Education day for Class XV began with a continental breakfast at four different tour sites: Naples High School, Golden Gate High School, Golden Gate Middle School, and the University Of Florida College Of Dentistry on the Edison College Campus.
At the University Of Florida College Of Dentistry, Class XV was provided an inside view of the pediatric residency facility and a history of the cooperation among CHS Healthcare, the University of Florida, and Edison College to bring this advanced educational facility to Collier County.
At Naples High School, Dr. Nancy Graham began the morning with an overview of the demographics of the school. Class XV then observed an ROTC class, an English class and a Science class. Following the tour, the class went to a media room where they conversed with ten students representing all four years of high school.
At Golden Gate Middle School, Principal Leslie Morris treated the class to breakfast and a performance by their celebrated jazz band and then led a very provocative discussion about the issues facing her school. It was so interesting that the class members chose to forego a tour of the school in order to continue the conversation.
The divided GNL Class XV reunited at Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology to relate their impressions of the early morning tours to their classmates. Myra Williams, Ph.D. spoke about Collier County public education in a state and national context. Dr. Dennis Thompson, Superintendent of Schools, related his feelings about Collier Public Schools including issues, strategies and action plans.
The culinary talent of the students studying at LWIT was readily apparent as Class XV was served a fabulous lunch. Principal Jeanette Johnson and two students explained the curriculum available at LWIT and subsequent goal setting. The morning was a very uplifting experience for all. As part of the day, Class XV took a surprise FCAT quiz. Fortunately, we were pleased to note that the entire class was smarter than a fifth grader!
The day ended with two panel discussions. The first was “What are we doing right?” and the second “What should be improved?” The panel participants discussed a wide range of opinions. At the end of the day, Class XV was once again in awe of all there was to know about Collier County and were left contemplating where they could make a difference.
Photo of Alan Horton and jazz band by Van Williams, Class XV