Sarasota Charter School Plans Annual ‘Operation Outbreak’ Event

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local, public charter school, has announced plans for the annual ‘Operation Outbreak’ (O2), an educational program designed by SMA Outreach Director, Dr. Todd BrownThe program will take place at the SMA Prep middle school campus on December 5, 2019.

Created as a platform for infectious disease education, preparedness, and data generation, the O2 project began in 2016 when Dr. Brown created a module to teach SMA Prep middle school students about outbreak response and containment, with a public health and government perspective.

“What began as an idea has quickly transformed into one of my favorite programs that I believe has the potential to change how we teach public health,” said SMA Outreach Director Dr. Todd Brown. “The O2 program started as a way to help our students understand how people react to a problem, in this case an infectious disease outbreak, by remaining calm, communicating and creating solutions, and with the support of SMA, the O2 team and our cadets, we have created a program that has the potential to positively impact, prepare and train schools around the globe.”

After a successful program launch, Dr. Brown recruited Dr. Pardis Sabeti, genetics professor at Harvard University, as a scientific advisor, and Andres Colubri, a computational researcher in Dr. Pardis’ lab, and the program expanded to include an app. The revamped O2 program and app were launched during the SMA Prep “Outbreak” in 2018.

The Operation Outbreak educational platform was recently named one of the world’s most innovative hybrid learning programs by a global educational awards program jointly organized by The Wharton School and QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Dr. Brown and the O2 team, with support from organizations including the L’Oreal/AAAS For Women in Science award for STEM Education, Voya Financial Unsung Heroes Grant, Florida Association of International Baccalaureate World Schools Grant, and Toshiba Foundation of America Grades 6-12 STEM Grant, are working to create a version of O2 that can be utilized by organizations and schools throughout the world.

To learn more about Operation Outbreak (O2) or any of the information for the 2019 session, please contact Dr. Todd Brown at Todd.Brown@ourSMA.org or visit https://www.o2.education/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

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Sarasota Charter School Invited to Reimagine Education Awards in London

The Operation Outbreak educational platform, developed at Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local, public charter school, was recently named one of the world’s most innovative hybrid learning programs by a global educational awards program jointly organized by The Wharton School and QS Quacquarelli Symonds. SMA has been invited to attend the Reimagine Education Awards in London, England (8th-10th December, Queen Elizabeth II Centre). SMA Outreach Director Dr. Todd Brown will represent the Academy and present the Operation Outbreak (O2) program to 500 educational experts from across the world. 

Sarasota Military Academy submitted an extensive application for this opportunity, focusing on the Operation Outbreak (O2) program, and was placed on the shortlist. The shortlisted applicants comprise the top 15% of applicants to the competition, including applications received from over 1500 educational innovators from 39 countries. The awards, which reward innovative approaches that enhance student learning outcomes and employability, offer $50,000 in funding to the overall winners.

“Operation Outbreak is a highly-exciting, highly-engaging example of how technology can be leveraged in ways that improve verisimilitude, learning engagement, and, most importantly, learning outcomes. Shortlisting Operation Outbreak proved an easy choice for both our independent judges and internal team: in particular, O2 and its creators were commended for clear evidence of attainment gains, the compelling creation of an experiential learning program that offered its student participants high-fidelity experiences of a disease outbreak scenario, and the innovative-yet-accessible use of widely-available, user-friendly mobile technologies,” said Jack Moran, Reimagine Education Program Manager. “It is a commendable example of how STEM education can be revisited in ways that don’t require difficult-to-acquire technological expertise, and we eagerly anticipate its progress.”

“The Reimagine Education Awards are considered the “Oscars” for education throughout the world, and we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to present Operation Outbreak (O2) as the program continues to gain international attention,” said SMA Outreach Director Dr. Todd Brown. “With more than 1500 submissions from 39 counties, I am so proud of O2 and how it is gaining consideration as one of the best educational platforms in the world, and I am excited to expand this program within and beyond our Academy walls.”

Reimagine Education is a global conference and competition open to those who are transforming education, including edtech startups, academic faculty from top universities, Chief Innovation Officers, university leadership, teachers and stakeholders in the future of teaching and learning.

This opportunity is one of many offered to Dr. Brown in 2019: he is currently involved in a prestigious, year-long CDC fellowship; he coordinated the inaugural SMA Education Summit for professionals across the region; conducted a workshop and gave a keynote address at the Shekou SDG’s conference in Shekou, China as well as Shanghai in September; and was invited to speak at the 2019 Global IB Conference held in New Orleans.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

PHOTO ID: Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Outreach Director Todd Brown with participants from the 2018 Operation Outbreak at SMA Prep.

Holocaust survivor, Rifka Glatz, shares her story with SMA Prep cadets

Rifka Glatz

By Caleigh Patterson, SMA Prep Cadet

On Thursday, October 17, SMA-Major Pelletier’s class welcomed a very esteemed guest, one who endured many trials, suffered and lost many who were dear to her heart, with a soul of bright sunshine, providing warmth and wisdom. Her name is Rifka Glatz, an 81-year old Holocaust survivor, soon turning 82. Her story is one of many turns, of heartbreak and adversity, sorrow and pain, and most importantly, of love, joy, and kindness. Greeting us with the Hebrew phrase “Shalom,” she shared her story with us.

She was born in Hungary in 1937, October 26, to a Jewish family. When World War II broke out, many Hungarian Jews believed that the rumors of the faraway concentration camps and the “Final Solution” could not be true, and many were reluctant to leave. When Germany entered Hungary in 1943, the oppression of Jews began. Those who were once countrymen and women, comrades in arms, neighbors, and friends, were now prosecuted. Her parents, running a bakery at the time, were forced to give up their establishment along with the other Jewish shopkeepers and tradesmen. She was only six at the time, only completing kindergarten, with no chance of entering first grade when the Jewish children were prohibited from entering schools. Jewish day-schools were set up, and she attended them. Her father was placed in a forced labor camp, starved and worked to death, his family was anxious about his whereabouts. (They were later informed about his death from his brother-in-law.)

They came for them in the middle of summer, her mother telling her older brother to prepare a knapsack and clothe her in many layers to have the clothes, in case she didn’t come back. That day, her mother was caught begging to get back to her children and was allowed to return. The Germans took their house and all of their possessions in the house and boarded the door shut. They were loaded into trucks. She was with her brother and mother when she was taken to the brickyard factory and stayed there for a few months. They slept on dirt, with minimal food and water. Rezso Kaszcher, a Hungarian Jew, a lawyer, and a hero formed a committee and decided to deal with Nazi Adolf Eichmann, the man who ordered the extermination of Jews in Hungary. They offered jewelry in order to save a group. The group of 1,800 randomly selected Jews, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, etc.were put on hold until further notice. They were going to go to Spain or Portugal, but they instead went to Bergen-Belsen, it was terrible but not an annihilation camp. She was six and a half at that time and was separated from her brother, but was able to stay with her mother. Rifka turned seven in the camp.

When they were liberated they were taken to Switzerland and stayed at a grand hotel for ten months to recuperate from the conditions they lived in (1943). After some time she went to Palestine, Israel and stayed in a kibbutz, a communal settlement. She only got to see her mother twice a year; however, her ‘foster’ family was very nice. The years on the kibbutz taught her how to love, and taught her lessons that the whole world needs to utilize every day; if you see an injustice in the world, do something. If you can’t, notify someone who can. The real crime of the Germans who didn’t believe in the “Final Solution” was that they were bystanders and did nothing, as the real opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Don’t ignore the hatred and evil in the world, as if left ignored, can blossom into something truly terrible and unviewable, so go forth in love and kindness. Shalom.

Rifka is married with two adopted children Her brother has a huge family now and they are very close and loving towards each other. Rifka has 3 grandchildren. She has the contents of her Mezuzah from their former house in Hungary, hidden in her mother’s coat.

Sarasota Military Academy Plans 2019 Wreaths Across America Campaign

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local public charter school, has announced plans for the 2019 SMA Wreaths Across America Campaign through an annual partnership with Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit that aims to remember fallen U.S. veterans, honor those who serve and teach children the value of freedom.

“We are proud to be involved in this annual campaign with a goal this year to cover 15,000 gravesites at the Sarasota National Cemetery,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “When you sponsor a wreath, not only are you helping us honor our local resting veterans while teaching our cadets about those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, you are also supporting SMA and our cadets and staff.”

During the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Sarasota National Cemetery, SMA cadets and community members participate in honoring veterans and remembering their sacrifices and service. Through partnerships with other schools and organizations throughout Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties, this campaign has been led by SMA cadets, the Parent Teacher Cadet Council (PTCC), staff and families since the Sarasota National Cemetery opened in 2009. 

The annual campaign yields five dollars back to SMA for each wreath sponsored, and fundraising dollars support cadet classroom and extra-curricular activities for both Sarasota Military Academy high school and Prep middle school cadets. Sponsorships and donations will be accepted until Friday, November 22, 2019.

The ceremony at Sarasota National Cemetery, located at 9810 State Road 72 in Sarasota, is scheduled to begin at 10am on December 14, 2019. Parking is first come, first served and wreath-laying will begin at 10:30am; families will lay personal wreaths first with the event ending at approximately 11am.

To donate to the 2019 SMA Wreaths Across America Campaign, or to learn more about SMA’s involvement in this organization, visit https://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/support-us/wreaths-across-america-2019.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Professional Named Air Force Association STEM Teacher of the Year

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Outreach Director Dr. Todd Brown, PhD. was recently recognized as the “STEM teacher of the Year” by the Florida West Coast chapter of the Air Force Association (AFA). The award was presented to Dr. Brown in October at the Sarasota Military Academy Prep middle school campus. 

Nominated by SMA-COL Tom Vara, Head of School for Sarasota Military Academy Prep, Dr. Brown received accolades for his previous achievements and the “Inspire Project” curriculum, a program of Dr. Brown’s creation that connects SMA cadets with global experts and guest speakers in a variety of topics through Project Earth, Project Equality and Project Health.

In the letter written to the association, by SMA-COL Vara, Dr. Brown is described as “truly inspirational, not only to our cadets but our entire staff, the SMA community and those like-minded individuals around the globe that seek ways to use education as a powerful tool to inspire young people to make connections and have a positive impact on the world around them.”

As the SMA Outreach Director, Dr. Brown’s role includes enhancing the Academy’s curriculum and programs to bring new opportunities to cadets at the SMA high school and Prep middle school campuses.

Previously, Dr. Brown has received the “Ignite Innovation” award from the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and serves as a Teach Sustainable Development Goals Ambassador for the United Nations, the Henry Ford Innovator Award, and he is currently involved in a prestigious, year-long CDC fellowship. This year, he coordinated the inaugural SMA Education Summit for professionals around the region; conducted a workshop and gave a keynote address at the Shekou SDG’s conference in Shekou, China as well as Shanghai in September and was invited to speak at the 2019 Global IB Conference held in New Orleans.

The award, presented by AFA Florida West Coast chapter President Mike Richardson, was coordinated with Tracy Spalsbury, Director of Marketing & Communications at the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.

About the Air Force Association Florida West Coast chapter
The Air Force Association (AFA) is an independent, nonprofit, civilian education organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation.  It has nearly 100,000 members in more than 200 chapters worldwide. About 250 AFA members live in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The Florida West Coast Chapter is the newest AFA chapter in Florida – receiving its original charter in October 2011.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

PHOTO ID: Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Executive Director of Schools Christina Bowman, SMA Outreach Director Dr. Todd Brown, Air Force Association Florida West Coast chapter President Mike Richardson and SMA Prep Head of School Tom Vara.

 

Sarasota Academy Announces 2019 – 2020 Inspire Project Speaker List

Sarasota Military Academy, a local public charter school, has released a list of celebrity guests and industry experts scheduled to present during the annual “Inspire Project” curriculum, a program created by Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Outreach Director Todd Brown, Ph.D. 

The Inspire Project, which focuses on the topics of Health, Equality, and Earth, includes the “Operation Outbreak,” a program that has received international attention as Dr. Brown was invited to present at global conferences including the 2019 Global IB Conference held in New Orleans and the 2019 Shekou SDG’s Education Conference in Shekou, and Shanghai, China. 

This year, the Inspire Project has been expanded to include both the SMA high school and SMA Prep middle school campuses. One of the notable speakers includes “Operation Outbreak” supporter and Time Magazine’s Person of the Year and Most Influential People in the World, Dr. Pardis Sabeti. While many of the speakers appear in person, several guests participate in the program through video chats, allowing cadets and staff to interact in real-time with talented speakers across the globe. 

“The Inspire Project aims to connect students in our community with change-makers and experts in a variety of fields and industries. This year, we are excited to expand the program throughout our high school and Prep middle school campuses,” said Sarasota Military Academy Outreach Director Todd Brown, Ph.D. “This program is just one example of how we use resources and create opportunities outside of the ‘traditional’ curriculum to help our cadets understand and experience the meaning and importance of global citizenship.”

Project Health speakers include Sebastian Junger, a #1 New York Times Bestselling author and an award-winning journalist, contributing editor and a special correspondent at ABC News; Aarti Sequeira, former news (CNN) and documentary (HBO’s “Sand and Sorrow”) producer turned Food Network, host and cookbook author; Jordan Reeves, inventor and creator of “Project Unicorn” who pitched the idea to “Shark Tank” investors during an appearance on The Rachael Ray Show in 2017; Lauren Findley, YouTube star, fitness competitor and model; and Dr. Raf Ratinam, a medical illustrator from Australia, creator of 2D/3D illustrations/animations for surgeons.  

Project Equality speakers include Christopher Sean, an Asian-American actor appearing on CBS’s Hawaii Five-O and the recent award-winning, Star Wars Resistance; Sonia Purnell, a journalist and bestselling author and Christina Unkel, the FOX Women’s World Cup rules analyst, and one of only three FIFA-license female referees representing the United States Soccer Federation. Project Earth speakers include Kate Brooks, an award-winning photographer with work featured around the world for human rights campaigns; Les Stroud, Canadian Screen Award-winning producer, creator, and star of the hit TV series Survivorman; Dr. Margaret D. Lowman, Ph.D. a.k.a. “Canopy Meg,” an American biologist, educator, ecologist, writer, editor, and public speaker and Dr. Tracy Fanara, an engineer and staff scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

To learn more about the Inspire Project or view a list of past or planned speakers and appearances, visit http://theinspireproject.us/. To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/

PHOTO ID: Sarasota Military Academy cadets with Aarti Sequeira, former news and documentary producer turned Food Network, host and cookbook author. 

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

 

Sarasota Student Receives Legion of Valor Achievement Award

Sarasota Military Academy senior Juliana Rendle was recently announced as a recipient of the prestigious Legion of Valor “Bronze Cross for Achievement” award from The Legion of Valor of the United States of America, Inc. organization. The award, given annually, celebrates the achievement of scholastic excellence in military and academic subjects for outstanding cadets.

With more than 103,000 eligible JROTC cadets in the U.S. Army Cadet Command’s 6th Brigade, which encompasses five states, sixty cadets were nominated for the award. Only eight cadets were selected to receive the award, including SMA Cadet Rendle. She was unaware of the award and was recognized in a surprise ceremony, during the high school morning formation, on September 26, 2019.

Cadet Rendle is a senior at Sarasota Military Academy who currently holds the title as SMA Cadet Colonel and Regimental Commander of SMA’s “Eagle Regiment.” Ranked third of 150 cadets in the SMA senior class graduating in 2020, Cadet Rendle holds a grade point average of 4.55. In addition to several civilian universities, she is in the process of applying to the United States Military Academy at West Point. 

