Wednesday, January 30, 2013

East Manatee makes education news

Braden River High School took home $78,000 this week for student participation in career academies. Shown above, from left, are John Frank, Vanessa Gianmanco, Jillian Bieber, and Christy Goehring. (Herald photo by Jim Jones)
Lakewood Ranch High School took home $87,000 this week for student participation in career academies. Shown above, from left, are Quinton Jones, Michelle Todoroff, Elaine Bowling and Linda Nesselhauf. (Herald photo by Jim Jones)
When you think of East Manatee, you probably think about growth and development, wide-open spaces, cattle, and orange groves.

To that list we should add education.

Manatee Technical Institute opened its new campus on Caruso Road and S.R. 70 this month, putting it at a more centralized location to serve all of Manatee County.

This week, there was discussion among State College of Florida trustees that in the next 30 years, maybe SCF would shift its main campus to Lakewood Ranch. That's very conceptual, and probably not even preliminary right now.

But it is an interesting line of thought. Of course, Lakewood Ranch already has a SCF campus, technically on the Sarasota side of the county line. If a new main campus were to be built at Lakewood Ranch, it would be at a new, larger location north of the border.

The logic is that SCF serves Manatee and Sarasota, and a new East Manatee location would be more convenient and centralized for all of  that student population..

Bricks and mortar are important. Got to have buildings to house those students, which are even more important.

This week at the Manatee School Board meeting, some of the students and teachers who serve them were spotlighted.

Nathalie Kabongo-Chavez, a ninth-grader at Lakewood Ranch High School,  was recognized by the school board for winning the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Contest. Also recognized was middle school winner Alex Kumar of Nolan Middle School.

The board was so impressed with Nathalie that they stood and applauded after she delivered her speech.

All six of  Manatee County's traditional public high schools were also represented this week at the school board meeting, taking home their share of $385,000 they had earned through their career academies.

State lawmakers in 2008 passed legislation which recognizes career and professional education academies. In essence, the training through career academies adds value to the high school education, makes students more competitive in the job market and aids in technical skill development.

The academies receive funds for each graduating senior receiving an industry certification.

Bayshore, Palmetto, Southeast, Lakewood Ranch, Braden River, and Manatee high schools all received nice checks.

It wasn't too long ago that Braden River and Lakewood Ranch campuses didn't even exist, and now they hold their own with schools everywhere in the county.

For more:

Nathalie Kabongo-Chavez, shown with her mother, Rosa, was recognized by Manatee School Board members this week for her oratory. (Herald photo by Jim Jones)

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