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Tag Archives: students

MIA Art Students Strike Gold at Arts Center Gala

Submitted “City of Lights Life,” by Anastasia Baran.
Manhattan’s skyline has never been so bright and colorful.

By Barry Gwinn Girl with Butterflies,” by Brenda Perez, was inspired by a Taylor Swift song. The Marco Island Center for the Arts (the “Arts Center”) started 40 years ago. It describes itself as a “cultural center available to those who wish to enrich their lives and those of others, and to create a greater sense of purpose in life.” It has certainly worked out that way for Anastasia (Ana) Baran and Brenda Perez. Their story begins in February 2014, when Hyla Crane was brought in as executive director of the Center. She hit the ground running. One of the ... Read More »

Youth Summer Art Workshops

Submitted Photos

Submitted Marco Island area youth will have a special opportunity to develop their art skills and appreciation at the Marco Island Center for the Arts 2016 Youth and Family Summer Workshops. The program also encourages family bonding through family workshops where adults and children spend fun and creative quality time together. Participating young artists will have the chance to not only produce original works of art, but to also display their creations during the Young Artists’ Reception on July 29, 2016. Five workshops are planned: Family Fun with Coil Bowls – June 18 (9:30 AM-12:30 PM). Participants must be a ... Read More »

Timing is Everything

Submitted Photo
Federer hits on the run, demonstrating full reach and perfect balance.

Coach Wayne’s Corner Wayne Clark If you are a regular reader of my column, you already know my favorite saying is “lazy feet lead to lousy shots.” We have accepted and conquered the fact that our feet must move for us to be in proper position to strike the ball. Let’s now consider the importance of the timing of our footsteps in relation to being in proper position to strike the ball. There is a certain cadence that is associated with a rally in a tennis point. In today’s world of professional tennis with all of the grunting and ... Read More »

Students Perform in Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Actors Leah Pearce (Miranda), Erik Olson (Prospero) and Ben Batcher (Ferdinand). SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted  Actors Leah Pearce (Miranda), Erik Olson (Prospero) and Ben Batcher (Ferdinand). This month, “The Tempest,” believed to be William Shakespeare’s final work, will be performed by Marco Island Academy, Lely High School and Florida Gulf Coast University students. This also will be the final production for Kaitlynn McRae, the Marco Island Shakespeare Festival’s operations director. McRae chose “The Tempest” as her last piece to direct for the Shakespeare Festival, not just because of the connection to Shakespeare’s own final work, but “because of the beautiful transition Prospero must make as he realizes where his real power lies.” Prospero becomes ... Read More »

Letters to the Editor: Marco Island Seafood Festival


Marco Island Seafood Festival Thank you so very much to all of the volunteers who gave their time and generous spirit to the Seafood Festival the weekend of March 18-20th. This is an annual event between the Marco Island Noontime Rotary Club, the Marco Island Sunrise Rotary Club and the Marco Island Kiwanis International Club. The proceeds from this annual event are split equally between the three clubs and helps us to provide scholarships for our students and support many of the charitable organizations that benefit our community. There is a wonderful seafood festival committee already in place planning for ... Read More »

Noontime Rotary Inspirational Programs


Submitted Avoidable Blindness Project in Mexico The Marco Island Noontime Rotary Club is proud to partner with the Rotary Club of Buxton, Michigan to in turn partner with a Rotary Club and community in Empalme, Mexico to provide eye examinations and prescription eyeglasses to people in need. This is the longest running international project of the Noontime Rotary Club. The gift of sight has been given to thousands of very grateful residents of Mexico, many of whom travel by foot for miles and wait patiently in line for hours for this opportunity to improve their sight. The Buxton Rotary Club ... Read More »

MICMS Students D.C. Trip – A Week of Wows


By Roger LaLonde It was a week of wows around every corner when Marco Island Charter Middle School eighth graders and chaperones visited Washington D.C. over the holiday break. A bus ride to Fort Lauderdale, then a plane trip with a layover, didn’t lower the element of excitement. Coordinating the trip, for the ninth time, was Joe Jarrett, technology teacher and D.C. Club sponsor. Overall there were 43 students, Jarrett and eight chaperones. To be eligible for travel club, student qualifications included academic, behavioral and community service standards, along with trip behavioral expectations. On the very first day they ... Read More »

Fiddler’s Creek, Manatee Elementary Partnership

Submitted Photos From left: Donna Oyhe, Arlene Greenburg, Kathy Slater and Kathi Gunzenhauser.

