lives and flourishes in the heart of this man of many talents. This “retired” pediatrician from Waukegan, Illinois enjoys a home that is filled with more than one hundred orchid plants. “They are not my hobby, they are my therapy,” says Bismonte with a smile. Surrounded by their beauty, Bismonte explained his secret in caring for these thriving plants. “Sometimes people think an orchid has died, but it ... Read More »

Can Orlando Happen Here?

Lt. Jay Mulholland speaks to a packed crowd on June 16. Photos by Roger Lalonde

By Roger LaLonde  Can Orlando happen here? Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk is pondering that question like so many law enforcement agencies across the country. The question to him, “Does the FBI alert the Sheriff’s Office on potential terrorists or terrorist activity?” “No” was the sobering response. Rambosk spoke at the East Naples Civic Association luncheon on June 16. It was five days after the horrific shooting and killing of 49 people at The Pulse in Orlando in the early hours of June 12. Rambosk followed by saying that the county has forged a relationship with the FBI and does ... Read More »

Jeans for Troops

Submitted Photo
MICMS participants in the “Jeans for Troops” fundraiser.

Submitted Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) teachers and administrators participated in the “Jeans for Troops” program in an effort to raise money for our country’s veterans as we celebrated Memorial Day. This tied in with the school’s “Salute to Veterans and Active Military Personnel” band concert, which was recently held on campus to an overflow crowd of more than 400 people. The school hopes to repeat their participation in the “Jeans for Troops” program for Veteran’s Day in the fall. Read More »

Governor Having Love Affair with Goodland? It sure looks that way after second visit in two months

Photos by Barry Gwinn
Patty and Kelly Kirk

By Barry Gwinn On March 4, 2016, Governor Rick Scott paid a visit to Marco Island Academy (MIA). He was there at the invitation of founder and board chairman, Jane Watt, to confer awards on four of the school’s outstanding educators and to see for himself why this school was doing so well. It was about noon when he concluded his visit to MIA. Before leaving, he asked directions and distance to Goodland. The Governor had made the acquaintance of Patti Kirk eight years before, when both worked out at the same Naples fitness center. He had enjoyed meals at ... Read More »

Since She Went Away

Since She Went Away
By David Bell
New American Library –
June 21, 2016 - 432 pages
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
4.0/5.0 stars

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com Bell is an accomplished storyteller who is equally adept at both character development and plot advancement. I first read his “Someone I Used To Know” last year and was riveted by the nuances of his characters’ personalities. The same is true of “Since She Went Away.” I was invested in these characters by the end of chapter one and put the book down only once. This is basically the story of RN Jenna Barton, a single mom, and her teenaged son Jared, detailing how their quiet lives in tiny Hawks Mill, Kentucky were up heaved by ... Read More »

Jo Bromley – Goodland’s Multi-Talented Duck Lady Ducks and friends bringing ducks always welcome at Jo’s

Photos by Barry Gwinn Jo B proudly poses in front of her residence. If you’re a friend or a rubber duckie, you’re welcome here. If you’re neither, just bring a rubber duckie and you can probably get in.

Goodland Life  By Barry Gwinn When driving into the Village of Goodland, the first residence you will see is the brightly colored yellow and royal blue mobile home of Jo Bromley. It is occasionally photographed by tourists, and a painting of this residence recently sold for $400. (It is hanging in the Little Bar Restaurant.) This gaily appointed residence was prominently shown in a recent NBC2 newscast concerning Goodland Road. As it turned out, this residence has set the tone for the many bright pastel colors, which have become endemic here in Goodland. It is what’s inside Jo Bromley’s home, ... Read More »

Dominate the Dink

Photos by Jodi Pree
Kane Pree demonstrates the correct way to hit a forehand dink.