“Sarasota Military Academy is incredibly proud of Cadet Rendle for receiving such a prestigious award,” said Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Ben Weiss, Sarasota Military Academy Senior JROTC Instructor and Commandant of Cadets. “Cadet Rendle is a fantastic example of the talented cadets at Sarasota Military Academy. We are proud of her terrific achievements that have earned her this title and award.” 

Eligible cadets are nominated by JROTC instructors; SMA CSM Mike Collis, SMA Raiders Coach, nominated Cadet Rendle. The cadet, along with her instructors, completed the extensive application packet and submitted it for consideration. During the ceremony on September 26, 2019, guests including Cadet Rendle’s parents and Sarasota City Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie, Esq. were present to witness the presentation of the award.

PHOTO ID: SMA Cadet Colonel Juliana Rendle with LTC (Retired) Ben Weiss of Sarasota Military Academy.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

 

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Success in Life (home, school, career … ) – It’s a Mindset

As I reflect on the many barriers that seem to pop up in our endeavors to define our purpose in life, leave a lasting legacy, plan for the golden years, develop a fulfilling career, support the happiness of our family and loved ones, achieve a simple goal or just get through the day, I am often reminded of the importance of my mindset (attitude, for lack of a better term) in overcoming these hurdles. As I reflected on this, prompted by the many concerns and issues that arise in my role as a leader of a dynamic organization, I was prompted to reach out to my good friend, Google, to see how others have managed. 

In my research of mindset, I was seemingly attacked by a plethora of individuals and companies intent on selling me a book, program or service to help me change my mindset and achieve unheard of heights. Thanks, but I’m not buying. I also came across some valuable research (found after filtering through all the sales pitches) and some excellent publications from varied industry/professional organizations. Evidently there is a common understanding that a “fixed”, meaning not able to change, mindset is not conducive to attaining your goals, whereas a “growth” mindset builds a sense of resilience and perseverance allowing for a greater likelihood of overcoming barriers (Carol Dweck). I did find some interesting and provoking articles and presentations regarding mindset that could certainly be used by an individual or an organization to address growth, such as the “8 Mindsets That Will Set You on the Path to Success” by Deep Patel of the Serial Entrepreneur https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/283988, and the video from Freedom in Thought, “The Most Powerful Mindset for Success” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjBdcyueom8 as a visual and aural explanation of mindset. 

As I processed all this information found on the world wide web, I had somewhat of an epiphany about success – barriers – mindset; these barriers we perceive between us and our goals are simply barriers created by our own minds. They are only barriers because that is what we have defined them. It truly is just a mindset. 

Persevere!

Very Respectfully,

 

SMA-COL Frederick T. Fout

Sarasota Academy Outreach Director Presents at Global Education Summit in China

Dr. Todd Brown, PhD., Sarasota Military Academy Outreach Director, was recently invited to run a workshop and give a keynote address at the Shekou SDG’s conference in Shekou, China in September 2019. According to the conference website, the SDG Summit is an inaugural gathering of global educators with the goal of building capacity, connection and developing an ongoing, visionary educational approach to impact communities.

“With a mission to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world, Sarasota Military Academy is proud to have Dr. Brown as the SMA Outreach Director,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “In this new capacity, Dr. Brown has an incredible opportunity to travel the world learning new methods while also educating others about the amazing opportunities and discoveries happening at our Academy.”

Formerly the SMA Individuals and Societies Instructor and Department Chair, Dr. Brown was recently named the Academy’s Outreach Director, a decision made based on his ability to connect cadets and staff to opportunities extending far beyond the “traditional” classroom curriculum.

In July, Dr. Brown was invited to speak at the 2019 Global IB Conference held in New Orleans.  During the conference, Dr. Brown led a breakout session with schools around the world to join The Inspire Project as well as the “Operation Outbreak” project, a program of Dr. Brown’s creation that puts students at the forefront of containing an infectious disease outbreak. 

Additional speaking engagements include invitations to Cairo, Egypt and Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia at the AdvancED Global Conferences in November 2019 and the International Conference on Learning in Belfast, UK in July 2019. Dr. Brown has received numerous awards including the Education Foundation Innovator of the Year Award in December 2018, the United States Henry Ford Innovator Award in March 2019, an appointment as a United Nations Sustainable Developmental Goals Ambassador (serving from 2019 – 2020) and the CDC Science Ambassador Fellowship (July of 2019 – 2020). 

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Local Entrepreneur Donates Computers to Sarasota Military Academy

Freddie Figgers, founder & CEO of Figgers Communications, donated 20 computers to cadets at Sarasota Military Academy, a local, public charter school. The donation comes as an extension of the Figgers Foundation August 2019 “Back-to-School” initiative, designed to help teachers provide for the needs of students in the classroom.

Figgers, a 29-year-old entrepreneur, donated the computers to Sarasota Military Academy to replace old, outdated models in the language arts classrooms. The computers were donated at a special presentation during the Academy’s morning formation on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.  

“Abandoned in a dumpster as an infant, Freddie was adopted by a loving couple who encouraged and supported his fascination with computers at an early age. Early tinkering nurtured a curiosity and love of technology that led to the creation of cloud computing services at age 15, and ultimately, to his development of four patents,” said SMA-MAJ Sylvia Gillotte, Sarasota Military Academy Language Arts Department Chair. “He is an incredibly inspiring person for our cadets to have the opportunity to learn from, and we are grateful for this donation to our Academy.”

In addition to the patents and cloud-computing service, Figgers is the youngest person to be granted an FCC license to operate a wireless service. His company, Figgers Communications, has a net worth of over $62 million, and is the only minority-owned telecommunications company that manufactures its own phones and sells talk, text and data plans.

To learn more about Figgers Communications or the donation of the computers to Sarasota Military Academy, contact SMA-MAJ Sylvia Gillotte at 941.926.1700 at ext. 231.

About Figgers Communications
Figgers Communications was founded in Quincy, Florida by Freddie Figgers, a young entrepreneur, inventor, computer programmer and software engineer, as well as the youngest person in history to hold an FCC license. Figgers Communications is the only minority-owned telecommunications firm in the United States that is competing with major networks like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. His company owns 4 utility patents and 2 design patents in the industry. For more details about Figgers Communications, visit http://www.Figgers.com

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Students Partner with Aviation Company for Bahamas Relief

Students and staff at Sarasota Military Academy, a local, public charter school, have partnered with Gold Aviation Services, a private luxury jet and aircraft carrier, to supply relief to the people in the Bahamas affected by the devastation from Hurricane Dorian.

Donated items, accepted at both the Sarasota Military Academy’s high school campus (located at 801 N. Orange Avenue in Sarasota), and the Prep middle school campus (located at 3101 Bethel Lane in Sarasota), will be delivered to the company and flown to Treasure Cay and Marsh Harbor, with flights beginning Thursday, September 5, 2019.

A full list of suggested items and supplies can be found by visiting the Gold Aviation Services Facebook page and include basic hygiene items such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, medical supplies including antibacterial ointment, gauze/tape, aspirin and Ibuprofen and miscellaneous items such as canned goods and non-perishables, manual can openers and heavy-duty trash bags.

The partnership was established through SMA-SFC Kathy Simon, who works at the SMA Prep campus, as her brother-in-law, Leonard Goldberg, is the CEO/Owner of Gold Aviation Services. Simon brought the efforts to the attention of the SMA staff and students through the SMA Interact Clubs at both campuses, led by SMA-MAJ Carol Pelletier and SMA-CPT Lorene Bauck, who decided to get involved immediately. Simon and her husband will be delivering the items to Gold Aviation Services as donations and supplies are received.

Monetary donations can be provided through the organization at https://www.paypal.me/wwfly. The company will also be collecting supplies at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, with additional locations and details to be announced through the company’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/goldaviation/. Gold Aviation Services is also partnering with the Mission Resolve Foundation to support recovery and relief efforts by land, sea and air. To learn more about this effort, visit https://missionresolve.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Teacher Presents at Global IB Conference

Dr. Todd Brown, PhD., Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Outreach Director, was recently invited to speak at the 2019 Global IB Conference held in New Orleans. The theme of the conference was “Generation IB” where educators from around the world gather to showcase collaborative skills and innovative ideas surrounding the mission of International Baccalaureate programs.

During the conference, Dr. Brown led a breakout session with schools around the world to join The Inspire Project as well as the “Operation Outbreak” project, a program of Dr. Brown’s creation that puts students at the forefront of containing an infectious disease outbreak. The project will simultaneously aid researchers in determining how well the public would respond to a real-life pandemic.

“Presenting during the annual Global IB Conference is an incredible honor and I am proud to represent Sarasota Military Academy throughout this experience,” said Sarasota Military Academy Outreach Director Dr. Todd Brown, PhD. “Being invited to meet and network with IB practitioners from around the world is an incredible opportunity to share what I’ve created through the Inspire Project while learning about new opportunities and ideas for our cadets and staff at SMA.”

Through a partnership and collaborative efforts with Dr. Brown, Dr. Pardis Sabeti, a genetics professor at Harvard University and Andres Colubri, MFA, Ph.D., a computational researcher in Dr. Sabeti’s lab, the team has created a module for schools around the world to utilize and study.

“Presenting about the ‘Operation Outbreak’ project is an experience I don’t take lightly, as I know that this has the opportunity to change the way we look at STEM programs in our schools and also how we react to global pandemic,” said Dr. Brown. “I am excited to work with cadets and staff at SMA to find new ways to have a local and global impact as we continue pushing boundaries and creating change.”

To learn more about the Operation Outbreak project, as featured by the 2019 Global IB Conference, visit http://blogs.ibo.org/blog/2019/07/26/operation-outbreak/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Award-Winning Author Plans Visit to Sarasota Military Academy

Kyle Prue, author of ‘The Feud’ trilogy, which includes award-winning ‘The Sparks’, will visit Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), on Thursday, August 22, 2019 to speak to students and staff at the SMA high school and SMA Prep middle school campuses. 

Prue began writing ‘The Sparks’, the first book in ‘The Feud’ series, at the age of 16 years old and his books have won numerous national and international awards including the FAPA President’s Book Awards for Best Fiction and Best Fantasy for Young Adults in both 2015 and 2017. Prue is also the founder of Sparking Literacy, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring teens to read, write and follow their dreams in an attempt to lower the high school dropout rate.

“We are so excited to have esteemed author Kyle Prue visit SMA and speak to our cadets and staff,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “His writing and passion for increasing literacy is something that resonates with our Academy and we look forward to hearing his story and seeing our cadets leave, inspired and ready to achieve great things.”

Select students read ‘The Sparks’ novel during summer break, and will attend a “Meet the Author” breakfast sponsored by SMA parent Joanne Fabec. Students and staff will have an opportunity to purchase copies of the book for Prue to sign, following the assembly. For more information on this event, or to sign up as a sponsor, contact SMA-CPT Hellen Harvey, SMA media specialist, at Hellen.Harvey@ourSMA.org

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Military Academy Celebrates Successful Education Summit

On Friday, August 9, 2019, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) hosted the first annual SMA Inspire Education Summit, in partnership with SMA outreach director Todd Brown, PhD., at the SMA Prep middle school campus in Sarasota. The event, open to teachers, administrators and students, featured renowned speakers presenting on the topics of health, Earth and equality. 

More than 100 administrators, teachers and students attended the first annual summit, at no cost to themselves or their schools and organizations, and learned from featured speakers including Dr. Pardis Sabeti, Time Most Influential People and People of the Year, Ridhi Tariyal: Co-founder of NextGen Jane; Dr. Christian Brechot: President of the Global Virus Network and Dr. Todd Brown: Teacher SMA Prep.

Several local administrators and guests attended the event, including Superintendent of Schools for Sarasota County Dr. Todd Bowden, SMA Board Members Ms. Linda Long and Ms. Carter Donovan, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Dr. Sharon Isern and Dr. Scott Michael and ATLARGE and DreamLarge founder, and PINC Experience Executive Director Anand Pallegar and PINC Experience’s Julia Groom.

“We are overwhelmed with the positive response to the first annual SMA Inspire Education Summit as we hear from attendees and the speakers who held discussions about vital topics,” said Dr. Todd Brown, PhD., creator of the SMA “Inspire Project and Sarasota Military Academy Outreach Director. “The underpinning of the summit aims to flip a traditional models fostering an atmosphere of learning based on relationships and discussion to provide organic, grassroots content that creates content.”

With a goal of increasing collaboration with schools, clubs, teachers, and students throughout the county, and increasing community outreach for SMA, upcoming summits and programs will aim to spread the Inspire Project discussion and mentor series and initiatives with other schools around the world. The Academy plans to continue expanding the Inspire Project with the second annual Education Summit planned for 2020.

The event also featured Dr. Esther Ngumbi: Post-Doctoral Researcher, One World 1 of 100 women changing the World, 2018 SEB + President’s Medal Winner; Dr. Tracy Fanara: MythBusters, Environmental Civil Engineer, National EPA Rainworks Challenge Teams Winner, Mote Marine hydrologist; and Deb Walker: Teacher SMA Prep, during the “Earth” section of the summit, and the “Equality” sector featured Aradia: Singer/SongWriter from NYC and LA; Abdi Nor Iftin: Somali refugee and author of the acclaimed book, “Call Me American” and Lynore Fontecha: Teacher SMA Prep.

To learn more about the SMA Inspire Education Summit, or to arrange an interview with Dr. Brown or any of the event speakers, please contact Dr. Todd Brown at todd.brown@oursma.org or 941-587-0236. 

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

 

Sarasota Teacher Receives CDC Fellowship Opportunity

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) teacher Todd Brown, PhD., creator of the SMA “Inspire Project” curriculum, was recently accepted into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Science Ambassador Fellowship program for 2019 – 2020. 

One of only thirty teachers around the world to receive this invitation, Dr. Brown is the only non-science or math teacher involved in the fellowship, which includes a 5-day summer course at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and a 1-year distance-based professional development opportunity.

According to the CDC website, during the summer course, participants interact with CDC scientists, participate in panel discussions, attend seminars, develop challenging and innovative public health STEM lesson plans, tour CDC’s state-of-the-art facilities, expand their professional networks and earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

In addition to this designation, Dr. Brown is a recipient of the “Ignite Innovation” award from the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and serves as a Teach Sustainable Development Goals Ambassador for the United Nations. In 2018, Dr. Brown was invited to speak at the AdvancED Global Conference in Egypt and Saudi Arabia and he was nominated for the CNN Heroes Award by Harvard University, among other honors. 

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

 

Sarasota Military Academy Plans First Annual Education Summit

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is proud to announce the first annual SMA Inspire Education Summit, in partnership with SMA teacher and outreach director Todd Brown, PhD., creator of the SMA “The Inspire Project.” Held on August 9, 2019, at the SMA Prep campus, located at 3101 Bethel Lane in Sarasota, the summit will feature renowned speakers from around the world with a focus on health, earth, and equality.

“We are incredibly proud to bring the first annual SMA Inspire Education Summit, presented by Sarasota Military Academy, to Sarasota County schools and teachers. This event aims to increase collaboration between our educators and staff and will have a major, positive impact on our students,” said Dr. Todd Brown, PhD., creator of the SMA “Inspire Project and Sarasota Military Academy Outreach Director. “We are looking to challenge the more ‘traditional’ methods of teaching as we find ways to have a global impact within our community.”

With a goal of increasing collaboration with schools, clubs, teachers, and students throughout the county, and increasing community outreach for SMA, the summit aims to spread the Inspire Project discussion and mentor series and initiatives with other schools around the world.

