Photos by JENNA BUZZACCO-FOERSTER

  • Hari Jacobsen, the cantorial soloist at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island, gives a Passover blessing Monday night. More than 100 people attended the annual Seder, including many visitors to the island, Jacobsen said.
  • Marianne Schmid, the recipient of the 2007 Marco Makeover, is a breast cancer survivor. As part of her makeover, Schmid received cosmetic dental work, an eyelift and lip implants.
  • Work on the Marco Island Charter Middle School's lobby was underway Thursday. The school is scheduled to open to about 400 students in August.
  • Teachers at the new Marco Island Charter Middle School will be able to see all the way down the hallway as students change classes each day. George Abounader, the school's principal, said the design is part of new security procedures that will monitor who enters the school.
  • George Abounader, principal of Marco Island Charter Middle School, shows off a classroom in the new middle school. The school, which is set to open in August, has 22 classrooms and will accommodate about 450 students.
  • Construction is nearly complete on the new Marco Island Charter Middle School. The school is set to open on August 20 to more than 400 students.
  • American flags lay on a bookshelf in the Tommie Barfield Elementary media center Tuesday afternoon. Students in grades three through five were able to vote for their favorite book using real voting machines as part of the Sunshine State Young Readers Awards Program.
  • Cindi Young, education coordinator for the Collier County Board of Elections, gives Tommie Barfield Elementary students instructions on how to use voting machines. Tommie Barfield students were among 15 Collier County schools participating in the Florida Department of Education's Sunshine State Young Readers Awards Program.
  • Marco Island city councilwoman Terri DiSciullo, center, is surrounded by organizers and guests of the annual prayer breakfast as she says the prayer for Marco Island leadership Tuesday morning. The more than 500 guests were asked to lay their hands on city officals to pray over them during the blessing.
  • Lois Oxborough, a member of the First Baptist Church of Marco Island's congregation, bows her head in prayer during the invocation Tuesday. Oxborough was one of about 500 Islanders who attended the 24th annual prayer breakfast.
  • Islanders gather around Fire Chief Mike Murphy during the prayer for Marco Island leadership led by Marco Island councilwoman Terri DiSciullo during Tuesday's annual prayer breakfast. Held at the Marriott Marco Island Bech Resort, Tuesday's breakast was the 24th annual event and featured Edmund C. Moy, the director of the U.S. Mint, as the keynote speaker.
  • Torin O’Sullivan looks on as Sparks’ group leader Carol Doumlele tells students the story of Jesus feeding thousands with just a few loaves of bread and fish. Students spend a portion of the evening listening to stories and learning how those stories can relate to their everyday lives.
  • Cindy Scarspaci flips through a workbook during Wednesday night’s AWANA meeting. Students in Scarspaci’s group needed to recite Bible versus before beginning the night’s activities.
  • Sydney Lundquist sings during the opening ceremony of Wednesday’s AWANA Club meeting at First Baptist Church of Marco Island. Lundquist is one of about 60 island children who attend the club on a weekly basis.
  • TBE math competition winners, from left to right, are Copper Hodson, Dalton Herrity, Areesa Chaudhry and Areeb Chaudhry.
  • Mabel Pena, right, and Patrick Whitmore, center, look over Catherine Remak’s shoulder as she fills out a check for $100. The money was donated by Howard Jordan, founder of Marco Island’s Stock Market Challenge, and was given to the Officer Billy Pshigoda Fund.
  • Hunter Stewart practices filling out a check on the dry erase board in his Tommie Barfield classroom Friday morning before tackling the real thing. Hunter was a member of the TBE Tycoons, the school’s fifth-grade class that participated in the six-week Stock Market Challenge sponsored in part by Marco Community Bank.
  • Students in Mabel Pena’s fifth grade class at Tommie Barfield Elementary showed off their certificates from the Stock Market Challenge. While the winners were announced on Wednesday, founders Howard Jordan and Patrick Fitzmorris took time out of their Friday morning to give the students certificates and present them with a check for $100.
  • Jonathan Hurtley studies his chess board before Blas Lugo, an international chess master, makes his move. Jonathan was one of about 50 people who attended Sunday’s Chess Master Exhibition at Mackle Park.
  • Blas Lugo (left) waits as 9-year-old Mariel Sanchez figures out her next move. Mariel was one of 50 Islanders who participated in Sunday’s Chess Master Exhibition at Mackle Park.
  • Mario Sanchez studies his chess board during Sunday’s Chess Master Exhibition at Mackle Park. The event was meant to raise awareness about Marco Island Chess Enthusiasts.
  • Mario Sanchez studies his chess board during Sunday’s Chess Master Exhibition at Mackle Park. The event was meant to raise awareness about Marco Island Chess Enthusiasts.
  • Books sat on tables throughout the Manatee Middle School cafeteria Thursday morning. The books, all written by students, featured eight pages of text and eight pages of illustrations, said Sharlene Burkett, a reading instructor and the organizer of the writing program.
  • Eric Spencer, author of Get Behind the Covers: Leave a Legacy by Writing a Book, was the keynote speaker during Thursday’s author’s reception at Manatee Middle School. Spencer, a Naples High School graduate, gave aspiring authors tips on how to succeed in the world of publishing.
  • A book of poetry was just one of about 300 self published books that were on display at Manatee Middle School Thursday morning. The school held its annual author’s reception where students who spent the first part of the year working on books were finally able to see the final product.
  • Tom Monaghan, founder of Ave Maria University, spoke to members of the Marco Island Civic Association Tuesday evening. This was Monaghan's second visit to the island to talk about the university and surrounding town that is being built about 30 miles east of Naples. The first homeowners are expected to move in mid-July, while the university is slated to open at its permanent location in  August.

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