Submitted In 1997, Fiddler’s Creek responded to Collier County Schools’ “Building Bridges” program by forming a partnership with nearby Manatee Elementary School in which residents of the master-planned community collected toys to help students in need have a brighter Christmas. Today, that partnership has flourished; while the community’s support still includes the toy drive, Fiddler’s Creek residents organize an annual school supply effort, collect funds through an annual Turkey Trot to help teachers purchase classroom supplies, and volunteer in classrooms as mentors and aides to work directly with kids in the Title I school. Title I schools are those with ... Read More »

Sail Away For MIA Raises $125,000

MIA VIPs who generously raised $125,000 for the school on a sunset cruise. Submitted Photos

FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt website: On Monday, February 29, 2016 at 5 PM, a luxurious private yacht set sail with 20 of Marco Island Academy’s VIPs. There was live music, laughter, delicious food, and en-gaging conversation. After watching the sunset fade into dark, the guests all made their way downstairs to celebrate MIA’s past year and to hear the plan for the future. The prestigious 2015 MIA Philanthropists of the Year Award was presented by Jane Watt, board chair to Bill and Karen Young. Over the past year, Bill and Karen have giv-en personally in many ways to ... Read More »

MIA Principal Turns a School Into a Family

Principal Scott in her office at MIA, her door is rarely closed; Walk into the administration building and she is the first staff member you will see. (Right) Principal Scott and three of her teachers (recommended by her) received the prestigious Shine Award from Governor Scott during his recent visit.

By Barry Gwinn On Friday, March 4, 2016, during a visit to Marco Island Academy (MIA), Governor Rick Scott presented Principal Melissa Scott with the coveted Governor’s Shine Award, given to outstanding educators who have been nominated by their peers. Governor Scott had found out what many already knew. Marco Island Academy had finally found the principal they were looking for. It had not been easy. After a titanic battle to obtain Collier County School Board approval and secure a building and campus, Marco Island Academy finally opened for business in August 2011. It very nearly closed up shop a ... Read More »

Flower Show Entries Top the Charts

From left: Opi DeFalco, Dale DeFeo and Connie Lowery with the winning Tillandsia

Submitted Island Melodies were the inspiration for the Calusa Garden Club Flower Show at the Marco Island Center for the Arts. The song titles and lyrics depicted summer, sunset, warmth and the illusion of a carefree lifestyle by the water. A songwriter once wrote, “A song is like an intimate conversation, one you’ll remember from beginning to the end.” If a song moves you to stand up, dance, clap your hands and sing the lyrics, then it is a “hit.” If a floral design receives a blue ribbon or the much-coveted Rosette of Excellence, it is then considered a “top ... Read More »

Men of Rushmore Brings History “Live”

Writer/Director Gina Sisbarro

By Coastal Breeze News Staff “The Men of Rushmore…and Their Wives,” written and directed by Gina Sisbarro, opens April 15 at the Rose History Auditorium. This original play is the first of what will become an annual performance of “History Live” with the Marco Island Historical Society. The mission: Teach history through live theater in a way that will entertain both children and adults. This production is unique in that all the characters are played by local youth, elementary through high school age. Some actors have performed with their beloved director Gina for over 10 years – many starting with ... Read More »

Course Certifies Sailing Instructors

Sailboats on Marco, during the instructor certification course.

Submitted From March 17-20, 2016, the Marco Island Community Sailing Center (MICSC) had the privilege of hosting a U.S. Sailing Association (USSA) Level I Instructor Certification course. The purpose of this course is to teach prospective instructors how to properly teach individuals to sail safely, effectively and creatively, with a goal of producing highly qualified instructors. USSA is the governing body that provides the guidelines and oversees all organized sailing activities in the United States. Rocky Cale, MICSC president, arranged to have USSA hold the Level I Certification Course on Marco Island, in part to allow some of the MICSC’s ... Read More »

Marco Island Loves Essentrics!

