Awards night: Marco Island Academy honors outstanding seniors

Lance Shearer

Marco Island Academy had a lot of awarding to do. Wednesday evening at Rose History Auditorium, the school and a long list of civic organizations gave out dozens of certificates, plaques, medallions, trophies and – perhaps most significantly – checks to outstanding seniors in their graduating class.

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Presenting the awards Wednesday, in a ceremony that ran nearly two hours, eases the pressure on the graduation exercises, which are being held Friday evening at the Family Church on Winterberry Drive.

The school, Marco’s charter high school, gave out the valedictorian and salutatorian awards, department awards for outstanding students in various disciplines, and “Manta Ray Awards,” the school’s mascot, in the categories of character, leadership, service and spirit.

The evening could have been dubbed “The Teagan Show,” or perhaps “The Teagan and Morgan Show,” as two outstanding seniors made repeated trips to the podium.

Teagan Havemeier was named valedictorian, and Morgan Jones the salutatorian. In addition, Teagan was the school’s entrant into the county-wide Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete award competition. That earned her a $5,000 scholarship, with another $10,000 if she was picked as the overall winner.

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Teagan also won the Manta Ray Leadership award, the Mathematics Department Award, the $2,500 P.E.O. Star Scholarship Award, a $2,000 Marco Island Kiwanis Club scholarship, and scholarships from the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce and the Calusa Garden Club. Havemeier also collected three additional awards on the list on the back of the evening’s program that were not presented live.

Morgan won the English Department Award, plus scholarships from the Optimist Club of Naples, Marco Island Woman’s Club, Marco Island Sunrise Rotary Club, Marco Island Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, and the Forum Club, plus three additional awards.

Both Morgan and Teagan are planning to attend the University of Florida.

There were plenty of other awards to go around, although no one else matched Havemeier and Jones’ eight trips to the front of the room. Anthony jumped up in surprise when his Performing Arts Department Award was announced by teacher Chris Dayett, although he might have had a clue when Dayett said the winning student had a habit of messaging him after 11 p.m. It was performing arts, so maybe he was just acting.

Evans Metelus won the Manta Ray for character, Lauren DeHooghe won for service, and Emma Snow won for character, with Principal Melissa Scott saying a few words about each of the Manta Ray honorees, in the culmination of the ceremony.

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The Humanities Department prize (“we call it social studies,” said the teachers presenting the award) went to Lauren DeHooghe. The Fine Arts Department prize went to Cassie Sullivan, with teacher Robby Eder teasing the name reveal by calling the winner “Blankie” before spilling her identity. Jayce Dawson won the Science Department Award, and the World Languages Department honors went to Finleigh Fitton, with teacher Fernando Higuera beginning his remarks in Spanish.

A Who’s Who of local civic, service and business organizations gave awards and scholarships to deserving seniors.