MARCO ISLAND — A group of community and business leaders, parents, educators, entrepreneurs as well as representatives from several civic organizations met Saturday, January 24 to explore the opportunity of establishing a public high school dedicated to providing an outstanding education to the children of Marco Island and the surrounding communities.
Dr. Marcia Greene, Dean, College of Education at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) attended the meeting and expressed the University’s interest in working with Marco Island in developing an exceptional high school. She provided several excellent comments regarding both the need for such a high school and the willingness of FGCU to be involved in the staffing. It was pointed out that Dr. Fay Biles, Foundation Board of Florida Gulf Coast University and Dr. Mario Sánchez, a local resident and tenured professor at Miami Dade College had been communicating with FGCU for several years in and attempt to develop such a school.
Some of the distinguishing factors that were discussed for the envisioned high school were:
■ The availability of funding
■ The potential of the high school students being taught/instructed by FGCU professors
■ The potential of the high school students attending classes at FGCU
■ A classical, all-encompassing curriculum that supports a vast array of disciplines
■ The potential of having graduate and post-graduate students, scholars, scientists and researchers from FGCU providing instruction
■ Use of FGCU facilities for specialized studies, such as laboratories
■ Capitalizing on the community’s highly educated and highly experienced retirees
Clearly, these and other novel ideas will extenuate the genuine educational opportunity for the approximate 2,000 school aged children of this community.
Entrepreneurs and business leaders noted that without exception, an extraordinary level of quality education in a high school is a boon to the surrounding community. Such high schools attract families desirous in the best education possible for their children hence appreciably enhancing the economic infrastructure of the community.
In response to the concern that a long lead time is required to start such a school, the principal of our excellent charter middle school, Mr. George Abounader suggested exploring the option to introduce a high school one year at a time.
It was decided that the next step was to inform the Marco Island community of this effort and to solicit the much needed volunteer assistance to bring such a high school to the island.
Hence, there will be a town hall meeting on Saturday, January 31 at 10 a.m. at Mackle Park where all concerned citizens are encouraged to attend. The purpose of this gathering is to present the support already garnered for such an effort, solicit input from the entire community, and to request active participation in undertaking this wonderful opportunity for both our community and our children.
Contact Dr. Mario Sánchez at marcohighschool@DBIQ.com for more information.
Check back to marconews.com for coverage of Saturday's meeting.