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Tag Archives: students

Collaboration, Team Effort Key to Success of MIA Expansion

Two brand-new  modulars at MIA will serve as science labs. PHOTOS BY JESSICA HERNSTADT

By Coastal Breeze News Staff When Marco Island Academy opens its doors on Monday, August 17, students will be greeted by two brand-new science labs. This year the young school reached full capacity with 250 students. To accommodate additional students, two modular classrooms have been added to the campus. Keeping true to its STEM curriculum, the new modulars will be used as labs for chemistry/physics and biology classes. Planning for the project began last September, when MIA’s board of directors examined the school’s needs and planned for future growth. The addition of the two new modulars, build-out, infrastructure, interior and ... Read More »

Don’t Hit the Ball So Perfect

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com “Doug, don’t hit the ball so perfect to me today. None of the guys I play with hits the ball like you and I want to be able to handle their spins,” Ben offered. Wow, I took a quick double-take, gathered my thoughts, and proceeded to have one of the better learning experiences of my tennis career. Fortunately, Ben’s sage advice helped me develop into a better coach because I needed to hear this valuable nugget. He was spot on; most of his men’s day opponents chopped and sliced their strokes and he needed to ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor: NOW LET’S HEAR THE TRUTH

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Words cannot describe how disappointed I am with all the commentaries by a few malcontents in this Island that will stop at nothing to get their way to further their personal agenda. There is enough blame to go around; the question is where do I begin? First a non-Island resident attacks a City Councilman at a public meeting with false and inaccurate information, all based on an illegally obtained report by a renegade Officer that is upset with the system and wants to use this as means to embarrass his superiors. He provides a copy of the report to a ... Read More »

Chamber Announces FIRST “Chamber Champion” Rick’s Island Salon & Day Spa

The Popoff family poses with their Chamber Champion award, joined by Dick Shanahan, far left and Nancy Carrington, far right. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted Lisa and Rick Popoff are the perfect example of a Chamber Champion. With head to toe services as their business, Rick’s Island Salon and Day Spa has been providing outstanding service since 1992, and has been a selfless contributor to the Marco Island community since the day they opened their doors. As a past president of the Chamber and current Board Member, Rick knows the importance of giving back to the community. During the month of August, Rick and his staff have provided teachers and students with free haircuts for the past six years to prepare for back to ... Read More »

New Uniforms, New Vigor as Rays Football Team Begins Season

Marco Island Academy football gets into swing when the Rays travel to Tyler, Texas to play in a football weekend showcase on August 28.

By Roger Lalonde Heading into its fourth season, the Marco Island Academy Rays football team is looking to put major stings to its opponents. Coach Greg Fowler, in his second season, expects his team to be competitive in every game. Taking a page from the Naples and First Baptist Academy’s play books, they, too, will play an out-of-state team to open its season. And it won’t be home cooking. The Rays will travel to Bullard, Texas to play in the 2015 Brook Hill Football Classic. Game time 7:30 PM, on August 28. Their opponent, Edgewood, Texas High School. The Rays ... Read More »

Leadership Marco: A Good Kind of Summer School

from left) Dianna Shearer – Independent Brokers Realty, Cathy Price McConville – Physician’s Regional Marco Island, Tracey Petricca – Coldwell Banker, Elisabeth Novakovich – Naples Daily News, Laura Schneider – Iberiabank.

By Steve Gimmestad steve@coastalbreezenews.com The Leadership Marco Class of 2015 kicked off their session on July 29 with a morning scavenger hunt and evening reception at La Tavola. Spouses, friends, staff and alumni were in attendance to lend support to the 12 students for this year’s class. The Marco Island Chamber of Commerce puts it all together. Leadership Marco is in its 14th year and offers a variety of in-depth experiential sessions in such areas as: Health Care/Emergency Services – History – Hospitality/Tourism – Media – Education/Recreation – Culture/Real Estate – Law Enforcement – Government/Infrastructure/Transportation – Agriculture/Environment. Leadership Class of ... Read More »

Get Ready to Go Back to School at Marco Island Academy!

