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Tag Archives: students

Lely’s Top 100 Scholars

From left: Sophomores Ella Kerchner, Tia Nielsen, Mariah Olcheski,  Molishka Heriveaux, Jordan Vann and Pilar Forrest. PHOTO BY TRESA NIELSEN

By Maureen Chodaba “These are the cream of the crop of Lely High School,” said National Honor Society advisor, Professor Brian Milner as he welcomed the attendees to the annual Lely High School Top 100 Dinner at the Marco Island Hilton on May 26. Sponsored by the Lely High School National Honor Society (NHS), the event honors the top 25 academic achievers in each class. NHS President Diana Alas said, “The National Honor Society enjoys celebrating the successes of the brightest students at Lely and believes they truly deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments. Students can enjoy seeing the ... Read More »

Aquí, Hablamos Español MIA’s award-winning Spanish teacher insists on it.

Governor Rick Scott’s Shine Award recognizes outstanding and inspirational contributions made by Florida educators.
Rients and three of his colleagues received
this prestigious award from the Governor during his visit to MIA on March 4th

By Barry Gwinn On March 4, 2016, Governor Rick Scott came to town and didn’t stop until reaching the campus of Marco Island Academy (MIA). One of the reasons he came was to see for himself how this small high school (opened in 2011) could have risen so rapidly in the state’s academic rankings. (The Florida Dept. of Education has ranked MIA as an “A” school for the past two years. Since then, the Washington Post has rated MIA as one of the 255 most challenging high schools in the nation.) Another reason the Governor came was to personally present ... 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 »

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 »

Yoga for MS

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Submitted Revival Yoga Fitness Studio on Marco Island is offering free space to the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center of Southwest Florida for their clients to practice yoga. Classes begin June 1st on Wednesdays from 1-2 PM and will be taught by Elaine Malone, who also teaches Pilates. Elaine is an experienced teacher for students with neurological diseases; in fact, the studio is looking to offer the same program for Parkinson’s patients. Yoga has been found to be beneficial practice for those with MS. According to the National MS Society, “Yoga is relatively inexpensive, generally safe, and may potentially improve multiple ... 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 »

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 »

Memorial Day Events

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Two important community events take place on Marco Island this Memorial Day, Monday May 30th. At 10 AM join the City of Marco Island to dedicate the Herbert R. Savage Bridge (formerly known as the Smokehouse Bay Bridge). Herb Savage, as one of the original architects working with the Mackle brothers, helped develop the vision of Marco Island. He is also a veteran, having spent more than 20 years with the military, both in active service and in the reserves. The bridge dedication ceremony will take place in the parking lot of the Marco Lutheran ... 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 »

Why I Love Journalism The Amazing Hannah Matthews

Mrs. Matthews (second from left) with her Swarthmore H.S. English Department in 1956. She is beaming at Mary Armstrong, her student at Doylestown H.S., who followed her to Swarthmore. Swarthmore High School Yearbook, 1956

Goodland Life  By Barry Gwinn I have been writing for Coastal Breeze News since March of 2015. Writing stories about people, places and things is something I have always wanted to do. That I have had some measure of success is due mainly to one diminutive woman – my high school English teacher, Hannah Kirk Matthews (with a nod to my editor, Val Simon, who has taught me a lot). Everything I have written for the last 60 years has Mrs. Matthews’ fingerprints all over it. The tributes paid to Mrs. Matthews upon her retirement were so remarkable that they ... Read More »

Scholarship/Artist of the Year Luncheon

Submitted Photo
Artist of the Year JRobert Houghtaling

Submitted Each spring the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts sponsors a special luncheon to recognize a local “Artist of the Year” and to give scholarships to local students who are majoring in the arts. This year’s luncheon will be on Saturday, May 21st at 11:30 AM at the Wesley United Methodist Church, 350 S. Barfield Drive, Marco Island. JRobert Houghtaling has been named this year’s Artist of the Year and will be recognized during the Scholarship/Artist of the Year Luncheon. JRobert is a musician, composer, songwriter and producer. He has been singing, playing acoustic and electric guitars, violin and ... Read More »

Responsibilities of Player and Coach

The world’s top ranked golfer, Jason Day, with his coach. Submitted Photos

Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org May 4th was National Golf Instruction Day on the Golf Channel. As much as the Golf Channel communicates incorrect information about the golf swing, and despite employee commentators who regularly bash tour player’s golf coaches, I really appreciate the network honoring those who grow golf through instruction. The Golf Channel is a huge factor in the growth of the game, and I appreciate the network educating golfers that instruction is important. However, some golfers have had really bad experiences during and after golf lessons. Guarantee some are my former students. Some golfers have had a ... Read More »

Kittens Teach Students About Giving

Jan Rich introduces students to For the Love of Cats. Submitted Photos

Submitted Charity for Change invited For the Love of Cats to a Naples classroom recently to help students learn about their mission and how important it is to be involved in the needs of the community. Valentino and Vaughn, two 7-week-old brothers being fostered at For the Love of Cats, volunteered to visit with the 21 fourth graders and their teacher, Ms. Julie Baumgardner, at Calusa Elementary School in Naples. A lively question and answer session was followed by love and hugs from all the students, along with more questions and answers. “This is the third year that we have ... Read More »

It’s Personal

A recent beach yoga practice, presenting a wide variety of “trees” on the beach. Photo By Laurie Kasperbauer

MIND, BODY And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer  lkasperbauer@gmail.com “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe Growing up in Iowa I was lucky enough to go on family vacations every summer. Four kids and my parents packed ourselves in a four-door Oldsmobile, pulling a pop-up camper with attached bicycles and coolers and fishing rods projecting like appendages on a bug. Our destination might be a lake in Minnesota or a valley in Colorado, but it always included a campground with plenty of space to wander and a ring of stones for a fire. And ... Read More »

MIA’s Kirby Rients Makes English Fun

Students get a heavy dose of journalism along with experience on how to publish in Kirby Rients’ Yearbook/Journalism class. Students put together the 2016 MIA yearbook.

By Barry Gwinn Kirby Rients is a much traveled English teacher and has been with Marco Island Academy (MIA) since its inception in 2011. Although MIA specializes in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curriculum, the school also thinks it is important that students are well grounded in the humanities. It didn’t take them long to recognize Rients’ contributions in this area. In 2012, Mr. Rients was given MIA’s prestigious Teacher-of-the-Year award. On March 4th of this year, Rients and two other MIA teachers (who will be separately featured in later editions of Coastal Breeze News) were personally awarded Governor ... Read More »

Book Offers Taste of The Dock’s 40 Years

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Submitted “The Dock at Crayton Cove, Everybody’s Kitchen” is a commemorative book written by Debby DePasquale that retells the story of how “the real taste of Naples” began. The book is a historical synopsis of the past 40 years that includes recipes and photographs, and highlights the passion that owner Vin DePasquale has for the business and the city of Naples. Opening in 1976, The Dock has become a part of Naples’ history and is beloved by both locals and visitors of Collier County. The long established Naples restaurant, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary in February. The open-air restaurant is known for its waterfront dining, delicious seafood and laid-back atmosphere. “We’re incredibly excited to share ... Read More »

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 »