For the “Health” sector, speakers include Dr. Pardis Sabeti, Time Most Influential People and People of the Year, Sabeti Lab (Broad Institute) of MIT/Harvard; Ridhi Tariyal: Co-founder of NextGen Jane and Blavatnik Fellow at Harvard University; Dr. Christian Brechot: President of the Global Virus Network and Dr. Todd Brown: Teacher SMA Prep. 

Dr. Esther Ngumbi: Post-Doctoral Researcher, One World 1 of 100 women changing the World, 2018 SEB + President’s Medal Winner; Dr. Tracy Fanara: MythBusters, Environmental Civil Engineer, National EPA Rainworks Challenge Teams Winner, Mote Marine hydrologist; and Deb Walker: Teacher SMA Prep, will present during the “Earth” section of the summit, and the “Equality” sector will feature Aradia: Singer/SongWriter from NYC and LA; Abdi Nor Iftin: Somali refugee and author of the acclaimed book, “Call Me American” and Lynore Fontecha: Teacher SMA Prep.

The summit will be held on Friday, August 9, 2019, from 9am – 2pm at the SMA Prep middle school campus and is open to teachers from around the county who are invited to register to attend at no cost. Attendees will receive tools to involve and equip schools, clubs and teachers for large-scale initiatives and lessons that will increase civic and scientific engagement at a local, state, national, and/or international level. Registration is ongoing through the Sarasota County Professional Development System

To learn more about the SMA Inspire Education Summit, or to arrange an interview with Dr. Brown or any of the event speakers, please contact Dr. Todd Brown at todd.brown@oursma.org or 941-587-0236. The media is welcome to attend the event; please contact Dr. Brown to RSVP.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Students Raise Funds to Build a Home in Haiti

Members of the Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Prep middle school Interact Club selected the Haitian Health Foundation’s “Happier Houses in Haiti” program as their 2019 service project. Through fundraising at school, and with the support and assistance of the Southside Rotary club, SMA Prep Interact Club members and staff raised $1,950 for the HHF organization to construct a home for a family in Haiti.

The cadets raised money through several methods including paying to “dress down” at school instead of wearing the official Sarasota Military Academy uniform, selling “friendship grams,” participating in the Sarasota Music half-marathon run and placing collection cans in each middle school classroom. 

“This program is important because it provides shelter and protection from weather for people who can’t afford a home,” said Emily Brooks, a 6th grade cadet at Sarasota Military Academy and Interact Club member. “It makes me feel good because I am doing something for the community that will impact others.”

The new homes built through the program include updated features to the original “Happy House” design, created more than 20 years ago by the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF). Homes include a microflush toilet which flushes a small cup of water into a cement “digester” of soil and earthworms. Every two years, organically-rich compost is removed to use as fertilizer. The homes also feature a small solar panel for lighting and a radio, and a system for water collection with a basic filtration system providing water for cooking and drinking.

“My family has been involved with the HHF organization for several years, and we have personally sponsored five homes. I was proud to bring this project to Sarasota Military Academy Prep through the Interact Club,” said SMA-MAJ Carol Pelletier, Sarasota Military Academy Prep Language and Literature Instructor, Department Chair and Interact Club Facilitator. “In talking with Interact Club facilitators and our cadets, we found this project to be a great fit as our focus for the year. The students gave this project their all and ultimately, their hard work paid off, as we have learned that the home in Haiti may be completed as early as Fall 2019.”

The SMA Prep Interact Club is an extracurricular activity supported by the Sarasota Southside Rotary Club. Previous SMA Interact Club projects include making sensory bottles for a partnership with Easterseals Southwest Florida, puppy collars for Southeastern Guide Dogs, gift boxes for troops overseas and the Water for Sudan project where students raised funds to build a well in South Sudan. The SMA Prep Interact Club chapter was also recently awarded the Zone34 Interact Award through the Rotary Club partnership.

About Haitian Health Foundation
The mission of the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF) is to improve the health and well-being of women, children, families and communities in the greater Jeremie region, through healthcare, education and community development. HHF serves over 250,000 poor and vulnerable people in the city of Jeremie and over 100 rural mountain villages. To learn more, visit our website at http://www.haitianhealthfoundation.org/. 

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Military Academy Plans Inaugural “Soaring Eagle Golf Challenge”

The Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) High School Athletics program has announced the Inaugural Soaring Eagle Golf Challenge event planned for April 18, 2020 at The Meadows Country Club in Sarasota. The charter school’s athletics program is currently accepting sponsorships and donations for the challenge.

With a variety of sponsorship opportunities available, event organizers are also accepting items for a silent and live auction after the challenge. SMA is a non-profit public charter school and all donations are tax-deductible. Funds raised will be used to support all high school athletic teams for the 2019 – 2020 academic school year.

“We are incredibly excited to announce our inaugural golf challenge event to benefit the athletics programs at Sarasota Military Academy and our talented athletes,” said SMA-MAJ Amy Mazner, Sarasota Military Academy High School Athletics Director. “SMA Athletics depends solely on fundraising to support our teams in a mission to provide life lessons for our cadets through sports, and events like this will allow our cadets and staff to continue finding success through academics and athletics!”

Notable achievements for the 2018 – 2019 school year: Four SMA high school teams were recognized as FHSAA Academic Team Champions, earned at or above a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) and 14 of the student-athletes were recognized as Herald Tribune Prep All-Stars throughout three counties.

To learn more about this event or for sponsorship forms and information, contact Challenge Director Jeff Watrobsky at troopski@gmail.com, SMA Athletics Director Amy Mazner at Amy.Mazner@ourSMA.org, or visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/athletics/hs-athletics-golf-challenge

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Charter School Service Club Partners with Easterseals Southwest Florida

Sarasota Military Academy’s Interact Club, a service club for cadets at the Prep middle school campus, recently completed a project in partnership with the Rotary Club and Easterseals Southwest Florida to help local children who have sensory processing disorders (SPD).

SMA Prep Interact Club projects are determined through student interest, community needs or through partnerships with local organizations. During the 2018 – 2019 school year, an SMA cadet approached the Interact Club board with a plan to create sensory bottles for individuals in the community with SPD. After learning more about SPD and finalizing the project, 70 sensory bottles were donated to Easterseals Southwest Florida, a local, non-profit organization that aims to provide services for persons with disabilities and their families. 

“We are incredibly proud of our cadets and those involved in the SMA Prep Interact Club,” said SMA-MAJ Carol Pelletier, Sarasota Military Academy Prep Language and Literature Instructor, Department Chair and Interact Club Facilitator. “Through this project, the cadets met with individuals who have sensory processing disorders, learned about SPD and found a creative way to have a positive impact in their community.”

Led by SMA-CPT Jennifer Neff, SMA-MAJ Carol Pelletier and SMA-CPT Jane Clancy, the SMA Prep Interact Club is an extracurricular activity supported by the Sarasota Southside Rotary Club. The sensory bottle project materials were funded by the Interact Club and the supporting Rotary Club. Previous SMA Interact Club projects include making puppy collars for Southeastern Guide Dogs, gift boxes for troops overseas, the recent Water for Sudan project where students raised funds to build a well in South Sudan, and Happier Homes for Haiti. The SMA Prep Interact Club chapter was also recently awarded the Zone34 Interact Award through the Rotary Club partnership.

About Easterseals of Southwest Florida
Easterseals Southwest Florida has been serving children, adults and families with disabilities since 1946 helping individuals and their families become as independent as possible. Our services include pre-school through high school, employment, adult life skills, family support services and through partnership neurofeedback and horse therapy. Easterseals, 350 Braden Ave., Sarasota. Contact us at (941) 355-7637 or at https://easterseals-swfl.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Teacher Accepted to Prestigious Summer Research Program

​Jeanette Marks, a teacher at Sarasota Military Academy, was recently accepted to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory summer Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Program. CPT Marks is one of only ten teachers throughout the nation, and the only teacher from Sarasota County, selected for the program.

The National MagLab RET Program is a six-week residential program funded by the National Science Foundation to give ten K-12 teachers the opportunity to participate in real-world science at the world’s largest and highest-powered magnet lab. RET participants spend six weeks working with science and engineering experts who conduct research at the MagLab’s headquarters facility at Florida State University (FSU). While enrolled, participants are given a stipend and reside on campus in dorms at FSU.

“I learned about the RET Program while searching for continuing education programs for teachers and was excited to apply for this prestigious opportunity,” said CPT Jeanette Marks, Sarasota Military Academy Science Instructor. “Finding ways to help students learn how the world operates, and ways they can improve their world, is one of my greatest challenges as a teacher. It is my goal to continue searching for opportunities and ways to positively impact our students and expand our curriculum.”

CPT Marks, a teacher at SMA for two years, previously served as a volunteer for the US Peace Corps and through training courses provided by the UF/IFAS extension program, has received the designation of Florida Master Naturalist and Florida Water Steward. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and Political Science.

“Sarasota Military Academy is incredibly fortunate to have teachers such as CPT Jeanette Marks, an accomplished teacher, researcher and global citizen,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “Giving our cadets the opportunity to learn from teachers with such passion and knowledge is one of the many goals of our Academy. We are excited to watch our cadets continue to learn and grow under the leadership of CPT Marks and our dedicated staff.”

The work for the RET program is performed at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University, and the program and lab are supported by the National Science Foundation Cooperative Agreement (Number DMR – 1644779) and the State of Florida.

About the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Program
Funded by the National Science Foundation (DMR-1644779), this six-week residential program gives teachers from across the country the chance to participate in hands-on science within the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the world’s largest and highest-powered magnet facility.  Through weekly seminars, discussion groups, professional development and technology workshops, teachers develop strategies and resources to translate the experience into material for their classrooms. Teachers are expected to return to their jobs as leaders in service education, implementing science research in their classrooms. To learn more, visit https://nationalmaglab.org/education/teachers/professional-development/research-experiences-for-teachers.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Military Academy Receives $5,000 Science Equipment Donation

Sarasota Military Academy, a local, public charter school, recently received a donation of science lab equipment from Alex Bottorff, a third-year chemistry student at New College of Florida.

The donated items, which included graduated cylinders, Erlenmeyer flasks, test tubes, pipettes, mortar and pestles, volumetric flasks and beakers, were gifted by Bottorff and the donation is valued at $5,000. The glassware will be used in science courses and labs including Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Marine Biology and Environmental Science.

“Receiving a donation of this size, a collection of lab equipment that can be used in various ways throughout our curriculum, is an incredible gift to our Academy and our cadets,” said SMA-CPT Gabriella Elmir, Sarasota Military Academy IB/Biology Instructor. “We appreciate Mr. Bottorff’s generosity that will give our students the opportunity to have a more hands-on approach to learning and will help to cultivate their scientific interests.”

“I am incredibly honored to gift these items to the staff and students of Sarasota Military Academy,” said Alex Bottorff. “Giving back to our community and investing in the lives of the students at SMA is a great opportunity to bless other students. My faith is one of my biggest motivations for giving back – I believe, by sowing into the lives of these students and their teachers, the community will reap great rewards.”

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Students Compete in Statewide Odyssey of the Mind Competition

High school cadets from Sarasota Military Academy, a local, public charter school, recently competed in the 2019 Florida Odyssey of the Mind competition. Following a first place win at the regional level, the SMA team placed fourth out of 242 teams throughout the state.

The SMA team consisted of seniors Rosana Viera and Kamil Kusznierewicz, junior Aeryn Sachs, sophomore Emily Watrobsky and freshman Lily Dunn. Each year, the Odyssey of the Mind organization releases six problems; teams select which problem they would like to solve and they work within limitations and scoring categories. The SMA cadets chose the ‘Structure Toss’ category.

“Congratulations to the cadets who competed in the Odyssey of the Mind competition this year! Every year, our cadets become more confident and creative while making decisions and creating solutions, and this program is one of the many reasons for that improvement,” said SMA-LTC Pamela Donehew, Sarasota Military Academy Director of Literacy and the IB/PD Coordinator. “We enjoy the opportunity, as a charter school, to offer our cadets unique opportunities for growth and success throughout their academic careers.”

The Odyssey of the Mind competition aims to teach students how to have fun while using creative methods to solve problems. The SMA cadets involved this year are also enrolled in the Academy’s IB Diploma Program, and through the Odyssey of the Mind project, they continue to learn team-building skills, examine problems, identify challenges and add to their personal and professional resumes.

“We are proud of the cadets who participated this year and received such high accolades at the regional and state levels,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “SMA is proud to be an Academy with teachers and staff who work hard to help our cadets look for solutions and ways to create a better world.”

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) World School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Academy Students Complete Oncology Internship at Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Cadets at Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local public charter school, have recently completed an Oncology internship program with Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH). The program, launched in 2018, was created through a partnership with SMH and the Academy to benefit cadets seeking careers in medicine.

The Oncology internship program, which includes a 12-week rotation throughout various hospital departments, allows cadets to explore a variety of opportunities and career options. The rotations include time spent in the surgery, genetic counseling, nursing and trauma departments. This year, SMA seniors Lukas Souza and Jonathan Borroso, and junior Isabella Evans, were selected for the program.

“The partnership between Sarasota Military Academy and Sarasota Memorial Hospital is a great example of how our Academy is able to offer our cadets opportunities that extend beyond ‘traditional’ curriculum methods,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “We are always searching for new ways to assist our cadets as they work hard and pursue their personal and professional goals.”

SMA internship candidates are selected from cadets who complete the Academy’s Careers in Medicine course, submit an application and interview before a panel of judges. A maximum of three cadets receive the opportunity to participate in the internship program.

“We thoroughly enjoy being able to have cadets from Sarasota Military Academy complete the Oncology internship program through our partnership with the Academy,” said SMH Nursing Leader Barbara Poropat, BSN, OCN, NPD and Internship Coordinator. ”Every semester, we continue to be impressed with the talented students who apply and participate, and we appreciate how engaged and dedicated they are throughout the experience.”

The partnership between SMA and SMH is a result of coordinated efforts by Dr. Jessica Patella, Sarasota Military Academy Science Instructor, Dr. James Fiorica, Sarasota Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer and Barbara Poropat, BSN, who serves as the primary internship coordinator and facilitator. To date, eleven cadets have completed the internship program.

PHOTO ID: (l to r) Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Fiorica; SMH Nursing Leader Barbara Poropat, BSN, OCN, NPD and Internship Coordinator; Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Cadets Lukas Souza and Isabella Evans; SMH Genetics Counselor Nicole Wood and Kim Lacy, BSN, SMH Cancer Research Program Manager

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Charter School Launches Athletics Program Funding Campaign

Sarasota Military Academy, a local, public charter school, recently launched the Sarasota Military Academy “Fly as One” Athletics Program Funding Campaign to support the student-athletes and coaches in SMA Eagles Athletics at the high school.

“As Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter school, the SMA Eagles Athletics programs do not receive any funding from Sarasota County; we are left to create our own,” said SMA Major Amy Mazner, Athletic Director. “Through our current method of funding, “Pay to Play,” a specific amount is collected from each athlete who chooses to participate in sport(s) at SMA. The new “Fly As One” campaign will allow us to create opportunities for local businesses or individuals to help sponsor our student-athletes and coaches. This support will decrease some of the undue stress that the lack of funding has caused.”

Through SMA’s “Fly As One” campaign, businesses, individuals and community leaders will be able to partner with Sarasota Military Academy Athletics to support a variety of athletic programs. Donors can view a list of sports and specific costs per sport and specify which programs they would like to sponsor.