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff It’s almost that time of year again, as the summer comes to its end, and the teachers and students at Marco Island Academy are getting ready for a new academic year. MIA has announced that there will be seven new teachers this year: Sandi Castillo (English), Dorothy Chapman (Math), Lianna Fried (Performing Arts), Farrell Kellener (ESE/SWD), Gerry Miller (Science), Mariah Walther (Spanish) and Michael Weyrauch (History). Two new staff members are also joining the MIA team: Maegan Carr (Receptionist) and Elona Ruci (Comptroller). When school doors open in August, we will bring you more about ... Read More »

Never Arrive too Soon to the Ball or Else!

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com I absolutely love when my students are diligent and prepare quickly. In most cases, this studious player will be in excellent position to strike the ball. However, inexperienced tennis players can be too anxious and then must cope with a variety of issues. For example, amateurish tennis players often move to the ball so fast that they land on the wrong foot and then lose balance. As I coach this new player, I continually remind them of one basic rule: When a player moves right, plant on the right leg, and as they go left, ... Read More »

Reception Highlights Youth & Children Initiative at Art Center

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By Steve Gimmestad steve@coastalbreezenews.com It was a good summer turn-out for the 2nd Tuesday reception at the Marco Island Art Center. The show highlighted works from the Youth and Family Workshops at the center. It also helped highlight the re-introduction of the Children and Youth Initiative at the Art Center. “The Children and Youth Initiative was created to focus efforts to re-establish and revitalize education and outreach programs for young people,” says Hyla Crane, Executive Director. “Educational programs for students in elementary through high school are designed to benefit young people through art exposure and art enrichment and education.” The ... Read More »

Kathy Kurtz – Inspiring Through Fitness

One-on-one, Kathy PHOTOS 
trains Wendy Bullock at the YMCA. BY JESSICA HERNSTADT

By Coastal Breeze Staff On any given day you may run into Kathy Kurtz somewhere on Marco Island, enthusiastically training a client or teaching a group fitness class at the YMCA. Kathy, who lives on Isles of Capri, is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, training and teaching clients and students and of all ages and fitness levels. Kathy’s love for fitness began early. As a child in Watsontown, PA, she created her own aerobic workouts in her bedroom. By the time she was a teenager, she begun working out at the gym with her brothers. As a ... Read More »

Marco Karate School Brings Home the Gold

The Shima Dojo Karate School team at the 2015  AAU Karate National Championships. Front (L-R) are Ben Warnike, Logan Terreri, and Chase and Kirra Polley. Rear are Bryant Martinez, Connie Rausch and Sensei Nick Lemke. PHOTOS BY DON MANLEY

By Don Manley The Shima Dojo Karate School made a strong showing at the 2014 American Athletic Union Karate National Championships by capturing three gold medals. But this year, the small karate school, based at the Greater Marco Family YMCA, truly made its presence felt on a big stage by coming away with 10 gold medals in three categories at the AAU championships in just its second year of competing at the tourney. Marco residents Logan Terreri, Chase and Kirra Polley, Bryant Martinez, Ben Warnike and Connie Rausch all earned gold medals for the dojo, the Japanese term for a ... Read More »

HODGES UNIVERSITY HAS CLEAR DIRECTION UNDER NEW PRESIDENT

Dr. Borofsky unveils new mission, vision and direction for the local, private nonprofit Hodges University President, Dr. David Borofsky, recently unveiled a new direction for the educational institution, including a strategic plan as well as a refined mission and vision. Faculty, staff and leadership participated in an extensive review of the University, its collective beliefs and goals for the future of the organization. The result of that work was a refocused positioning addressing the needs and wants of students, faculty and staff, alumni, donors, partners and the Southwest Florida community. “This process began in February and will culminate in September when we roll out the complete plan including objectives and action steps,” said ... Read More »

MIA Applications Hit All Time High

A-rated Marco Island Academy has record number of applicants. PHOTOS BY JESSICA HERNSTADT

By Coastal Breeze News Staff “Every year it’s going up and up” says Deneen Rose, office manager for Marco Island Academy (MIA), describing the number of student applications received. This year the applications exceeded the school’s 255 student maximum. MIA is now at full capacity, with a waiting list. This is a 50 student increase from last year’s student population. Impressive considering the school opened its doors in 2011, with only 68 students. By its fourth year the school was full, and there was a waiting list for every grade. What is behind the increase? Word of the school’s recent ... Read More »

Police/Fire Youth Academy – A Glimpse into the Real World

A chance to crew the police/fire boat.

