First day of school at Tommie Barfield, the Charter Middle School, and especially MIA

— With an attitude like Jacob Nolan’s, he will go far. The five-year-old was positively glowing at the thought of attending kindergarten, as he sat with his mother, getting his enrolment into Tommie Barfield Elementary finalized.

Asked what excited him about going to school, Jacob didn’t hesitate.

“Learning,” he replied. Learning what? “Everything.” Jacob’s mom, Theresa O’Farrell, said he is indeed precocious. The family just moved from Cadillac, Michigan, where school doesn’t start until September 7, she said.

School started Monday on Marco Island. High school kids groaned about getting up in the pre-dawn darkness, and some younger kids, along with their mothers, got sentimental about the milestone reached.

For Marco Island Academy, it was truly the first day of school, as the 80 students of the new charter high school celebrated the opening of a brand new institution of learning. At the school’s temporary home at the First Baptist Church on Winterberry Drive, the teachers made their entrance into the assembly of students at a run, wearing leis and sweatbands, and carrying basketballs.

School chairman Jane Watt got a standing ovation when introduced by principal Dr. Chris Pellant. She detailed some of the obstacles the MIA team had faced in launching the school, and urged the students not to take no for an answer.

They watched a short film that made the point, “a leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous.” Pellant told the group the school had not received promised funding until the last moment.

“We didn’t get our startup grant until 12 days ago,” he said.

Speaking privately, Pellant said he was delighted to actually have the school year underway.

“For me, it’s so exciting to see the kids here. It’s just been a vision for so long,” he said.

At Marco Island Charter Middle School, social studies teacher Joe Jarrett acted as tour guide for a group of new sixth grade students, pointing out important information such as where to go for lunch, and what the principal looks like.

Back at Tommie Barfield, new fifth grade teacher Rachel Schatzberg put the kids to work sorting glue sticks, colored paper and markers, and took care of a few peripheral but important questions.

“Show of hands,” she said, “everybody know how they’re getting home today? Good.”

MICMS science teacher Carrie Bamberger found kids lost in the halls, and pointed them in the right direction. Soon it will all be ‘old school,’ and teachers and students alike will settle into the routine, but for one day, the school year brought change for everyone.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 9

RayPray writes:

"They watched a short film that made the point, “a leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous.”

>>> The Chamber of Commerce with its annual booster & back-slapping seminars would certainly agree with that.

>>> Others might argue that a true leader is someone possessing, in some recognized academic area, authentic & hard-earned knowledge (the kind demanding more than a couple weekends of PhD leadership hoo-hah), deploying this genuine expertise to inspire others to follow.

"Pellant told the group the school had not received promised funding until the last moment."

>>> Funding, I guess is the whole point here.

RayPray writes:

"That is the wood America is build on."

>>> Yes, WOOD is the appropriate metaphor for this unconvincing bunch.

u2cane writes:

in response to MarcoIslandWoman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just make sure your donation is monetary. You obviously can't help out volunteering any knowledge.

RayPray writes:

"You know the song of Elvis ....fool...."

Marianne Herzili, as well as Elvis, is a distinguished alumnus from Heidelberg University.

RayPray writes:

in response to MarcoIslandWoman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"This guy is like Wald Slandereye nothing else than a pillow patriot. PP! No guts! No glory!"

PP?

You mean Elvis?

LadueVGilleo writes:

Hey Herzilli (or whoever you happen to be), what is with the censorship?? Your comments get posted and you have the Marco Times remove the comments you don't like?? You have a real thin skin don't you? You throw a lot of rocks but live in a glass mansion. You are truly an example of everything that is wrong with this country.

seacolony6 writes:

Some people just cannot accept the truth even when it stares them in the face. These pathetic excuses for part of our diverse society will slink into their snake holes when in the coming years the MIA is a worldwide success sorry of perseverance and vision. Do you know what that is Ray? Maybe it's time to get those cataracts fixed.

RayPray writes:

in response to seacolony6:

Some people just cannot accept the truth even when it stares them in the face. These pathetic excuses for part of our diverse society will slink into their snake holes when in the coming years the MIA is a worldwide success sorry of perseverance and vision. Do you know what that is Ray? Maybe it's time to get those cataracts fixed.

"Ray? Maybe it's time to get those cataracts fixed."

'There is a condition worse than blindness, and that is, seeing something that isn't there.' --- Thomas Hardy

Marco Apartheid Academy = Potemkin Village....

RayPray writes:

in response to islandeye1#236971:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Mucho Gracias to Eagle staff for shielding us from the vile vituperation slung by this this public nuisance....

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