“For many families, paying for participation in a single sport is a tremendous burden which means that while many cadets possess varied talents, student athletes are typically not able to afford to participate in more than one activity,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “Through this program, our community partners will help eliminate many of the financial burdens and enable our cadets and coaches to reach their full potential, and we are incredibly grateful for their support.”

Sarasota Military Academy is the only public charter military school in the country. SMA is 100% JROTC, a college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School. To learn more about the “Fly as One” initiative, or to view a list of athletics programs and team information, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/support-sma-athletics.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Overcoming Adversity and Supporting and Celebrating Accomplishments

Dear Family and Friends,

Today, I had the honor to learn from a survivor of the Holocaust, Mrs. Rifka Glatz, as she spoke to a group of our cadets. As the tears beaded and slowly descended our cheeks, she spoke of the immoral atrocities that man has inflicted upon man, and I was given hope by the teachings she presented based on the foundations of this horrific experience, to be kind, love everyone, and accept all for who they are. That any one person could take such an extreme experience of man’s inhumanity toward man and transform it into such a divine message casts a brilliant light upon the dreams for our future. I would encourage us all to embrace the attitude exemplified by this amazing woman to turn our seemingly insurmountable trials and challenges into a beacon to enlighten our journey through life.

To put these reflections into perspective, I am brought to mind the struggles we have met, passed, and still wrestle with in our daily lives as students, parents, teachers and staff, and leaders here in our educational environment and at home. Disagreements with our loved ones, colleagues, and our teachers and supervisors present seemingly endless conflicts that affect our personal mental acuity and can often lead us to question our convictions in the path we have set for ourselves. As we absorb these influential experiences and seek to justify our motivations to continue on this path, we need to reflect on the greater image of a world of our own making that reflects the values and morals that we deem foundational. Looking back at the challenges we have overcome, and reflecting on the adversities that have steeled the resolve of great women like Rifka Glatz and Rosa Parks or men like Nelson Mandela and Stephen Hawking, adds perspective to our challenges and the potential for the positive.

Take a few moments to look closely at the trials and tribulations you have endured this past year and seek the kernel of knowledge or the nugget of virtue that may be gleaned from that experience. Allow the adversities to support the foundation of a proud, honest, and admirable leader for the future. Take a moment to celebrate the perseverance necessary to overcome those adversities. With grit and determination, apply that experiential knowledge to future endeavors, building a strength and resiliency that will guide your character to build an identity that exemplifies a pride through honor, integrity and respect for self and the community as a whole.

Yours in Service,

Frederick T. Fout, Head of School

Sarasota Charter School Teacher Receives Congressional Award

Marissa Dobbert, a seventh grade math teacher at Sarasota Military Academy Prep middle school, was recently recognized with a Congressional Teacher Award. The award was established by Congressman Vern Buchanan to recognize outstanding teachers in the 16th Congressional District.

Nine teachers throughout the Suncoast region were awarded this distinction; SMA-MAJ Dobbert is one of two winners from Sarasota County and the only teacher from a local charter school. This is the fourth consecutive year a teacher from the SMA Prep middle school has received this honor.

“I am incredibly excited to receive this award and earn recognition with such amazing teachers throughout our district,” said SMA-MAJ Marissa Dobbert, Sarasota Military Academy Prep Math Instructor and 2019 Congressional Teaching Award Winner. “It is an honor to be nominated for this award when I am simply doing what I love to do every day; teaching talented cadets at Sarasota Military Academy.”

This year, 34 teachers were nominated, and winners were selected by a panel of judges from Sarasota, Manatee and Hillsborough counties. Schools are asked to submit nominations and teachers receive a certificate and additional recognition including having the United States Flag flown over the United States Capitol in their honor.

“We have an incredible team of teachers at both the Sarasota Military Academy high school and Prep middle school campuses, and it is always rewarding to see our outstanding staff recognized,” said SMA-LTC Thomas Vara, Sarasota Military Academy Prep Head of School. “SMA-MAJ Dobbert continues to show her dedication to our cadets and our mission while rising above challenges and consistently going above and beyond. We are fortunate to add her to our list of Congressional Teaching Award winners.”

Previous winners from SMA include SMA-MAJ Todd Brown, SMA-MAJ Carol Pelletier and SMA-MAJ Deb Walker. To view the list of district winners for 2019, visit https://buchanan.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/buchanan-applauds-outstanding-local-teachers-0.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Exploring 3D Design

SMA-CPT Miller’s Digital Art students have been working on a 3D design unit this term. Student artists are learning how to use different CAD programs and apply them to a variety of purposes. Throughout this unit, students designed multiple figures and objects to include snowmen, people, animals, aliens, and houses. They collaborated with their peers to design their own themed chess game (like Harry Potter themed Monopoly), a game board, and their own chess pieces using a CAD program of their choice (BlocksCAD, TinkerCAD, or SketchUp).

“After designing their pieces and deciding which would be the King, Queen, pawn, etc., they printed and painted their pieces. Every student got their 3D design printed by our 3D printers. For the last day of the project students played chess against each other using their own boards and printed designs.” – SMA-CPT Miller.

Cadet Jewell with his space shuttle 3D piece.

Ashton designed a space shuttle for a space themed chess board. “My favorite part about the project was painting the piece. It was so small, making it a challenge to get everything colored.” – Ashton Jewell.

Cadet Enriquez with Princess Peach chess piece.

“This project was fun because it was a new challenge, and it was my first time making my artwork 3d and then printing it.” – Maria Enriquez. Maria made Princess Peach for a Mario themed chess board.

“We created Luigi from Mario, and we used colors such as green, brown, white, and black to paint and make him come to life.” Laeonae Moulton. Moulton designed Luigi with Dustin Johnson for a Mario themed board. This group had to make an extra piece since they had less members.

“I liked that we got to 3D print our pieces and play chess with them.” – Karl Mosher. Karl made the Pyramid of Giza for a monuments themed chess board.

“This piece represents a king piece in the shape of a Playstation 4. Our theme was gaming consoles, and I chose this piece because it is my favorite gaming console.” – Saul Calderon.

‘Survivorman’ Les Stroud to visit Sarasota for Concert, Fundraiser

The Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Project Earth Celebration, held in April 2019, will feature speakers, representatives from environmental organizations and a benefit kayak tour and concert by ‘Survivorman’ Les Stroud, celebrated keynote speaker, musician and author, television host and environmental enthusiast.

The public is invited to register for experiences including the concert and a VIP Kayak Mangrove Tour, led and hosted by Les Stroud through Lido Key, on Thursday, April 25, 2019. Proceeds from the tour will benefit Sarasota Military Academy and ShelterBox USA.

On Friday, April 26, 2019, the community is invited purchase tickets to hear Les Stroud in concert, which will be held from 7 – 9:30pm at the Bayside Community Church East Sarasota Campus, located at 8200 Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota.

Stroud’s visit is planned as part of the Sarasota Military Academy 2019 ‘Project Earth Celebration’ on April 24, which includes speakers and environmental representatives from organizations like Save our Seabirds, ShelterBox USA, Ducks Unlimited, 4-H, Mote Marine Laboratory, University of Florida IFAS Florida Master Gardener Program, Big Cat Habitat and Sarasota County Mosquito Management. Planned speakers include climatologist Stephanie Abrams, environmentalist Casson Trenor, global activist Dr. Esther Ngumbi, ‘Gator Boy’ Paul Bedard, “Awesome Planet” producer Jason Evans, Mote Marine Hydrologist Dr. Tracy Fanara and Survivorman Les Stroud.

SMA’s Project Earth Celebration is organized under the ‘Inspire Project’ curriculum created by Sarasota Military Academy teachers Deb Walker and Todd Brown, PhD., winner of the “Ignite Innovation” award from the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and a Teach Sustainable Development Goals Ambassador for the United Nations. Speakers and environmental organizations will present to SMA cadets on Wednesday April 24, 2019 through the Project Earth Celebration curriculum.

To purchase tickets to the VIP Kayak Tour or Les Stroud Concert, or for more information, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/survivorman-les-stroud-2019.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Student Documentary Wins National Award at Sarasota Film Festival

​A documentary produced by cadets at Sarasota Military Academy, a local, public charter school, received first place in the Sarasota Film Festival Student Education Category. The film, a year-long IB US History service cadet project titled “Heroines in Arms Serving Proudly,” was selected from submissions by high schools across the country.

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Captains Jennifer Vanston and Ebony Mackey worked with SMA Cadets cadets Daniel Hernandez-Curiel, Kacee Bonilla Martinez, Genesis Wesley, Quinn Selby-Gomez, Nicole Fic and Hannah Phillips to create the 18-minute documentary featuring local female veterans and their military service.

“We are incredibly proud of our cadets and our team for this award and the opportunity to highlight female veterans and their service to our county,” said SMA Captain Jennifer Vanston, IB/AP US History Instructor. “Through this experience, our cadets have learned valuable lessons and we are excited for the recognition this project has received.”

The film featured female veterans living in Sarasota including Amy Shlaf (Homefront), Miriam Zelin (WAC), Wendy Hobson (WAVES), Mary Bailes (Nurse, Air Force) and Marg Goundie (SPARS). Two of the veterans, Miriam Zelin and Wendy Hobson, have since passed and the documentary aims to continue their legacies.

“Sarasota Military Academy is proud to have diverse, educational projects led by creative, experienced staff intent on teaching our cadets on a global scale,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “The Sarasota Film Festival award is an exciting win for SMA as we are able to showcase our cadets, our team and our incredible community through unique and imaginative service projects while creating opportunities for cadet success.”

To view the documentary, visit https://youtu.be/nfJcxR9vkHo.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Supporting Mental Resiliency

April is the “Month of the Military Child,” recognizing the unique challenges, stressors, and emotional trials commonly experienced by these impressionable young minds. Fortunately, the Military support system has clearly identified and defined this concern and put into place actionable policy and procedure to ensure the family of our Military are supported. UNfortunately, our public and private sector could do a much better job supporting ALL of our youth throughout the many stressors and emotional trials many of our youth endure.

The tragic impact of the stressors and emotional trials facing our youth is all too often evident in our daily news feeds, to include the suicides of youth survivors directly correlated to the anniversary of tragic events such as Parkland, and even the suicide of a parent directly related to the tragic loss of a child in the Sandy Hook incident. In addition to these extreme stressors on the minds of our youth, please consider the emotional distress and unique challenges facing youth due to the multitude of societal issues prevalent today, such as broken families, poverty, increasing reports of hate crimes, violence in our communities and regularly seen on our nightly news. All of these factors are extreme in and of itself, and don’t even touch upon the expectations we place on our children adding unintended mental stressors and unique challenges.

This past week, I had the opportunity to facilitate restorative circles in classrooms on the topic of Mental Health Awareness and Coping with Anxiety. The cadets were thoroughly engaged and ultimately appreciative of the opportunity to talk in a group about topics such as Depression, Anxiety, Suicide, and most importantly the pressures of being a school aged teen that will be transitioning soon to adulthood. One thing I definitely learned is that these stressors are REAL. Here are some sample stressors that many cadets reported, and may also be stressors that are influencing your cadet’s mental resiliency:

  • Relationships – friends, mom, dad, teachers, girl/boyfriend, …..
  • FSA – “why do we have to pass this test to graduate?” “what if I can’t pass this test?”
  • I still don’t know what I want to do when I graduate
  • Work … “uuhhhgggg”
  • “We can’t afford ….”
  • “Why do we need to know all that?!?” “It’s too hard!”
  • “I hate …. “ (writing, reading, chemistry, talking, …)
  • “I’m not good at … “ (writing, reading, chemistry, talking, …)
  • “I have to work ….can’t afford college …”
  • “I’m afraid to talk about ….” (depression, anxiety …)

This is only a sample list of the multitude of concerns affecting the mental fortitude of our cadets on a daily basis, along with more intense factors such as diagnosed and undiagnosed depression, anxiety and other commonly ignored mental wellness issues.

The question we are left with, is “how do we support each other?” and “how do I cope with these issues?”. One root to the answer rests in the realm of interpersonal communications; positive and supportive relationships. Another root to the answer is the consistent building of resiliency. So how does that happen?

  • Listening – many times when a youth comes to us, as a teacher, mentor, and even parent, we hear their complaint and quickly want to offer our “expert advice” or criticize their approach to the problem. Sometimes children just needs someone to listen, and will eventually solve the problem themselves.
  • Support – we are often quick to judge, because we have “been there/done that” and we are the adult. You may feel you understand what they are going through, but they don’t think you do. Just listen, once again, and be supportive – verify that what they are going through sounds really tough. Then …
    • Ask if they have any ideas to approach the situation …
    • Get them talking about how this situation came about …
    • Ask them, “How can I help?” Let them come up with solutions, and then provide support.
  • Provide Positive/Supportive Environment – are things stressful at home? Is the environment adding to the anxiety?
    • Take a break; go fishing. Maybe take in a movie, or how about just take a walk. Perhaps ask your child if he/she wants to invite a friend over for dinner or to watch TV/play video games. Sometimes we all need a little mental health break, before we can refocus and get back to the task at hand.
    • Sleep, Eat, Exercise! All of these things, which we usually take for granted, are integral factors in our own mental resiliency. Some of us have embraced that knowledge; many of us are oblivious to that knowledge; children have yet to learn the importance of healthy lifestyles.
  • Resources – yeah, sometimes we are over our head. “I’ve done everything listed above but there doesn’t seem to be any progress?” Yes, sometimes it is more than we can do alone. There is help. Please accept these resources as the lifeline you may need:
    • SMA Administration: 941-926-1700
    • SMA Counseling Office: 941-926-1700 ext. 221
    • CRISIS TEXT LINE: Text HERE4U to 741741 – 24/7 + confidential
    • Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255
    • Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453
    • Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
    • LGBT+ Hotline: 1-800-246-7743
    • Eating Disorders: 1-800-931-2237

Sarasota Charter School Selected for Amazon Engineering Program

Sarasota Military Academy, a local, public charter school, was recently accepted to participate in the Amazon Future Engineers Program for the upcoming 2019 – 2020 school year. The program will be incorporated into the academy’s existing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum.

While SMA’s STEM program will continue to focus on both AP and IB Computer Science courses, the Amazon Future Engineers Program will provide additional opportunities for college scholarships and internships through Amazon for eligible high school cadets.

“We are proud to be one of the high schools selected nationally to participate in the Amazon Future Engineers (AFE) Program,” said SMA-CPT Daniel Goodman, Sarasota Military Academy High School Science Instructor. “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, next year, there will be 1.4 million jobs requiring computer science expertise, but only 400,000 computer science graduates with the necessary skills. Through programs such as AFE, Amazon is helping to bridge the gap.”

The Amazon Future Engineers Program is described by Amazon as a “comprehensive childhood-to-career program to inspire, educate and train children and young adults from underserved and low-income communities to pursue careers in computer science.” Among other tools provided through the program, resources include curriculum, support, professional development, recruitment resources and career connections.

“With innovative programs such as this, our professors are always searching for ways to provide added value for our cadets. Being accepted for such a prestigious and selective program is an honor that we are proud to utilize in our curriculum,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “As a local, public charter school, we are proud to continue to push boundaries and challenge our cadets as they confidently define their personal and unique goals for success.”

After the initial launch in November 2018, the Amazon Future Engineer Program will fund computer science classes throughout the nation and select students will be given the chance to apply for scholarships and paid internships.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Local Teacher Receives Grant for Poetry Listening Immersion Program

Bonnie Destakasi, a language arts teacher at Sarasota Military Academy, a local, public charter school, recently received the 2019 PoetryLife’s Teaching Grant to create a Poetry Listening Immersion Program. SMA Captain Destakasi was awarded the $500 grant during the Coffee, Conversation & Lunch event held in February 2019 at the Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota.

