How blessed we are to call Boca Grande our island home! Its natural abundance of flora and fauna, beaches and skies of magnificent clouds and sunsets with birds on the wing, are obvious to all. Less obvious are the people who serve us in every area and make the continuing life of our community so rich and vital, such as the personnel of the Gasparilla Inn from management to domestic service, the medical teams of the Boca Grande Chnic, fire and police department members, our maintenance and construction crews, our restaurants and shops, to name a few.
These quality people who serve us in so many key capacities are most often young parents raising children. Like all of us who are parents and grandparents, their children’s education is their top priority. They look about them at the local pubhc schools in South Florida and are concerned that they do not meet the high standards that they hold for their families, neither academically nor in values and knowledge of our democracy. Fortunately, through the foresight and generosity of island leaders, we are able to offer them an alternative: our Island School, a tuition/free charter school, under the direction of Jean Thompson, Head of School. Jean’s superb leadership since her arrival three years ago, has led to a robust enrollment and families actively inquiring about the school, to ensure a future place in The Island School for their children’s elementary years. Jean Thompson’s own words describe best what makes her leadership of The Island School so very special:
“I strongly believe that all my educational experiences were in preparation to serve here at The Island School. I am passionate about education and helping students. I loved the classroom and never planned on leaving, but I also had a vision that was bigger than the classroom. The Island School is the perfect fit because I can lead a school but also have direct contact with students. I am
working with students directly on a regular basis, and this is what truly feeds my soul. There is still so much to do on our quest to educate the whole child and give
students the best all /round foundational skills to be successful in life. From the first time I stepped onto campus, I knew that this was the school for me.”
Thank you for what you have done in the past and will do in the future. Truly, the future of our country has never depended more on an education of our young that emphasizes superior academics, good citizenship, and knowledge of what makes our country strong and great.
Paula Lillard, Trustee