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Tag Archives: students

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 »

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 »

Macbeth Presented Skillfully by MIA Students for MI Shakespeare Festival

Kaitlynn McRae (center) with  the cast of “MacBeth.” PHOTO BY DON MANLEY

By Don Manley The greed, treachery, betrayal, deceit and drama encapsulated in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” were skillfully and passionately brought to life by students from the Marco Island Academy. The presentation of one of Shakespeare’s most renowned works graced the stage for five performances recently at the Marco Players’ theater. The play was put on by the Marco Island Shakespeare Festival, marking the third year in which the organization has collaborated with MIA on a production one of the Bard’s masterpieces. Battle-worn Macbeth, the doomed King Duncan, the conniving Lady Macbeth and prescience of the Wyrd Sisters all sprang from the ... Read More »

First Four Year Graduating Class for Marco Island Academy

Maureen McFarland, who will be a professor in the fall at Florida SouthWestern State College, speaks to the Marco Island Academy's 33 graduates.

By Roger LaLonde It was a walk back in time for many of the Marco Island Academy graduating Class of 2015 when they returned to the Family Church, formerly the First Baptist Church, on May 29. It was where the school got its start in 2011. The auditorium was packed in celebration as ceremonies marked the first class to complete four years of education at the young school. Starting with 62 students in 2011, the class size will be 255 in the fall, its maximum size at its one-year-old location on San Marco Road, on the way to Goodland. There ... Read More »

Naples YMCA and Collier Area Transit Announce Partnership to Create YMCA Stops in Collier County

The Greater Naples YMCA and Collier Area Transit (CAT) have taken a monumental step forward in making family-friendly health & wellness affordable and accessible to everyone in Collier County.  The partnership was announced Friday at a press conference held at a CAT Transit stop in the Golden Gate neighborhood. Starting this summer, CAT transit will offer five stops throughout the county that will be YMCA Stops. At four of those stops, children enrolled in YMCA’s Camp Wyhoway summer camp can ride the bus with a YMCA Camp Counselor to and from the Naples Y.  A fifth stop will service the ... Read More »

High School Musical, Jr

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff The last theatrical production for Marco Island Charter Middle School’s 2014/15 school year was High School Musical, Jr. Karen Raymond, as director and choreographer, continued her legacy of producing smash hits. It is amazing what great shows are produced at the middle school level and it’s indicative of the quality of teaching. Karen has a knack to pull the best effort from each and every student, from stage hands to set designers, whether singing as part of a chorus or doing a solo. These students are giving their best, and their best creates an amazing ... Read More »

MICMS Students Get Glimpse into the Role of a Legislator

MICMS students participating in the Youth in Government After School Club.

By Don Manley Weighty topics were discussed with suitable gravity, except for the occasional giggle, by the six Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) students seated at the dais in Marco City Council chambers. They were gathered there as mock legislators, debating self-penned and introduced bills, as part of the Youth in Government After School Club, which is a partnership between MICMS and the Greater Marco Family YMCA. Held recently, the event was led by Zac Caldwell, Youth in Government program director for SKY Family YMCAs, which has branches in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Englewood and Venice. Caldwell also has ... Read More »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala Recently, the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts (MIFA) had an Artists’ Awards Luncheon at Wesley United Methodist Church. The MIFA President, Carolyn Burger, called the meeting to order. The room was abounding with talent (and then there was me, who can’t even tell which side of the brush to use) as they called attention to four students who received scholarships toward their college education. A solo was sung by one of those students, Joseph Byrne. These students each have an exciting future ahead of them. Besides Joseph Byrne, the other winners were Livia Lenhoff, Tyler MacDonald and ... Read More »

Marco Students Benefit from Chamber Scholarships

Marco Island Chamber of Commerce scholarship recipients.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Ten Marco Island high school graduates were made very happy by the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce. The ten were chosen to receive scholarships thanks to the Chamber’s Leadership Marco committee which hold events such as Wet Paint Live to fund the scholarships. Students from Lely High School, Marco Island Academy and St. John Neumann applied. The Education Committee is tasked with reviewing the applications and interviewing candidates, then naming the recipients. The 2015 scholarship winners and their families were celebrated at an event held at CJ’s on the Bay on Wednesday, May 20th. Dick ... Read More »

Breathing Life into History

Steven Smith, commander of VFW Post 7721 in Naples, and Mary Ellen Cash, scholarship chairman for the post’s ladies auxiliary, flank MIA history teacher Lori Galiana.

By Don Manley Lori Galiana’s approach in the classroom at Marco Island Academy (MIA) has led to her being recognized by district 13 of Florida’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organization. As her world history class looked on, the history instructor recently received the district’s Teacher of the Year award from Steven Smith, commander of VFW Post 7721 in Naples, and Mary Ellen Cash, scholarship chairman for the post’s ladies auxiliary. Cash said Galiana was selected for the award, which encompasses Collier, Lee and Hendry counties, because of her focus on bringing the study of history alive for her students. ... Read More »