“Thank you to the PoetryLife organization for the grant to help foster a greater appreciation for storytelling and poetry in our classroom,” said SMA-CPT Bonnie Destakasi, Sarasota Military Academy Language Arts Teacher. “In our new Poetry Listening Immersion space, cadets will be able to read and listen to poetry from a selection of anthologies and favorite poets in a relaxing, inviting environment. My plan is to make the space beautiful and comfortable – a place where cadets will feel creative and inspired.”

Through the new Poetry Listening Immersion Program, SMA-CPT Destakasi aims to spark and foster a greater appreciation for and understanding of poetry for cadets at Sarasota Military Academy as her curriculum explores language that addresses, celebrates, and explores the human condition.

“One of the main reasons PoetryLife exists is to encourage and inspire the joy of poetry in our schools,” said Georgia Court, PoetryLife Founder and Bookstore1Sarasota Owner. “Teachers like Bonnie Destakasi not only inspire their students; they go the extra mile to make that inspiration come to life.”

“It is incredibly important to make poetry accessible and relatable, and this grant will help us offer a haven of sorts from the pressure and constant activity that comes with attending high school and being a teenager,” said SMA-CPT Destakasi. “The ultimate goal would be to eventually find equipment and ways for students to record their own poetry for others to enjoy.”

The PoetryLife event, a project of Bookstore1Sarasota, featured a guest panel including poets Terrance Hayes and Simon Armitage, musician and painter Bill Buchman and moderator Kate Alexander. PoetryLife grants were awarded to two teachers in Sarasota. To learn more about PoetryLife, visit https://www.sarasotapoetry.com/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Teacher Recognized with Agriculture Award for Excellence

Sarasota Military Academy Major (SMA-MAJ) Deb Walker, a teacher at the  Sarasota Military Academy Prep middle school campus, received the “2019 Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture” award from the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom organization.

As the winner of the award in the middle school category, SMA-MAJ Walker will represent Florida at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference, held in Little Rock, Arkansas where she will receive additional recognition and a $500 honorarium.

“I am incredibly honored to receive the ‘Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture’ Award from Florida Agriculture in the Classroom as I believe in the importance of teaching our future leaders about the future of the agriculture industry, our responsibilities as global citizens and the opportunities for growth and learning,” said SMA-MAJ Deb Walker.

SMA-MAJ Walker was awarded for her role in teaching middle school cadets about opportunities and ways to feed a growing population. In addition to the agricultural curriculum, cadets are taught astrobotany and classes participate in the NASA “Growing Beyond Earth” Projects program. The cadets learn to research, plan, experiment and evaluate different agricultural methods throughout the year.

“Our teachers constantly go above and beyond for our cadets and our academy, and we are proud of Major Walker and her contributions to our school,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “Through the work of talented individuals like Major Walker, our cadets are exposed to incredible opportunities, academic success and the ability to find ways to make a positive impact on the world around them.”

“Each year, we have an incredible roster of teachers throughout the state who find innovative ways to bring agriculture into their classrooms, and the quality of their lessons and ideas continue to amaze us,” said Becky Sponholtz, Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Executive Director. “We are excited to recognize teachers for their hard work as they use agriculture in their year-long instruction.”

About Florida Agriculture in the Classroom
Florida Agriculture in the Classroom (FAITC) is a nonprofit organization with the mission to increase agriculture literacy through PreK-12 education in Florida. FAITC develops and trains teachers and agriculture industry volunteers with materials used to educate students about the importance of agriculture. The organization additionally provides grant money and recognizes outstanding teachers and volunteers throughout the year. To learn more about Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, visit https://faitc.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Wrestling Team Sets Records, Sends Team to State Finals

Retired Major and former Army wrestler coaches athletes to a winning season

Student athletes from Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local, public charter school, are celebrating one of the most successful years in SMA wrestling team history with recent district and regional wins. In March, five male wrestlers competed at the state level and two cadets set school records placing in the top ten for their weight class.

The SMA wrestling team, which consists of 18 male wrestlers and two female wrestlers, has announced a list of accolades for the 2018 – 2019 season, including several notable team and individual records.

  • In January 2019, the SMA team defended their championship title by winning the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) District 1A Dual Team Championships for the second year in a row and with four district champions, the school tied the SMA record for most champions at the district level.
  • District champions from SMA include freshmen Cadet Erik Borresen, junior Cadet Sam Varley and senior Cadet Sean Carvin. Cadets Cervin and Varley won in their weight classes for second year in a row, becoming the first two-time district champs for the SMA wrestling team.
  • Earning sixth place in her weight class at the Florida Girls State Wrestling Championships in February, senior Cadet Allysa Villa-Mosqueda was the first female from SMA to place at the state level.
  • In March 2019, the SMA team competed at the regional FHSAA 1A Wrestling Championships winning the title of regional runners-up, marking the highest SMA has placed as a team with five wrestlers qualifying for the FHSAA State Wrestling Tournament in Kissimmee.
  • Following the March 2019 FHSAA State Wrestling Tournament, Cadet Cervin surpassed yet another SMA record by placing sixth in his weight class and finishing his career at SMA with a record of 154 wins.

“This is my third year coaching the Sarasota Military Academy Wrestling Team and as always, I’m incredibly impressed with not only their athletic abilities, but their sportsmanship, dedication to the team and their own integrity and how they continue to set and achieve goals,” said SMA-MAJ (Ret) Clarence Arrington, JROTC Instructor and Wrestling Team Coach. “We have seen tremendous growth in our athletes as we are able to begin competing against larger, more established teams.”

A wrestler in high school, SMA-MAJ (Ret) Arrington wrestled at the Division 1 level for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. After graduating college, he enlisted into the U.S. Army and was a member of the All Army Wrestling Team and World Class Athlete Program in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  In 2011, he retired from active duty with more than 20 years of active military service, including two deployments with Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This year, SMA-MAJ (Ret) Arrington is joined by Assistant Coach Doug Browning in an effort to continue to grow the team and offer additional opportunities for success.

“Congratulations to our wrestling team and the cadets who continue to impress us with their talent and hard work. We are proud of their recent accomplishments and how they represent SMA in a way that is in line with our mission,” said SMA-MAJ Amy Mazner, Sarasota Military Academy Athletic Director and Physical Education Instructor. “We are also proud to have such a great coach for our team – SMA-MAJ (Ret.) Arrington is a force for good and we are grateful for his tireless dedication to our Academy and our cadets.”

As a public charter school in Sarasota County, SMA’s athletic teams do not receive full funding through the county’s school budgets. The staff, cadets and families enroll in a “pay to play” program, which gives the opportunity to offset costs with fundraisers and donations from the community. To learn more about athletic teams and opportunities to support cadets at Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Life is a Smorgasbord; Do We Need All That?

SMA Friends and Families,

It almost seems a daily occurrence that something is reported in the news that poses yet another threat to our children, our communities, and our way of life. Most recently, an attack of our precious youth has been popping up on social media sites in the guise frightening but interesting creature called MOMO. This online apparition attempts to lead our children toward a dangerous path making them think it is a simple game, encouraging kids to run away from home, hurt themselves or commit suicide. This challenge is putting them at danger of being exploited, trafficked, or worse. This is just one example of the many negative factors of media influence, others include the direct marketing to youth of flavored e-cigarettes/JUUL and CBD products that are a proven addictive products with proven negative health and medical implications. More directly, our youth are constantly bombarded with examples of negative behaviors through social media, as well as the occasional cry for help by someone in need of professional mental health assistance. In addition to these, just the media reporting and seeming glorification of conflicts based on hate due to race, religion, gender/sexual orientation, politics and other societal concerns has a very negative impact on our youth during a time in their lives critical to the development of lifelong values and beliefs.

The question then becomes, “what can we do to either a) limit the exposure of these negative aspects in our society and media to our youth, or b) provide our youth with the skills and tools to be a discerning consumer that can distinguish between fact and opinion, information and propaganda, sales gimmicks and reliable evidence, deception and honesty.” My only answer to battling these negative bombardments in our lives and the lives of our youth is through constant education and discussion, and the development of open and honest relationships that allows for the ability to talk to each other about these issues on a regular basis.

Just the other evening, I spoke with my nine year old daughter during dinner about her friends at school, and the topic of MOMO reared its ugly visage. I was pleased to learn that she found the image associated with the challenge frightening, and as I know she doesn’t have her own social media, learned that one of her friends had shown her. We had a very frank discussion about MOMO and the challenge it was posing to kids, and we then talked about what she could say to her friends about it and how to let her teacher know. This reminded me of the discussions at dinner when I was a child, often led by my mother, around the topics that came up after watching TV shows like “All in the Family” or the violence depicted in shows like “The Three Stooges”. I look back on these dinner discussions now realizing the impact they have had on who I am as a man. The key was, we talked about things, like adults, and discussed the impact these influences may have. Although politics was generally not a discussion at our dinner table, my mother being a democrat and father a staunch republican, we did talk about issues, such as women’s rights, drug use in our society, smoking/tobacco, race and racism, among others. These discussions helped to allow me to make my own decisions based on logical reasoning rather than on outside/media influences.

To try and conclude this issue, I can only implore you all to help us develop discerning consumers of all the impactful influences bombarding our youth in this smorgasbord call life. Take some time during dinner, in the car on the way to and from school, and even as you tuck your teenager into bed at night and get to know what influences are impacting them. I strongly believe that they do want your guidance.

Thank you for trusting us with your children as we also try to develop their skills to be discerning life consumers.

Respectfully,

 

SMA-LTC Frederick T. Fout, Head of School

 

“Knowledge … is the only guardian of true liberty.” – James Madison

 

Please be aware that all mail sent to and from SMA/SMA Prep is subject to the public records law of Florida.

Local Students Bring Clean Water to Villagers in South Sudan

Cadets at the Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Prep middle school recently announced the completion of a well providing water for a village in South Sudan. The cadets chose the Water for South Sudan (WFSS) organization as the focus for the SMA Prep Interact Club annual service project and raised $5,000 to fund the well.

According to a letter received from the WFSS organization, the well is located in the village of Alatip in Mading-Juer, Tonj, South Sudan. Cadets received coordinates of the well, information about the village chief and residents, photos and details of the completed project.

“In South Sudan, millions of women and children trek for up to eight hours a day to collect water from marshes, ditches or hand-dug wells – water that is often contaminated with parasites and bacteria resulting in sickness or in many cases, death,” said SMA-CPT Jennifer Neff, Language and Literature Instructor and SMA Prep Interact Club coordinator. “Our cadets chose the Water for South Sudan project and we are thrilled that the well has been completed, bringing safety and nutrition to the village through clean water.”

Led by SMA-CPT Jennifer Neff, SMA-MAJ Carol Pelletier and SMA-CPT Jane Clancy, the SMA Prep Interact Club is an extracurricular activity supported by the Sarasota Southside Rotary Club. Currently, 40 cadets are involved in the SMA Prep Interact Club and the Water for South Sudan project was selected after the 6th grade cadets read, “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park.

The cadets and staff received a $1,500 grant from the Education Foundation and raised donations from Prep faculty, students and parents.

“We are incredibly proud of our cadets and staff involved in the SMA Prep Interact Club. The cadets set a goal to have a real-world impact, and they succeeded,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “The cadets will always remember this experience as their efforts have resulted in a project that will help sustain a community for years to come.”

The 2019 SMA Prep Interact Club service project is “Homes for Haiti” and previous projects include the Memorial Bench for BG Laudano, Pennies for Patients, Mayors Feed the Hungry, Satchel’s Last Resort animal shelter, and a Sensory Bottle Project.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.\

Local Charter School Partners with Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Several cadets at Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local public charter school, have recently completed an oncology rotation through an internship partnership with Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

SMA cadets who complete the SMA Careers in Medicine course are given the opportunity to participate in the SMA/SMH internship program and shadow staff at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Rotations include surgery, genetic counseling, nursing and trauma, among other fields.

Cadets Holly Batchelder and Meghan Schutte, seniors at Sarasota Military Academy, are the most recent cadets to complete the internship which includes a 12-week rotation in the Oncology department. The partnership began through coordinated efforts by Dr. Jessica Patella, Sarasota Military Academy Science Instructor, Dr. James Fiorica, Sarasota Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer and Barbara Poropat, BSN, who serves as the primary internship coordinator and facilitator.   

“We were so excited to be selected for the internship with Sarasota Memorial Hospital to learn about our futures in the medical field,” said SMA Cadet Holly Batchelder. “We were able to see what working at a hospital is really like through this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s eye-opening to see the variety of career opportunities in a hospital environment.”

In order to be considered for the internship, cadets must complete the Careers in Medicine course at SMA, led by Dr. Jessica Patella, fill out an application and interview before a panel. The experience is modeled after medical school interviews to prepare them for future opportunities.

“One of the most unique elements about being a part of Sarasota Military Academy is that instructors are encouraged to be creative and innovative in our efforts to go beyond the traditional classroom curriculum,” said Dr. Jessica Patella. ”Through this invaluable partnership, cadets who show a passion for the medical field have an incredible opportunity to experience the field first-hand and make connections with incredibly talented local doctors and staff.”

Out of 13 cadets who applied for the upcoming internship opportunity, SMA cadets Lukas Souza, Jonathan Barroso and Isabella Evans were recently selected as the next group of interns to participate in this program during the spring semester.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

SMA Prep Works with Water for South Sudan to build a Well in Africa

Last year, the SMA Prep Interact Club embarked on a journey to make a real world, positive impact as part of their service learning. This Interact International Project was inspired by SMA Prep 6th grade cadets who read A Long Walk to Water which is based on a true story by Linda Sue Park. Based on that inspiring story, they wanted to do something about the water crisis in parts of Africa. The Water For South Sudan project presented the opportunity and along with the help of the entire school began raising the $5,000 needed to sponsor the building of a well.

Interact Club Water for South Sudan (1)
SMA Prep Interact Cadets request well donations outside of their classroom.

Everyone involved was excited to hear the announcement today that the well is complete and families can now access clean water within a closer distance to where they live. SMA Prep Interact Club, led by SMA-CPT Neff, SMA-MAJ Pelletier, and SMA-CPT Clancy along with the Sarasota Southside Rotary Club and cadet leaders are proud to know their hard work has created an opportunity for people in remote, rural areas in South Sudan to change their lives.

P1180034 Sarasota Military Academy v2

In South Sudan, millions of women and children trek for up to eight hours a day to collect water from marshes, ditches, or hand-dug wells where water is often contaminated with parasites and bacteria. The results are sickness, even death.  This Interact International Project was also part of an interdisciplinary unit for SMA Prep 6th grade cadets inspired by reading A Long Walk to Water which is based on a true story by Linda Sue Park.

P1180067

Thanks to the passion of the teachers and cadets at SMA Prep and in working with the community through the Interact and Sarasota Southside Rotary Club, the original journey to make a real world, positive impact came to fruition. Students will remember the experience because of their first hand interaction which offered a deeper understanding of empathy and the power they have to improve the lives of others.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter, International Baccalaureate (IB) World School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Pre-Scheduling for Incoming Freshmen

Dear Parents,

This is an exciting time for you and your cadets as you prepare for the transition to High School! During the next couple of months there will be a great deal of anxiety, promotion preparation tasks, decision making for course progression and college-career readiness, and questions regarding what High School life will be like at Sarasota Military Academy. We would like to help you and your cadet feel prepared and informed as we start planning for next year.