Coach Wayne,s Corner Wayne Clark WClark@cityofmarcoisland.com In one of my columns earlier this year, I stated that the serve and the return were the two most important shots in the game. In both tennis and pickleball, we can’t win a point if we can’t get the point started! While this statement still holds true, I believe that in pickleball, the dink (strategically) is the most important shot in the game. Also, in a previous column, I discussed “third ball opportunity,” which in the sport of pickleball, puts us into a strategical position where the dink now becomes a vital part of ... Read More »

TBE Author and Artists Night

Masked Kacie and Darwin hold colorful books that they wrote. Submitted Photos

By Maggie Gust  Tommie Barfield Elementary (TBE) was electric with activity on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, as the students and staff opened their doors to the public to celebrate another successful school year at Authors and Artists Night. The aroma of the vendors’ carts in the playground area wafted down to the parking lot. A local professional jazz band’s rollicking music had visitors smiling and moving to the notes as they entered and exited the main building. The hallways and rooms were bright and cheerful, festooned with the art, writing and science projects of the students. A Karaoke room was ... Read More »

New Owl Book on Bullying

Dr. Dolores Burton. Submitted Photo

Submitted  On Thursday, June 16th from 3-4 PM, Dr. Dolores Burton will read her new book, “Bully Billy is Back: The Burrowing Owls are Worried,” at the Marco Island Public Library. The book is illustrated by local artist Jo-Ann Sanborn. Current statistics show nearly one out of every four students (22%) report being bullied during the school year. After seeing the results of bullying in schools during her career as a teacher and school district administrator, Dr. Dolores Burton decided to do something about it. “Bully Billy is Back: The Burrowing Owls are Worried,” is a delightful story of Manny, ... Read More »

Deputy Chief Chris Byrne Retires

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By Samantha Husted On May 27th hundreds gathered in the Rose Hall Auditorium at the Marco Island Historical Museum to bid farewell to longtime firefighter, Deputy Chief Chris Byrne. Chris started at the Fire Department in 1983 when he was just 20 years old. In the past 33 years he’s seen Marco Island grow from a sleepy little town to a bonafide city. He’s been witness to the evolving emergency response technologies and has played a significant role in laying the foundation for the department we know today. Chris grew up just two hours east of Marco Island in Miami. ... Read More »

Emotions High at MIA Graduation

Photo by Roger LaLonde
Teacher Robert Eder with MIA students before graduation. From left: Jordan Roath, Cameron
Ragan, Eder, Jacob Golec, Matthew Nugent, Jose Ramirez and Austin Acosta.

By Roger LaLonde  More than 400 family and friends packed the Family Church for the Marco Island Academy (MIA) graduation on June 3. Laughs, cheers and tears made for a special occasion. Valedictorian Stephen Vale brought about the first jolt of laughter when he told of “Not having a normal high school experience.” He chose to go the dual enrollment path his junior year, going to Florida SouthWestern State College. “It was definitely tough the past two years, missing out on all the fun and experiences at MIA.   Due to his youthful looks, Vale said, “On the first day, ... Read More »

Fun Time, Summer Time

Island Kids advanced level players, Andrew, Jaxson and Camdon, with their favorite hitting partner, “Beauregard,” the ball machine!

COACH WAYNE’S CORNER Wayne Clark WClark@cityofmarcoisland.com Summer is here and there are plenty of activities that are being offered for kids on Marco Island. As a coach, I believe that the more sports a young person can be exposed to, the better they will be at all sports! As a parent, I believe summer vacation is a time for kids to enjoy fun activities, like going to the beach, or the movies, or just hanging out at home and having a barbeque and swimming in the pool for the afternoon. So, as a coach and a parent, my advice is make sure ... Read More »

MIA Student Athletes Honored

Photo by Roger LaLondo
Raoul Rodriguez slams a forehand during a match this season. Named the school’s outstanding tennis player in the annual
sports awards presentation, Rodriguez is
the first MIA player in any sport to reach the state finals.

By Roger LaLonde In the months that followed sports seasons, Marco Island Academy (MIA) held separate award presentations. “We have a tremendous group of student athletes,” Kelly Monnot, athletic director, said. “They are well-rounded students who work hard in the classroom and in athletics.” Monnot thinks the school is headed in the right direction in academics and sports. “The school student numbers are increasing and we are seeing more sports participation. We have many multi-sport athletes,” she said. Monnot is proud of how the students are adapting to the school’s culture. “We expect our athletes to excel in the classroom ... Read More »

Fowlers Hit Football Trails to N.C.

Former MIA football coach Greg Fowler making a point to his defensive line.