By Steve Gimmestad Oh, to be a youth once again. At least during the week of June 8-12 when Marco Island’s finest held their annual Police/Fire Youth Academy. An exceptional week where local kids got a chance to learn what firefighters and police officers do on a daily basis. The event is in coordination with Camp Mackle. Fifteen students are selected on a first-come basis and it fills up quickly. This year there was a waiting list which attests to the popularity of the event. “They get to experience what we are trained to do on a daily basis,” says ... Read More »

Summer Theater Camp at Island Theater Company

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Summer’s here… what are the kids going to do???? How about the Island Theater Company (ITC) summer camp? We’re setting the stage for summer fun! Back by popular demand…this exciting and fun three-week theater program will introduce young people to all aspects of the theater, including creating props and costumes, music, choreography, and technical aspects of putting on a show. All activities are designed to develop imagination, creativity, concentration, character, teamwork and professionalism. All participants will be cast in the 2015 Holiday production. The three week camp for students ages 9-18 will be held July 13-31 and include a weekly ... Read More »

Life After the Test

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FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt JaneWatt01@gmail.com website: JaneWatt.org Many schools across the country have spent the last eight months preparing for the end of year high stakes tests. For example, at Marco Island Academy (MIA), a public charter high school in Southwest Florida, we have administered countless numbers of tests in the past couple of months to comply with the state mandates. Out of ninety full-time instructional days in the second semester, we have administered tests forty-nine of the days. Since we are a small school, the logistics of the testing have been a nightmare. The teachers have juggled their lessons ... Read More »

Westberry Among Changing Guard

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By Don Manley Jory Westberry is moving on to the next phase of her life after 14 years as the principal at Tommie Barfield Elementary School (TBE). Last week’s end to the school year also marked the close of her tenure at TBE, as well as her 25-year career with the Collier County school district. The move is a painful one for Westberry. “I love this place,” she said. “I love the kids. I love the staff. There wasn’t a day that I ever was sad to come to work. I was always excited. Never had a crabby day, honest ... Read More »

Marco Island Academy 2015 Graduating Class

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Daring to dream, Jane Watt took on a mission. The goal was to see Marco Island high school aged children given the chance to stay on the island for a more individualized, caring classroom environment. Four years ago, after great effort, the dream became a reality. Now, for the first time in its history, Marco Island Academy has had a graduating class with students starting as freshmen and spending the entire four years within its classrooms. Like the dream upon which the school was built, these students will create their own dream. Congratulations to the ... Read More »

MIA’s Future Engineers Present Final Projects

Max Ruffat and Aidan Kahn test their catapult’s launch distances. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Submitted For weeks now, Marco Island Academy’s (MIA) Principles of Engineering class carefully planned, crafted and built their final projects. The results were impressive. Taught by Hal Creech, the engineering class is just one of the many STEM classes students at MIA are offered each semester. The final assignment was to design, plan and create a mechanical, electronic or programming project from what they had learned. Creech told the students to “show me you learned something, and show me you can plan and create a project.” The students, made up teams of two and three, created unique projects. Some found ... Read More »

Everglades City Graduates

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Everglades City School saw seven students graduate in the class of 2015. Principal Bob Spano wished the students the very best saying they have the potential for successful school and lifelong careers of their choice. Principal Spano, who has been at the school for the last three years, is retiring. Congratulations to Houston Brown, Savannah Oglesby, Trevyr Daniels, Nicholas Jones, Dylan Lucas, Dalton Patt and Ana Roldan. Houston Brown was named graduate of distinction and will be attending Columbia University.   Photos courtesy of The Mullet Rapper www.evergladesmulletrapper.com Read More »