Please take some time with your 8th grade cadet to discuss course options (see below, or the mailed documents) and make your selections for your preference with the understanding that the following courses are required for 9th grade cadets at SMA:

  • JROTC and Inquiry Skills (Required)
  • English 1 or English 1 Honors (with teacher recommendation and a 3 or higher on the 8thGrade FSA ELA)
  • Algebra 1 or Honors (cadets that have completed Algebra 1 may select Geometry or Geometry Honors)
  • Environmental Science (Required)
  • Biology can be taken in place of Env. Sci. with a 3 or higher on the 8thGrade FSA Science)
  • AP Human Geography (Required for Pre-IB cadets)

SMA Counselors, IB Director, and Administration will be meeting with your cadets at SMA Prep on March 7th at the beginning of school. Please write down any questions you would like addressed at this time. If you would like a follow-up call from a Counselor regarding your cadet’s course options, please write that on the course selection sheet and ask your cadet to inform the Prep or HS staff. You will also find attached the list of extra-curricular activities and programs available for your cadet at SMA.

Respectfully,

SMA-LTC Frederick T. Fout

Head of School

Sarasota Military Academy

941-926-1700

941-404-0292 (cell)

 

 

Cadet Name: __________________________________________________________

(Last) (First) (M)

Parent Signature: ______________________ Cadet Signature: __________________

NOTE: Signatures indicate that parent and cadet agree to the course selections. Recommendations are subject to change as a result of student performance, final grade, and/or standardized test results.

 

Circle one in each area:

ENGLISH                      CREDIT      PREREQUISITES        

1001310 ENGLISH 1.0 N/A

1001320 ENGLISH I HONORS 1.0 8th Grade ELA Score of 3 or above   (See Course Description)                               

MATH

1200370/80 ALGEBRA 1A/1B 2.0 N/A

1200310 ALGEBRA I 1.0 N/A

1200320 ALGEBRA 1 HONORS 1.0 N/A

1206310 GEOMETRY 1.0  ALGEBRA I (or 1A/1B)

1206320 GEOMETRY HONORS 1.0  ALGEBRA I HONORS

1200330 ALGEBRA II 1.0  GEOMETRY

1200340 ALGEBRA II HONORS 1.0  GEOMETRY HONORS

SCIENCE

2001340 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE 1.0 N/A

2000310  BIOLOGY 1.0 8th Grade FSA Science Score of 3 or above

SOCIAL STUDIES

2103400 AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY 1.0 (Required for pre-IB cadets)

JROTC (BOTH ARE REQUIRED)

1801300 LEADERSHIP EDUCATION 1.0 N/A

1700360 INQUIRY SKILLS 1.0 N/A

I WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE (IB) PROGRAM. PLEASE CONTACT ME AT: ___________________________________                                        

                  2019 – 2020

SARASOTA MILITARY ACADEMY

        9TH GRADE COURSE SELECTIONS

ELECTIVE COURSE PREFERENCES: Choose 4 electives from the list on this form. Course offerings are subject to availability.

  1. ____________________ 3. ____________________

 

  1. ____________________ 4. ____________________

Foreign Language Credit

0708340 Spanish I 1.0

0708350 Spanish 2 (teacher recommendation required) 1.0

0711300 Chinese I 1.0

0711310 Chinese 2 (teacher recommendation required) 1.0

0717300 Sign Language I 1.0

0717310 Sign Language 2 (teacher recommendation required) 1.0

Elective Choices Credit

2109430/2105310 Holocaust/World Religions 1.0

2108300/2107300 Sociology/Psychology 1.0

1503400/1503410 Aerobics 1, 2, (Functional fitness/team sports/exercise) 1.0

1503310/1503315 Basketball 1, 2 1.0

1503350/1503360 Team Sports 1, 2 1.0

1505500/1505510 Volleyball 1, 2 1.0

1502500/1502430 Sports Officiating/Individual Sports 1.0

1502460/1501390 Self Defense/Comprehensive Fitness 1.0

1502410F/1502420F Fencing 1, 2 1.0

1007300 Speech I 1.0

1006300 Journalism 1 (Yearbook) 1.0

1006310 Journalism 2 (Yearbook 1.0

9007240 Java Programming Essentials 1.0

0400620 Improvisational Theater 1.0

Visual Arts Credit

0104340 Drawing (prerequisite for all art courses) 1.0

Music Programs Credit

1302300 *Band (must play a traditional concert band instrument) 1.0

1303440 *Chorus 1 1.0

1303450 Chorus 2 (auditions required) 1.0

1302460 Drum Line (audition required) 1.0

1302460 *Pipe Band Drums 1.0

1302460 *Bagpipes 1.0

1301320 Guitar 1 1.0

*Band, Chorus 1, Pipe Band Drums and Bag Pipes do not require an audition

Sarasota Students Win Regional Army Championship Competition

The Sarasota Military Academy Rifle Team competed in the Army Service Championships on February 15 – February 17 in Anniston, Alabama and received first place in the regional competition and the opportunity to compete at the National JROTC Championships in March 2019.

“We are incredibly proud of our cadets and their abilities and we are excited to bring home first place in the regional championship as we prepare for the upcoming national competition,” said SMA-SFC Riess Pellegrino, Leadership Education Training (LET) 2 instructor and rifle team coach. “Our rifle team consists of dedicated cadets who set their own personal goals and work as a team to achieve success and we are thrilled to see their efforts result in a first place win.”

This is the 9th consecutive year that SMA’s Rifle Team has received accolades and qualified to attend and compete at the national level. The SMA team this year consists of ten high school cadets; SMA senior Catherine Taylor, junior Dante Aletto, sophomores Carsyn Band, Sophia Olazabal, Guadalupe Perez, Isabella Ponce and freshmen Kendal Goebel, Xavier Olson, Phillip Pellegrino and Andersen Suter.

Of the ten SMA cadets, nine posted improved personal records and accomplishments. Several cadets achieved high-ranking individual scores and received outstanding scores in a variety of categories.

“With only 2 of the ten cadets experienced in this competition, the entire team proved themselves to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the challenge of competing against much more experienced competitors,” added SMA-SFC Pellegrino. “We are excited to see how they compete at the national level as we represent Sarasota Military Academy, our community and our region.”

To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

SMA Prep Cadets of Month Show the IB Learner Profile of Inquirer

Congratulations to SMA Prep Cadets of the Month for showing the IB Learner Profile of Inquirer. Katherine Ries, John Sabin,  Colton Wilson, Maria Urbina Knuth, and Mark Serebryanskiy are the recipients for the month of January.

Inquirers develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning, and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.

Nominating Department: World Languages

Katie always participates in class and loves to help other cadet who is struggling in Chinese. She is also a self motivated learner. It’s a pleasure to work with her in class.

John is always showing interest in new things, expressing his opinion or asking for one.  He is a pleasure to have in class because he is constantly making connections outside of the classroom as well.  He is curious, likes to seek for new information and never gives up! Even trying to use the Spanish vocabulary in creative ways.

Nominating Department: Science

Colton is incredibly curious.  He approaches every class period with a renewed sense of interest, and he pursues the acquisition of new knowledge with admirable vigor.  As Colton continues as a leader, he is certain to maintain his inquisitive nature, and to foster that same drive in others.

Maria has maintained her enthusiasm for learning throughout the year.  She asks thoughtful questions, and she encourages others to do the same.  Maria can always be relied upon to participate, not just with answers, but through her thoughtful, reflective interest in science as well.

Nominating Team: Wrestling

Mark has a great work ethic is always up for a challenge. He asks questions useful to inform everyone not just himself. He consistently shows curiosity and interest in learning more about the sport.

IBprofile

The aim of all IB Programs is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Learner Profile are a set of 10 attributes cadets are encouraged to “try on” to explore different ways of thinking about themselves as leaders to have a positive impact on the work they do and on those around them. Click here to learn more about IB MYP and the IB Learner Profiles. We encourage SMA Prep cadets to consider: “What IB Learner Profile will you become today?!”

 

Selfless Service

As I reflect upon my life and the purpose that drives it, I feel that service to others has been an underlying theme, though it certainly wasn’t clearly articulated. I never did make the statement, I just want to help others, my community, or my country, though this was certainly a character trait that was encouraged by the important adults in my life. As I reflect on this character trait of service to others, I am immediately reminded of the John F. Kennedy quote:

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Quite often when we interpret this quote we are quick to relate the concept of service to country as Military service, political service, or diplomatic service to our country. I would like to suggest that the greatest service to our country is not enlistment in a military service or commitment to political or diplomatic leadership, but more directly the daily character leadership that we have immediate control over and our country seems to need today more than anytime in my fifty plus years; a commitment to combat hate, promote civil discourse, support other efforts, and strive for healthy communities.

We can achieve this concept of character leadership in some very simple ways, starting with conversations with our parents, siblings, and children around the dinner table. Here are a couple topics that you can speak to your children about that may inspire them to be that leader you hope for:

  • Advocacy for others – What would you do if you saw someone doing something mean to another? Would you say something? What would you say? Who could you talk to about it?
  • Tolerance for others views – Being tolerant of others views doesn’t mean you have to agree. Entering into a heated debate that becomes personal and hateful only serves to cause greater animosity and further division in the community. How would you agree to disagree with someone else when your belief system isn’t similar?
  • Recognizing perspectives – Many times in the changing generations the perceptions of words, symbols, actions, etc. change. There are words today that our children use that may not hold the same meaning to us. Have a discussion with your child about some of these words; but both you and the child must be willing to listen to each other with an open mind and work together to come to an understanding or solution.

By practicing these strategies at home, and here at school, we can positively influence the civil interactions within our community, and set an example for our leaders and the rest of the nation.

In commemoration of our national leaders throughout the great history of our nation, I wish you all a blessed, peaceful and civil weekend of rest and service to self, community and nation.

 

Frederick T. Fout, SMA-LTC

Female Veterans Celebrated by Sarasota Military Academy Cadets

High school staff and cadets at Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local public charter school, recently created a documentary to recognize and celebrate female veterans that served in WWII. After the project was completed, the cadets presented the documentary to local female veterans during a luncheon hosted at Atria Senior Living in Sarasota.

In 2018, SMA Captain Ebony Mackey and SMA Captain Jennifer Vanston collaborated with cadets enrolled in IB/AP U.S. History classes to record experiences from several local female veterans living in Sarasota that were some of the first to serve in the United States Military. When the project was completed, the documentary was presented to the veterans and their families at a luncheon event at Atria Senior Living. Those in attendance were given a photo book and copy of the documentary highlighting their service and stories.

“At a time when women’s positions in society were more defined and traditional, these strong and inspirational women became role models – not just for those around them, but for our young cadets today,” said SMA Captain Jennifer Vanston, IB/AP US History Instructor. “ It was an honor for all of us to meet these amazing women and learn about some of our country’s history through their life stories.”

The cadets who volunteered for this program and conducted research and interviews include Sarasota Military Academy high school cadets Daniel Hernandez-Curiel, Kacee Bonilla Martinez, Genesis Wesley, Quinn Selby-Gomez, Nicole Fic and Hannah Phillips. Several of the veterans featured in the project include Amy Shlaf (Homefront), Miriam Zelin (WAC), Wendy Hobson (WAVES), Mary Bailes (Nurse, Air Force) and Marg Goundie (SPARS).  

“We are incredibly proud to partner with cadets on projects and documentaries that teach them about much more than basic academic lessons – we want to show them what it means to make an impact, inspire someone, and do the right thing, even when it sometimes seems impossible,” said SMA Captain Ebony Mackey, Sarasota Military Academy Reading Instructor. “Our cadets were incredibly inspired and impressed by these amazing women who were truly ahead of their time.”

To view the documentary, visit https://youtu.be/nfJcxR9vkHo.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Supports Charter School with Safety Training, Resource Officers

Cadets and staff at Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local public charter school, recently recognized Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight and his staff with a special award for the support, training and assistance received following the state’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act legislation.

The law, passed in March of 2018, requires that every public school in Florida have at least one school resource office or armed guardian on each campus. While there are funds earmarked by the state, schools are expected to ensure that the officers are fully funded, and related training is encouraged.

“Securing funds in the budget for charter schools in our community has always been a bit of a challenge as we are held to the same standards as traditional public schools, but we are supported in a variety of ways through grants and the generosity of donors, local businesses and community members,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “Funding for charter schools was decreased in our county this year, and not only did we have to work to make up the difference for SMA’s budget, but we are also required to provide funding under the new state legislation to ensure law enforcement officers at each of our two school campuses.”

Sheriff Knight and his staff selected School Safety Deputies for each SMA campus and provided the required training as written in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. As a thank you to the SCSO team, cadets and staff at Sarasota Military Academy created the “Champions of School Safety” award and recognized Sheriff Knight and his staff as friends and valuable supporters of SMA.

“We were absolutely thrilled when Sheriff Knight and his team graciously provided training and hand-selected the School Safety Deputies to secure both of our campuses,” said SMA-Col Bowman. “School budgets are already stretched, and having the support of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has been invaluable to our safety, our cadets and staff. We are incredibly grateful for all they have done for us.”

“We always prioritize the safety of our children which means making sure school campuses are safe and vibrant places for young people to learn,” commented Sheriff Tom Knight. “We also understand the challenges that educators face when it comes to training and more importantly, funding. That’s why it has been our privilege to support SMA through this process by providing them with the tools needed for success.”

To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Incoming Freshmen

Dear Parents of Incoming Freshmen,

Congratulations! Your child is off to a very bright future with your commitment to a Sarasota Military Academy education. You may be experiencing any number of different emotions at this time, likely some mixture of happiness and sadness, excitement and anxiety.

A plethora of emotions are to be expected for both you and your young cadet. Am I providing the best education for my child? Is my child mature enough to handle the growing responsibilities of high school? Should I back off and just let him/her succeed or fail? What about college? Career? Military?

I get it, as a father of six, with one graduating this year and another that is still in elementary, I am always second guessing my decisions. So let me please put you at ease with the following assurance of our educational program, and assurances of our commitment to you and your family.

  1. The SMA commitment to the growth of positive citizens and change-makers

When an SMA cadet navigates through the four years of the High School JROTC program, and especially for the cadets that  transition from Sarasota Military Preparatory Academy, they will learn and develop a strong value based citizenship philosophy, as well as key leadership skills and experiences that will serve them throughout their lives and make positive impacts within their communities.

  1. The SMA commitment to educational programming that meets the needs of your cadet

Gone is the concept that a military academy is for that student that “needs to be fixed”. SMA is proud to offer a top of the line educational program that begins with the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program at the Preparatory campus, and continues at the High School campus with multiple avenues to prepare for success in college and careers. Examples of courses and programs of study to support your cadet’s college and career aspirations include:

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
  • Honors Courses
  • International Baccalaureate Courses
  • The College Board Advanced Placement Courses
  • Three University Recognized World Languages (Chinese, Spanish and American Sign Language)
  • General and Advanced Courses in Mathematics, Sciences, English Literature
  • Skill Building Courses in Mathematics, Sciences, English Literature and English as a Second Language
  • General and Advanced Courses in Technology and Design
  • General and Advanced Courses in Physical and Health Education
  • General and Advanced Courses in Visual and Performing Arts (Drawing, Painting, 3D Arts, Band, Bagpipes, Drum Line, Chorus
  • Career Industry Certifications in Physical and Health Education and Technology and Design
  • Dual Enrollment with Suncoast Technical College and State College of Florida
  1. The SMA commitment to parent, family and community involvement

There are multiple ways that parents, family and community can provide input and make a difference in our cadets’ lives through service to Sarasota Military Academy. We gratefully welcome and encourage family and community members to participate in the decision making process through committee work, involvement and participation with our governing board, and through the Parent Teacher Cadet Council (PTCC). We are always looking for individuals from our SMA Family and community that will volunteer time to positively affect our cadets by assisting with clubs, athletics, JROTC activities, school events and even supporting classroom instruction by providing individualized assistance for our cadets.

