EAGLE i: Citizens movement launched to establish Marco high school

Community invited to attend meeting Saturday

— 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.

© 2009 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 12

Fossil writes:

Wonderful news. A project the entire community can support. Monte and Elliot, get on this train and help these people out. This effort is for our kids.

multi_million_heir writes:

bravo Drs.!!!!

Marcoptomist writes:

See you Saturday

freedomofspeech1 writes:

Dont waste your time! They will not attend!

extra234 (Inactive) writes:

Great work!

smiley writes:

How many high school age students (grades 9-12) live on Marco Island?

playballonK writes:

build a school thats what the land is intended for.

lauralbi1 writes:

I think this is great. We need to look at funding sources as CCSB will not give anything. I will support this research effort
Ed Issler

waterday writes:

Tract K = Marco High School
Thank you Ed Issler for supporting this effort- we usually disagree. A high school for the kids! Keep the families from moving off our island with high school children and build a school that will bring more families moving to our Island to attend a wonderful school.

multi_million_heir writes:

the current stimulus package has $25 million for construction loans for charter schools.


MarcoMom1985 writes:

Are you kidding me? I have been on this island for 28 years, 3 children born and raised on this island. They went to TBE & MICMS. When it was time for them to go to LHS - I had concerns - yes -but I went to LHS and met the staff. Volunteered there and got to know the students. The greatest thing to happen to my children - they went to LHS and met some great kids and staff. They grew and received a great education with scholarships for college. Are there kids at LHS who struggle and cause trouble - yes. But guess what - it's at EVERY high school. I've been a chaperone on buses with LHS students and have talked with the bus drivers (who by the way - transport other high school students) - their comment - they'd rather drive LHS kids. The greatest gift I have been given are my three kids. I take being a parent very seriously - I don't give them $$$ to go find something to do on this island with friends. I spend time with them but I'm also raising them to leave me and be responsible adults. We created a charter middle school on this island and abandoned Manatee Middle instead of getting involved and volunteering and being an advocate for all kids. People of Marco - open your eyes - kids around the COUNTRY have way too much freedom, too much technology, and NO conscience. Building a high school on Marco - would isolate our kids even more - and 9 times out of 10 - the problems with students at LHS - stem from Marco kids not those "other" kids. You may mean well - but until parents start raising their own children and being a parent instead of a friend - it's not going to get any better. We always think we can do it better - instead of reinventing and costing more $$$ - why not build up and shore up what we have. I encourage you to visit LHS and get to know the students - they are a great bunch!! Go Trojans!!!

MarcoFam6 writes:

Over the past couple of weeks I have watched as two sides form over the possibility of a high school. During this time I have seen the ugliness in people that just amaze me. Now don’t get me wrong I think that freedom of speech is one of the greatest things about this country. It is just that I am bewildered that such a small great community as ours would instead bicker and use words as insults or weapons than come together and find a compromise. What about putting the solar on the roof of the high school? Has any other options for making both work been explored?

I am not saying that I know everything there is about what revolves around the issues of Tract K. I am far from an expert, but hey I can admit that. What I do know is I am a parent. As a parent who genuinely cares a great deal about all of my children I feel that I should fight for their best interests and I also strive to want the best that I can give my children. Please tell me what parent doesn’t want better for their children then they have had. Isn’t that was life is about? Passing on what you learned and how you can make a difference in the next generation? Lely is what Lely is. Yes, they have a high minority student population. Yes, the teachers are there are probably very overworked. Yes, there are students there who prosper and achieve a great education, others don’t. There are a million reasons or as it may be excuses. Bottom line is they are a D school.

I am not a Lily White bigot Marco Islander. I am a hardworking parent who wants my children to succeed in life, to prosper, and go out into this world and give back. Yes I protect my children. Like I said I am a parent. I look at Tommie Barfield and the Marco Island Charter School and I am impressed. Look what Marco has to offer our children on this island. I am involved with my children’s schooling and have found teachers and staff at both schools outstanding! I want that for my children when they reach high school. I want them to have the best.

Let’s find a compromise. Let’s make this work so that the children of this island will have the best. So as the island children grow older we know as the people who live on Marco that we gave the children here the best we could.

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