Submitted In just a short period of time, Essentrics with Judy classes, which began on January 4, 2016, have grown from just eight students to almost 40 students per class. According to Tom Waltz, director of business development, “We are seeing a huge response to the Essentrics program here on Marco Island. Since our first class on January 4th we are seeing more students every week, and have a overwhelming retention rate due to Judy’s energetic instruction.” Essentrics combines strengthening and stretching to develop a strong, toned body and enhances the ability to move joints and muscles freely, and with a full range of ... Read More »

MIFA Scholarships Help Young Artists


Submitted Encouraging the next generation of artists, the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts (MIFA) awards student scholarships each spring. MIFA scholarships up to $1,000 are available to local students who major in an area of the arts. Both graduating high school seniors and college students living on Marco Island, Goodland or the Isles of Capri, are eligible to apply. Scholarships are not limited to painters and sculptors.  Students who study any of the vast and varied aspect of the arts – such as visual art, music, dance or the performing arts- are encouraged to apply. Interested students must complete ... Read More »

Governor’s MIA Visit Leaves Them Smiling How and why he came here is another story

Governor Scott congratulates an MIA class on attending such an outstanding school and
urged them to participate in the political process. PHOTOS BY BARRY GWINN

By Barry Gwinn It was the most excitement in my 10 years on Marco Island – maybe ever. The governor of the third most populous state in the nation (only California and Texas are larger) had come down from the mountain to visit one of the smallest high schools in that state (235 students). As promised, the Governor arrived at Marco Island Academy promptly at 10 AM, commenting as he arrived that he always tries to be on time. After personally greeting the school’s friends and supporters, the Governor toured every one of the classrooms, spending time there with the ... Read More »

Gearing up for Relay

Bistro Soleil fashion show guests, from left, standing: Katie Manley, Susan Pernini, Darcie Guerin, Karen Young and Sue Olszak; and seated: Cindy McCue and Marva Sutt.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff In the February 19th issue of Coastal Breeze News, we reported on the amazing efforts and unprecedented success of Hideaway’s recent golf and tennis fundraiser. Team Hideaway Cancer Committee is one of twenty teams that have registered for the 2016 Marco Island Relay for Life event on April 9 at Mackle Park. All the teams have been busy fundraising, many in creative and unique ways. Some of the other special events in support of Relay for Life that took place in February: Team BMO- Poker Run and Pig Roast On February 20th Team BMO held ... Read More »

Island Angels Turn Dreams Into Reality

Sarah Reveland, Mitchell= Weis, Annie Palys, Areesa Chaudhry, RJ Munoz, Nicole Cholka, Jennifer Gammon and Sabrina Rod celebrate the donation from the Island Angels. PHOTO BY KYLE CHOLKA

By Don Manley Marco’s Island Angels charitable organization has made some dreams come true for Nicole Cholka and her modified curriculum-special education class at Lely High School. A little more than $22,000 was raised for the program at an Island Angels benefit, with the lion’s share of the money going toward purchasing new appliances for the Breakfast Café that operates from the kitchen at the classroom’s rear. As part of the curriculum, Cholka and her class prepare and deliver breakfast for the school’s staff every school day. The practice imparts such important life skills as cooking, grocery planning and purchasing, ... Read More »

Sunrise Rotary Essay Contest Winners


Submitted The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise, Inc. recently sponsored an essay contest at Manatee Middle School. Students were asked to research and then compose an essay explaining Rotary’s 4-Way Test, the guiding principal for Rotarians worldwide. Specifically, students were asked to explain how the 4-Way Test could improve one’s life, despite differences in beliefs and opportunities. A six-member committee from Sunrise Rotary read the essays, graded them and chose winners from each grade. Essay Contest Winners 6th Grade 1st Place: Sherlyn Pomajambo 2nd Place: Jason Lara 3rd Place: Azucena Santiago and McKenna Barth (tied) 7th Grade 1st Place: ... Read More »

MICMS Highest Impact Teachers Recognized

Highest Impact Teachers, from left: Debbie Waldinger, Terese Glasser, Kathy Albanese and Jaclyn Lightell. Not pictured: Joe Jarrett. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted Five teachers at Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) have been recognized by the Florida Department of Education as the state’s “Highest Impact Teachers.” This recognition is a result of their students’ performance on one of the Florida Standards Assessments (FSAs). Teachers who have had an impact on student learning that is among the state’s most statistically-significantly positive are chosen for this award. MICMS Highest Impact Teachers are Kathy Albanese, Terese Glasser, Joe Jarrett, Jaclyn Lightell and Debbie Waldinger. Joe Jarrett is not pictured with the other teachers in the accompanying photo, as he is currently on a seven-day ... Read More »