  1. The SMA commitment to cadet self-actualization

With close to 30 different opportunities for cadets to get involved in the SMA experience, from athletics and JROTC teams to clubs and activities, our SMA cadets have many opportunities to develop a positive base of individual friendships with other cadets, staff and faculty, and our greater community partnerships. These opportunities, along with the strong values and citizenship foundations provided through the JROTC curriculum and cadet life, helps to guide our cadets to become self advocates, influential community members and strong characters that exemplify honor, integrity and respect.

  1. The SMA commitment to the social/emotional wellness of its’ cadets, staff and faculty, and community as a whole

Sarasota Military Academy is committed to the social and emotional wellness of all its cadets, staff, faculty and community as a whole. The SMA organizational philosophy is one of teaching young adults, rather than teaching specific contents. Though our  instructional staff is exemplary in their content areas, the focus of teaching the whole child drives our commitment to developing lasting mentoring relationship with our cadets. We assure you that your cadet will have an opportunity to make that lasting and influential bond with a positive role model adult that research assures us is the number one factor of success.

This is all a lot to consume, but let me personally assure you that we are always here for one reason, and one reason only, your cadet. As a promoting cadet from Sarasota Military Preparatory Academy, your seat is only waiting for you to arrive that first day! As you are ALREADY ENROLLED, we ask that you reach out to our counseling department or grade level administration team to ensure a smooth transition. Please know that SMA counselors and administration will be visiting your cadet at the Prep campus to discuss scheduling for their Freshman year.

If you have any questions, please contact the front office 941-926-1700 or counseling office at: Elke Olree, SMA-SFC , Administrative Assistant: 941-926-1700 ext. 221

We can’t wait to see your cadet!

 

Frederick T. Fout, SMA-LTC, Head of School

 

Sarasota Military Academy Announces Enrollment Opportunities for 2019 – 2020 School Year

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local public charter school, is proud to announce opportunities for enrollment for the Sarasota Military Academy high school and Sarasota Military Academy Prep middle school campuses for the 2019 – 2020 school year.

In 2015, Sarasota Military Academy was authorized as an IB Diploma Program World School and it is the only military academy in the state with this distinction. Cadets enrolled at the SMA Prep campus are enrolled in the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), and the academy’s high school campus enables cadets to participate in IB, dual-enrollment or additional programs of their choosing.

At 95%, SMA has the third highest graduation rate in the district and the academy is a 100% Army JROTC School, leadership academy and college and career prep school.

“We are so incredibly proud of both the SMA high school and middle school campuses and the opportunities that students in our community are able to participate in selecting their preferred school,”’ said SMA-LTC Fred Fout, Head of School for Sarasota Military Academy high school. “SMA incorporates the military values of accountability, self-discipline and camaraderie into a public charter school environment as our cadets experience character development through exceptional academic instruction.”  

In addition to the current enrollment period, parents and potential students are invited to attend enrollment information meetings held at both the high school and middle school campuses. For a schedule of upcoming meetings and additional admissions information, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/admissions-process. Reservations are not required and all attendees are welcome.

“Middle school cadets at our Sarasota Military Academy Prep campus are given the unique opportunity to learn about our culture and experience what SMA has to offer,” said SMA-LTC Thomas Vara, Sarasota Military Academy Prep Head of School. “We invite prospective students and their families to visit our campuses to hear from cadets and staff while gaining valuable insight into what makes SMA so incredibly important to our community.”

To learn more about the admission and enrollment process at Sarasota Military Academy, including opportunities to visit the school for tours and enrollment information meetings, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/admissions-process. To view more and virtually tour SMA, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnKVhvTG48A.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Military Academy Plans 2nd Annual 5k Event

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local public charter school, invites the public to attend the 2nd annual SMA Raiders Rise and Run 5k event scheduled for Saturday, February 16, 2019. The event, held at Payne Park, located at 2050 Adams Lane in Sarasota, will begin at 7:30am.

The SMA Raiders Rise and Run event will feature awards, raffles, food and music in support of the Sarasota Military Academy High School Raiders and the Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School Junior Raiders programs. Sponsors include Bayside Community Church, Bayside Pet Resort, Wilde Automotive and Fleet Feet.

“Raiders are typically made of teams of ten cadets that are involved in extreme adventure sports and events that feature running, weights, obstacle courses and backpacks, and other types of competitive activities. Our cadets work incredibly hard to train for the raider competitions and showcase their sportsmanship, athleticism and teamwork through their involvement,” said SMA Master Sergeant (USA Ret) Johnny Browning. “We are proud to host this annual event and would like to thank our sponsors and event participants for their support which makes a difference for this fantastic group of dedicated cadets.”

The inaugural event was orchestrated in 2017 by SMA seniors Brianna Trecartin and Erick Barnard to support the IB and Raider programs at SMA. The 2nd annual Raiders Rise and Run 5k will continue to support the SMA high school Raider team in addition to supporting the newly-formed Junior Raiders team at the SMA Prep middle school campus.

Participants can pre-register online or on the day of the event for $35 per person and a kick-off event and informational session will be held from 4 – 7pm on Wednesday, February 13 at the New Balance Sarasota store located at 1872 Stickney Point Road.

For event questions or details, please contact the race director, SMA-CPT Jackie Sharkey-Trecartin at Jackie.Sharkey@oursma.org. To register as a Raiders Rise and Run participant or view sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/sma-raiders-2nd-annual-rise-and-run-5k.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

SMA Prep Cadets of Month Show the IB Learner Profile of Thinker

Congratulations to our Cadets of the Month!

The IB Learner Profile for December is Thinker:

Thinkers use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. They also exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.

Nominating Department: Language & Literature

Seth Howard

He has always responded with deep philosophical responses that show thought, extraordinary vocabulary and understanding of concepts. He participates in class discussions frequently and helps to facilitate engaging discussions based on the current content. He has shown his skills as a writer and is working on writing his own content for a possible blog or book in the future and is also helpful to peers.

Caleigh Patterson 

During our recent debate, Caleigh went above and beyond doing research for her group’s topic, and then was able to quickly think on her feet during the debate to give excellent counterclaims and rebuttals. Also, during our recent essay summative, Caleigh wrote with creative depth, sentence complexity, and advanced structure for someone her age. She is the epitome of a deep thinker.

Nominating Department: Theater/Choir

Reagan Chevalier 

The positive attitude Reagan has is infectious. Reagan always comes to class prepared and has a deep understanding of what Theater is all about. She showed bravery by helping encourage the shy students by being a role-model and never trying to outshine them. She was always caught working together as a team each class to accomplish an almost impossible performance. Her kindness and compassion will forever be a part of the students she was in class with as she helped make the entire semester for 5th Period an enjoyable experience they will never forget. Great Job Reagan.

James Dowling 

When it comes to leadership and knowledge James has truly been one that helps the entire class work together. His strengths came in many different ways. His commercial was extremely well thought out and executed perfectly. He has a well balanced intellect mixed with a great sense of humor. He has great ideas and was communicated them to the class while also integrating the ideas of others. He was kind and thoughtful to the students that were shy acting their parts and offered his support to help them open up and shine.

Nominating Department: Athlete of the Month- Cross Country

John Sabin 

John was an outstanding individual runner. I told him on the first day of practice that I expected his team to place, not just him but his team. He stepped up week after week developing a plan with me and the team, getting faster, improving and coming together. His determination and dedication paid off, as the team went from 5th place to 2nd ending the season as champs! An outstanding approach to thinking about how to motivate other athletes!

Taja Medeiros 

Taja’s strong personality and dedication, never missing a practice or meet, and reliability made her an amazing leader for cross country. She grew as a runner, motivating others to follow her. She arrived before every practice, especially on fun run days and offered creative ideas for her fellow team mates to excel. She implemented and initiated a lot of interesting fun run games and skills building activities to keep these runners interested, having fun and motivated throughout the season to have that determination to improve and give 100%.

IBprofile

The IB learner profile. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Learner Profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success. They imply a commitment to help all members of the school community learn to respect themselves, others and the world around them.

Sarasota Military Academy Launches Improved Conservation Club

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local public charter school, recently relaunched the Academy’s Ducks Unlimited school chapter under new supervision and leadership to benefit cadets interested in conservation efforts.

Founded two years ago at Sarasota Military Academy, the revamped Ducks Unlimited club is facilitated by SMA Command Sergeant Major (CSM) (Retired) Mike Collis and faculty advisors. Currently, the SMA Ducks Unlimited chapter includes more than 65 cadets.

“Cadets involved in SMA’s Ducks Unlimited chapter get to experience a deeper appreciation for our natural resources, wildlife and conditions that affect them, and how their efforts can have a positive impact on those conditions,” said SMA-CSM (Retired) Mike Collis, SMA Ducks Unlimited chapter advisor. “We work with the state and national Ducks Unlimited organizations and we are also supported by members of the Sarasota Sportsmen’s Association (SSA) through the donation of countless opportunities, training, experiences, trips and financial support.”

Cadets involved in the SMA Ducks Unlimited club are responsible for conducting and hosting meetings, becoming involved in various aspects of conservation efforts, tracking club activities and planning and coordinating four main areas of the club including the duck box construction crew, wetland conservation, wildlife management and wildlife migration and mapping.

Members are given the opportunity to work with the SSA to earn hunter safety certifications and participate in hunting and fishing trips.

“At Sarasota Military Academy, we are incredibly supportive of not only our cadets’ academic achievements and progress, but we also look for new opportunities to cultivate interest in a variety of topics and extra-curricular activities,” said SMA-MAJ C.J. Bannister, Sarasota Military Academy Foundation, Inc. Chief Development Officer. “Through our partnerships with local conservation organizations and through the guidance of our staff, SMA cadets are given the chance to explore a love and appreciation for nature, wildlife and their environmental impact. We are proud to have Ducks Unlimited as one of our many activities that cadets can choose to participate in, and we are excited to see how they continue to positively impact our community.”

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Personal Musings

My Dear SMA Family,

This time of year is often a time of reflection of the months past, accomplishments and challenges, seasoned and new relationships, and of course, wishes for the future. Many thoughts meander through my mind during this season, and these past few months with my SMA family have brought multiple joys, tears, and feelings of thankfulness.

The holiday season always leads to a reflection on memories of the past; special relationships, loss of loved ones, mentors and pillars that have influenced who I am. The most prominent of my musings is most often the loss of loved ones, bringing to mind, of course, my mother, Janine Antonia, and the influence she has had on me, as well as the regret that I can’t share my joys and successes with her any longer. My prayers to Mom (I’m a mamma’s boy by the way) are most often a conversation asking her guidance in my continuous work toward being a better husband and father, and of course hoping for her approval of who I am as a man. The questions usually include;

  • “Do I support and show my love to my bride enough, and do you think she finds me worthy?” Good questions to always reflect on as a life partner.
  • “Can you keep an eye on my Dago Flower (daughter)? She doesn’t think she needs help, but I always worry.” “Oh, and isn’t your great-grandson amazing?!?” Being a single mom so far away from family to support her, and not one to show emotion or ask for help (like her dad), exacerbates the worries.
  • “Our little Bug has blossomed into an amazing Mom of two and is married to a dad-approved young man that treats her like the princess she is, and don’t you just want to pinch those chubby cheeks of those two beautiful great grandbabies?” (I so wish my grandchildren and I weren’t so many miles apart.)
  • “Please help me to show my love for my incredible new daughters (step) that just continue to make me proud, and struggle themselves with their challenging relationship with a distant father. I just want so badly for them to feel love; they deserve it.”
  • “Oh, and Little Bit (named Antonia for you); I do so wish you could have met her. She often asks about you … she consistently reminds me of you … almost like you are there sitting next to me.”

These conversations help me to keep focused on the importance of personal relationships, and I share them with you to give you a greater understanding of my social/emotional mindset, and the importance of the human aspect of all we do.

In reflection of those lost, and relationships that may have been placed on an obscure shelf though still reside in my memories, I would be remiss to not recognize those that continue to influence who I am as a man, father, husband, and educator.

  • “Max; how I wish I could have known you personally.” This type of loss can never be understood. In my years as an educator within a diverse community that is over-represented among suicide statistics (Native American and Veterans), I have unfortunately been directly affected by these occurrences. Max, one other completed attempt during my tenure as an administrator, and seven other attempts. It seems too many … but really, one is too many. I promise I will be here for you. There is a better option. Please, let me talk to you. To Max’s family … “you are in my prayers.”
  • To my Six … “you are always in my mind, and I always feel you there with me … I will never forget, though we are separated by borders and boundaries, time and life paths … I’ve got your six.” There is one I need to call this week … I pray his new leader has his six.

Reflecting on the joys, I am immediately prompted to be thankful for my family, to include my SMA family. My family and I have felt so welcomed by the staff, faculty, cadets, and families and just feel as if we are home. There are so many to be thankful for that I will only mention a few here, but I do hope you all know how you have influenced me.

  • “Gerlie (my dear bride), these past ten years continue to be the greatest and are only getting better … I am so happy that Florida’s west coast reminds you of your island home, and pray that I live up to what you deserve!” Always remind those you love how important they are.
  • “Abby and Cathy (SMA-LTCs Williams and Rodriguez), I cannot express how important you are to me … how your influence makes me a better man, colleague, and leader. I cannot imagine my role here without your influence. Don’t ever think of leaving me! JIt is cliché to say that “It takes a village”, but I will say that my success takes a team – the A TEAM!
  • “Colleagues, faculty, staff, directors, and most importantly my Instructional Leadership Team, I cannot be thankful enough for your influence, professionalism, advice, and especially your candid conversations that help me to keep the morale of our family and the wellness of our cadets the focus of our mission. Thank you!” I am blessed to work with so many incredible individuals with so many amazing stories and accomplishments!
  • “Monika and Angela … I can never tell you enough that you are the reason it all works!” You know that saying that behind every good man is a great woman? I have five great women that make me look good … Gerlie, Abby, Cathy … MONIKA and ANGELA!
  • “That mom, you know who you are, that gave me the orange and green vests to wear at the car line … thank you! Your random act of kindness is what makes humans great!”
  • “That cadet that thanked me for caring … please know you have the power … you too can have that effect on someone.” 

I am continuously thankful for these blessings in my life. Have a great break, and see you next year!

Sarasota Teacher Selected as United Nations Sustainability Ambassador

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) teacher Todd Brown, PhD., creator of the SMA “Inspire Project” curriculum and winner of the “Ignite Innovation” award from the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, has been selected as a Teach Sustainable Development Goals Ambassador for the United Nations.

Through this designation, Dr. Brown will report to the program director and the office of the President of the United Nations General Assembly for 2019. Dr. Brown is one of 100 people throughout 193 countries selected and is the only person from Florida, aside from the program director.

As a TeachSDG Ambassador, Dr. Brown will work to support and enhance the work of the United Nations’ efforts within K-12 classrooms through the organization’s 2030 agenda. Goals include advancing the work of the UN in relation to education through advocacy, outreach and informational services throughout the global community.

“I am honored to receive the prestigious opportunity to serve as an ambassador on such a large scale,” said Sarasota Military Academy Teacher Todd Brown. “Being involved in this global organization is something that will not only allow me the chance to make a difference in a new way, but also allows me to show our cadets what is possible when you dream big, take advantage of opportunities and open your eyes to what’s happening around you.”

