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Joel/Tuckahoe is right site for school, students and future

May 2, 2017
Lehigh Acres Citizen

To the editor:

With great respect, I would like to add to the vision and mission for a new high school for the Joel/Tuckahoe site selection and with great respect, it's not always about the money - but what is in the best interest for the future of the students in Lee County. The infrastructure and roads are not the problem with Joel/Tuckahoe. I know that you have put great wisdom into the curriculum for Lee County students and we look forward to your input with regard for this school.

As you know, an environmental park site (Joel Argo-Eco Park) is planned next to the Joel/Tuckahoe high school site. They are currently through 60 percent of the design and have submitted to SFWMD and ACOE permits. The proposed site amenities include: hiking, trails, pavilions, educational center, restroom and parking. What sets this park from other parks within the area and state is that it has dedicated a portion of the park for agricultural education through the UF/IFAS Extension services managers and their Master Gardeners and naturalists.

This will provide the community with a chance to learn proper agriculture techniques through training on-site. This property has a significant amount of site work involved. They will be creating ponds on-site not only for water retention and filtering, but to also educate the public on proper aqua-cultural and littoral planting.

Jessie Lavender will present information on the park today, May 2, at 12:30 p.m. at the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District, at 601 East County Lane. We would love for you to come to the meeting or send others from the district. The Joel/Tuckahoe school site will also be presented.

The 102 acres owned by LCSD at Joel/Tuckahoe is not only large enough for the next high school, but also large enough for a K-8 school. I am hoping you are seriously considering this as part of the vision for that property.

With the park at this location, the next high school for this area is a natural as students will have access to new learning academies that could be created to teach environmental and agriculture sciences. I'm sure additional assistance can be created with the help of FSW and FGCU. The Gateway site does not have this to offer the LCSD or students.

I'm sure that the following individuals would love to work with you to help develop curriculum for this school for both environmental and agriculture sciences:

- Dr. Larry Miller, dean of the School of Education at Florida SouthWestern State College

- Dr. Eunsook (Eunny) Hyun, dean of the College of Education at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Brian Bovard, assistant professor of environmental studies at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Mary Kay Cassani, instructor at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Peter Blaze Corcoran, professor of environmental studies and director of the Center for Environmental Substantiability Education at Florida Gulf Coast University

- L. Donald Duke, professor of environmental sciences and policy

- James Douglass, assistant professor at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Edwin Everham, professor and program leader of environmental studies BA at Florida Gulf Coast University

- David Fugate, associate professor of marine science at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Frank Gable, assistant professor

- John Griffis, associate professor and Sidney and Berne Davis endowed chair in landscape horticulture at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Bill Hammond, professor emeritus at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Anne Hartley, associate professor at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Felix Jose, assistant professor and program leader for marine science at Florida Gulf Coast University

- James MacDonald, associate professor at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Bill Mitsch, eminent scholar and director Everglades Wetland Research Park at Florida Gulf Coast University and Juliet C. Sproul chair for Southwest Florida Habitat Restoration and Management at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Joanne Muller, associate of marine science at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Michael Parsons, professor of marine science and director of Coastal Watershed Institute Station at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Joelle Richard, assistant professor of marine science at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Darren Rumbold, professor of marine science at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Michael Savarese, professor of marine science and program leader for environmental studies at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Serge Thomas, assistant professor for environmental studies at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Gregory Tolley, professor of marine science, program leader for environmental sciences with the Department of Marine and Ecological Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Toshi Urakawa, associate professor at Florida Gulf Coast University

- Edward Wimberley, professor at Florida Gulf Coast University

We all know how important it is for us to save our planet today and making sure that the future depends on students knowing the following. We can't wait until our students get to college and I know the LCSB is working with principals in all schools K-8 and high school to achieve higher learning before they graduate.

Lehigh Acres is a diverse, equitable and naturally-integrated community and a sustainable curriculum would serve the student population of this area very well. Both Riverdale and East are over capacity, while Gateway Charter has seats available.

- Science of ecology

- Scientific methods

- Concept of substantiality

- Organismal ecology

- Ecosystem ecology

- Marine science

- Integrated study of ecosystems and restoration

- How to build a food forest

- Science of agriculture

- Science of aquaculture

Agriculture has a future in Southwest Florida. There is potential growth in agriculture as development continues to push out acreage in other farming areas of the state, from Homestead to Orlando.

"This could be a mecca for agriculture in Florida," Stuart Van Auken, an eminent scholar and professor with the Lutgert College at FGCU, said.

Van Auken and Howard Finch, an eminent scholar and the business school's interim dean, traveled 1,483 miles across the state to get their answer, interviewing more than 25 executives representing agribusiness, real estate development, environmental groups and government.

They included U.S. Sugar Corp., Natural Growers, Evans Properties Inc., Lykes Brothers, Barron Collier Enterprises and Gulf Citrus Growers Association.

The Joel/Tuckahoe high school site a natural site to expand on the curriculum that will support jobs of the future. The vision and mission statements for FGCU's College of Education sums up the need for an academy high school at Joel/Tukahoe that supports environmental and agriculture studies. The money being spent by Lee County for this park is a plus for the next high school at the Joel/Tuckahoe site.

Vision:

We envision our graduates, and those they influence, as the learners and leaders of today and tomorrow. As learners, our graduates will continue to grow and develop as leaders within their field. As leaders, they will build upon the diverse backgrounds and perspectives they encounter to ensure that all individuals are able to construct the understanding necessary to become successful.

Mission:

Our mission is to provide diverse environments and excellence that support dynamic learning experiences. In these environments, faculty and students reflect upon and engage in the applications of theory, research and emerging technologies. These environments support the construction of knowledge, skills and attitudes through collaboration and inquiry. As a result, faculty and students are empowered to create an enhanced quality of life within their respective communities.

Respectfully and with hope for the next high school to be built at Joel and Tuckahoe.

Ruth A. Anglickis

Lehigh Acres

 
 

 

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