By Roger LaLonde Greg Fowler and son Andrew will be showing their talents at 1AA North Moore High School in Robbins, North Carolina. Greg Fowler left on May 19 to become the school’s new offensive coordinator. He certainly will know the quarterback, son Andrew. The rest of Fowler’s family will join them after school is out. Andrew transferred to North Moore on May 16 to take part in spring football practices. School enrollment is 630. Greg Fowler resigned as football coach at Marco Island Academy (MIA) following his second football season. Son Andrew led the area in passing yardage for ... Read More »

Positives Seen in MIA Spring Game

MIA’S Tyler Gresham shakes off the defender in gaining yards in the spring game.

By Roger LaLonde The spring game for Marco Island Academy (MIA) didn’t come out well in the won-loss column, but coach Damon Coiro saw a lot of positives. The Manta Rays were blanked on the road by St. Andrews of Boca Raton, 33-0 on May 20. The Scots scored on two huge pass plays in the first half. In the second half, when Coiro frequently subbed his charges, two running plays by the Scots in the third and a blocked punt in the fourth resulted in scores. “We had scoring opportunities in the first half, but we turned the ball ... Read More »

Reading is Elementary

Photos by Janice Baptiste
From left: Martin Gillieson, Ray McChesney and Gayle Thawley have a little fun before giving away over 600 books to elementary school students.

By Roger LaLonde When Manatee Elementary School students jammed the media center it wasn’t for lunch. They were hungry to read. Some 750 students came in waves, by grades actually, to select a book that they will keep. The Marco Island Kiwanis Club volunteers made sure they signed their books to give them a feeling of ownership. Kiwanians have been providing books for Tommie Barfield and Manatee Elementary schools for 16 years. The originator was the Marco Island Pilot Club. Like Kiwanis, it was an organization that concentrated on children and families, said Diana Pagach, Kiwanis Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) ... Read More »

MICMS Brings Alice in Wonderland to Life

Photos by Stephanie Simon

By Coastal Breeze News Staff It was a grand finale of theatrical productions for the 2015/16 school year, and grand it was! The show was Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr., produced by the Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) ALL STARZ for family, friends and faculty. Under the tutelage of the musical director and choreographer, Karen Raymond, with help from Kerri Holdsworth, assistant director and backstage manager, the production was bound to be a great one. This community is fortunate to have productions of such high caliber from their middle school. From the extremely talented individual vocal performances to the ... Read More »

MIA Ranked Top 2%

Photo by Jane Watt
MIA students following an MIT luncheon, from left: Dylan Demkovich, Duneshka Cruz, Caitlyn Schmidt, Jose Ramirez, Cora Stahl, teacher Hal Creech, John Roche and Matt Olzsak. Also attending was Kasey Bersh (not pictured), who was accepted to MIT this year.

By Jane Watt Marco Island Academy, a tuition-free, public charter high school, is rated in the top 2% of America’s Most Challenging High Schools by the Washington Post in 2016. The list is comprised of public, charter and private schools across America. Out of the 22,000 schools that were evaluated, only 2,300 made the list. Marco Island Academy (MIA) made the list at #255- landing the school in the top 2% in the nation. The rankings are based on results from the 2014-2015 school year. Last year, MIA achieved a 97.3% graduation rate, with 85% of the graduates going on ... Read More »

MIA Boys Basketball Scores in Academics

Photo by Roger LaLonde
MIA’s Patrick Michel comes down with rebound in the Rays victory over Canterbury.

By Roger LaLonde  The Marco Island Academy (MIA) boys basketball team scored on the court and in the classroom. In the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) winter sports report, MIA scored second in Class 3A. Westminster Academy of Fort Lauderdale was first and First Baptist of Naples third. Not only were they in the top three for their class, they were the top three for all classes in the state. On a 4.0 grade point scale, Westminster recorded a 3.723, MIA a 3.655 and First Baptist, 3.604. The next highest score came from Class 2A, as Covenant Christian of ... Read More »

MIA Cheers for Champions

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Submitted  On May 16 at 10 AM, a planning meeting for the first Marco Island Academy Cheers for Champions fundraiser will be held at the school in Room 303. Athletic Director Kelly Monnot invites parents and community members to take part in planning this event that will benefit the athletic programs at the school. The Cheers for Champions fundraiser will take place May 21 at Kretch’s Restaurant, from 6:30 to 10 PM. Tickets are $50 a person, which includes dinner, live and silent auctions and music. There will be a cash bar. The deadline for tickets or to be part ... Read More »