In addition to receiving the Education Foundation of Sarasota County “Ignite Innovation” award in 2018, Dr. Brown has been invited to speak at the AdvancED Global Conference in Egypt and Saudi Arabia and he was nominated for the CNN Heroes Award by Harvard University, among other honors.

“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Brown and his achievements, and we appreciate all that he has done and continues to do for our cadets and community at Sarasota Military Academy,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “He is a constant source of inspiration for our cadets and staff, and he is incredibly innovative in how he positively impacts our academy and our culture. We are excited to see what he will continue to accomplish through this new adventure.”

To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

SMA Cadets Explore Empathy and Upstanding at the Florida Holocaust Museum

SMA Prep cadets visited the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg as part of their Holocaust Survivor Literature unit in SMA-MAJ Carol Peletier’s 8th grade IB MYP Language and Literature course. This was a moving and engaging experience for these cadets because they had taken the time throughout the unit to dig deeper into the true impact this horrific event left on the world and those who survived the nightmare.

Cadets were privileged to listen to the story of a survivor which becomes even more valuable when considering the rarity of a 1st person account of something that occurred 80 years ago. In short, many still alive to tell the story experienced it as children. This was the case for Mr. Ed Herman, who was just 11 years old when he was moved into the Warsaw Ghetto with his mother and sister in October of 1940. It was from there his harrowing journey began which he recounts on PBS’ Frontline in Never Forget to Lie. Read his story at this link: My Warsaw Ghetto Memories.

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SMA Prep cadets discover parallels between discrimination based on religion and race.

The museum curation was chronological and showed the full history of antisemitism dating back to ancient empires and explained how more intense propaganda developed overtime sustaining the harmful stereotypes and tropes that still exist today. there were examples of upstanders as well who risked their own lives to save the lives of Jews who would have been otherwise murdered in the camps.

Cadets shared reflections on their experience at the museum below:

“The museum was very emotionally draining. It is sad to know that such a horrible event happened not that long ago.”

“We also got to see an old cattle car that transported Jews to the camps. Just knowing that people had died in that car or were driven to their deaths blew my mind.”

“I learned about how Mr. Herman traveled throughout Europe as an 11 year old boy alone. When he told us to imagine being in another country all alone at that age it really got to me and I could feel like he felt at that moment.”

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The field trip also offered an opportunity for cadets to bond and relax with each other eating lunch and playing games in a waterfront park close to the museum. Cadets mentioned they would gladly go on a field trip like this again.

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American Ninja Warrior, Barclay Stockett, tells SMA Prep Cadets, “Mindset is Everything!”

American Ninja Warrior, Barclay Stockett, shared her story with SMA Prep cadets as part of this year’s Project Equality which is one of the pathways developed through The Inspire Project. As many cadets are fans of the show, they listened intently as she answered their questions while enlightening them on the bigger picture that goes beyond winning competitions.

Although Stockett can sometimes make the Rope Swing, Warped Wall, or Jumping Spider look easy, cadets were given the real scoop about the dedication and hard work she puts into training. From January to June every year she trains 5 days for 4 hours a day and sometimes more. She emphasizes to cadets, however, allowing time for your body to recover is as important as the training time you put in.

In response to the classic question of what did you want to be when you grew up, Stockett replied, “a firefighter, an archeaologist in Eygpt, a trapeze artist, and an architect.” She would eventually become a gymnast which empowered her as she built her body and mind to win competitions and overcome challenges.

As far a being a strong woman competing with men she describes her experience when she was growing up and out racing boys. “I had to learn for myself and I began to understand where a boy’s pride would be hurt. I was stronger and faster and they couldn’t except it. Women that look strong, just look strong.  No matter who you are you can be strong.

Ms. Stockett shared that the hardest part about what she does is the expectations and always being in the public eye. “People are expecting you to be happy and bubbly and anything less than perfect can feel like a failure.” She reminds cadets to experience failure as a learning experience every time you feel it. As far as experiencing a lack of confidence, Stockett says, “it is usually outside coming into something- when I did gymnastics, I became scared of the balance beam as part of my series. I had to get to the point where fear is not knowing what is going to happen, it’s the unknown, but you have to remember Mindset is everything!”

With a background in as a physical therapist, she is not only an American Ninja Warrior but she also works for Alpha Warrior where she teaches how to use ninja-like obstacles for the military. She travels all over the world visiting military basis and doing what she loves to do which is help others through teaching and training.

“Remain super passionate about living the life we’re given.  If you are passionate about something, try it find out if you can do it. Life is too short to work half your life doing something you don’t enjoy and remember to have gratitude that you get to do something you love.”

Afterall she says, “I never thought I could make money playing on obstacles, I just work really hard and diligently.”

 

SMA Prep Teachers Receive IB Grants from the Florida League of IB Schools

Congratulations to SMA-CPT Deanna Ferguson and SMA-MAJ Todd Brown for each being awarded a $1,000 FLIBS Excellence Grant for the 2018-19 school year.

SMA-CPT Ferguson grant is for More Than Words: Legacy Project. Students will explore the lives and legacies of global thinkers, leaders, and innovators through identifying the ways these figures employed IB learner profile attributes.

Students will select a famous or community leader, create a mini-biography of their lives, analysis their words, and determine a tangible representation of an inspirational quote that they can keep long after the project (and middle school) is over.

The grant monies will be used to aid the purchase supplies for these quote creations, often in the form of picture frames and shadow boxes, but the medium varies, depending on the chosen quote. This grant would augment the child’s quote project portion, aiding families who cannot afford these items.

SMA-MAJ Brown’s grant is for Project Health, where students, faculty, and families will embark on a project from ground zero that is aimed to improve academic performance, physical health, and social/emotional intelligence. Through cross-curricular activities, the students will design an American Ninja Warrior type obstacle course and build it on the school’s campus. Through the process, the students will use not only traditional academic lessons but also life skills such as investigating, communication, and critical thinking to bring their specific designs to life.

This is a unique opportunity for students to engage in learning that yields a physical product that they will be able to use for years. It will enhance family/school bonding through a collaborative effort in which the students learn from the faculty engaging in a public build throughout the school year resulting in the inclusion of character building and self-worth through teamwork and meaningful accomplishment. Once completed, the ‘opening’ will have two of NBC’s American Ninja Warriors in a large-scale fundraising effort with the Pediatric Cancer Foundation open to the public. This will be the first event of its kind in county history. Long-term use for the course will include all physical education classes, athletic teams, and academic classes on an on-going basis.

Finally, the course may be open to the faculty and outside schools/organizations for team building exercises. The course itself will be designed with all students in mind. It will feature adjustable components and supplementary material that will allow for all students to succeed by increasing or decreasing the difficulty level to match the needs of the students for not only competitive purposes but also that of social and emotional skill building. The students will use the course to highlight their unique abilities to succeed not only in the eyes of their peers but most importantly for themselves.

Local Academy Recognized for Community Clean-Up Project, School Excellence

Keeping Sarasota County Beautiful recently awarded Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Prep middle school cadets and staff with the “School Excellence” award during the 30th Annual KSCB Volunteer Awards Recognition Dinner, held on November 7, 2018.

The cadet-led community project, initiated by SMA Cadet-MAJ Thomas Canales, an 8th-grade student, was a litter and beach clean-up at Ted Sperling Park at South Lido Beach in Sarasota. The Sarasota Parks and Recreation Department nominated the project and cadets for the Keeping Sarasota County Beautiful award.

“The best part of community service is seeing friends, family, kids from school, and even people we have never met, come together and work towards one common goal: a better environment. The future depends on us!,” said SMA Cadet-MAJ Thomas Canales.

“Thank you to the Sarasota Parks and Recreation Department for the nomination, and to Keeping Sarasota County Beautiful for this valued recognition,” said SMA-CPT Terri Davis, Sarasota Military Academy Prep Military Studies teacher and IB MYP Community Project facilitator. “Through our community projects, cadets learn skills that they will apply throughout their lives. It is exciting to see middle school cadets shine as leaders who want to make a positive impact on the world around them.”

As an authorized IB World School, SMA Prep cadets participate in a community project as part of the IB Middle Years Program (IB/MYP). During community projects throughout the last two years, cadets at SMA Prep have provided and promoted environmental stewardship while serving approximately 160 volunteer hours throughout Sarasota County Parks and natural areas.

The focus of the KSCB awards ceremony was “The Future is Now” with a “Back to the Future” movie-inspired theme. A variety of organizations and attendees were recognized and lauded for contributions. Keep Sarasota County Beautiful, an affiliate of the Keep America Beautiful Inc. nonprofit organization, is a county-wide beautification program established in 1987 that initiates community cleanup projects to help keep the community free of litter.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Somali Author of Call Me American: A Memoir, Abdi Nor Iftin, Shares His Refugee Journey with SMA Prep Cadets

Somali Author of Call Me American: A Memoir, Abdi Nor Iftin, shares his remarkable journey as a refugee from Mogadishu to Maine and offers SMA Prep cadets a unique “outside – in” perspective of America. His story is powerful and ties into this year’s Inspire Project pathway: Project Equality. Cadets are exploring equality, tolerance, and, discrimination across gender, race, and ethnicity.

As a child growing up in Mogadishu, Abdi first knew of America when US Marines came to his village to provide food and places to eat because their presence allowed for peace. “I thought they were aliens.”  Abdi had never seen anyone that looked different than him.  He described his life in Mogadishu as difficult. There is no public service and there is also a war. He taught himself English from movies and began to feel that he was no different than any other child.  He grew a love of America and gained the nickname “American Abdi” and he knew that one day he would get there, even though it was not easy traveling 10,000 miles to the U.S.

“All humans share a desire for survival and acceptance.”

Many of his coworkers think of Africa as all the same. There are different languages and culture throughout Africa. In his book, he wanted people to see the human side of the refugee story. “All humans share a desire for survival and acceptance. I was just like every American kid who wants to be inspired by something. Everything you have is a privilege.”

The hardest part about adjusting to American was the lack of diversity where he lives in Maine. The weather was also a shock having come from a consistently warmer climate. He also described the more humorous side of learning about a new culture. “Ordering a coffee at Dunkin Donuts drove me crazy. In Kenya you just say coffee and they give me coffee, but here you have to say so many things.” He says he now sticks with hot chocolate.

SMA-Cadet MacCloud was reminded, “how to not take for granted all we have here. Mr. Iftin notices every little thing for example how many types of crackers are available at Walmart.”

When asked what drove him to keep surviving he replied, “Many times, I almost gave up on hope. As long as I was breathing and living another day, I needed to do everything it takes to get myself out of the life I was living at the time. I connected to the rest of the world through my stories. Teaching myself English motivated me because I was able to communicate to a wider audience.”

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter, (6th-12th) located on 2 campuses in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

SMA Prep Cadets Take on the NPR Student Podcast Challenge: Turn An Idea Into Sound

SMA Prep cadets in Military Studies and Digital Arts combine forces to take on the NPR Student Podcast Challenge. Cadets have begun brainstorming to find their podcast topic. They are working off of various topic ideas such as:

  • Tell us a story about your school or community: about something that happened there – recently or in the past — that you want your audience to know about.
  • What is a moment in history that all students should learn about?
  • Show us both sides of a debate about an issue that’s important to you.
  • What do you want to change about the world? What’s a big change that you want to make in the future?
  • Explain something to us that kids understand and grownups don’t.

From this brainstorm, students will select their podcast topic and begin to write scripts, collect content, designate roles and design the sound and feel of their podcast for submission. Submissions will be judged on the following criteria: Information and Structure, Personality and Creativity, and Production Quality.

Thank you to SMA-CPT Miller and CPT Davis for engaging these creative SMA cadets.

Bringing two classes together allows for 6th, 7th and 8th graders to build communication and collaboration across age groups. SMA-Cadet Kalli B., who is a 6th grader, says she’s excited about this project because “everyone is working together as a team and is open to each other’s ideas”. Many cadets have expressed interest in continuing a cadet-led podcast that will add to SMA Prep’s media platform already established through the live streaming daily broadcast of Prep World News.

The contest opens up to entries on Jan. 1, 2019, and closes on March 31, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. ET. NPR will pick two winners: one from grades 5 through 8 and one from grades 9 through 12. We can’t wait to “hear” what these talented and engaged cadets come up with when they Turn Their Idea Into Sound!

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter, (6th-12th) located on 2 campuses in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

Stanford Professor Emeritus and World-Renowned Psychologist, Dr. Zimbardo Challenges SMA Prep Cadets to Train for Everyday Heroic Action

Dr. Philip Zimbardo, an American psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University introduced cadets at SMA Prep to the Heroic Imagination Project of which he is the founder and president. Many know of Dr. Zimbardo for his 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment along with many other notable works. Currently, he is focused on motivating people to no longer be bystanders and instead take action to have a positive impact on the world around them.

Growing up in poverty in the Bronx in the 1930s and 1940s, Dr. Zimbardo often wondered how it was that some of his friends in the neighborhood grew up to be “bad” kids while others grew up to be “good” kids. As he refocuses his pursuit of understanding human behavior, he has established a new approach by asking, “how do ordinary people act heroically? Being introduced to the Heroic Imagination Project, cadets began to make their own connections with issues such as bullying and intolerance that can also be a part of their adolescent lives.

“Heroism starts in the mind.”

The larger question Dr. Zimbardo posed to cadets was, “Can anyone be a hero?” and emphasized the need to teach people to move away from being passive and instead to help people and situations that are in distress. Other questions came to light such as how to eliminate stereotypes and become more accepting of others as well as the value of developing a growth mindset as opposed to a mindset that is fixed and unchangeable. Dr. Zimbardo imparted to cadets that success in life depends on mindset, are you thinking into the future or are you stuck in the present only seeking immediate reward?

Dr. Zimbardo speaks to cadets this year for Project Equality which is one of the pathways developed through The Inspire Project created by SMA-MAJ Todd Brown who teaches 8th-grade Individuals & Societies as well as Civics. Brown has been cultivating this program over 5 years and it has positively impacted many students. SMA Cadet-CPL Grace Wagler is currently attending SMA High School and shared this about Dr. Zimbardo, “something that really stuck with me was the idea that just as normal people can take on “evil” roles so easily, normal people can also take on roles as heroes. This was an interesting concept and I think it is amazing that DrZimbardo used the findings from an experiment that sort of went south (Stanford Prison Experiment) to inspire people to become everyday heroes.”.

Dr. Zimbardo is also involved in the green school movement with the goal to empower kids across the world as Eco-Heros. He currently works with schools in 18 countries and Green School in Bali is particularly impressive. SMA Prep was awarded the Green Flag award from Eco-Schools USA through the National Wildlife Federation. The connection to other green schools offers a unique opportunity for SMA Prep cadets to collaborate on a global level.

Dr. Zimbardo and his team believe, “Most people want to take effective action in challenging situations, they just don’t know how.” He is hoping to train a new generation of heroes, “suggesting that each and every seemingly ordinary person on this planet is capable of committing heroic acts”.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter, (6th-12th) located on 2 campuses in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Heroic Imagination Project

The Heroic Imagination Project (HIP) develops and implements education programs, research, and public initiatives to inspire and encourage everyday heroism. Our mission is to encourage and empower individuals to take heroic action during crucial moments in their lives. We prepare them to act with integrity, compassion, and moral courage, heightened by an understanding of the power of situational forces. More information is available at www.heroicimagination.org.

 

SMA Prep Partners with Apparel Co. MANG to Give 7,000 Mangroves New Life

SMA Prep welcomed back Kyle Rossin, co-founder of the West Palm, high-performance apparel company, MANG. Prep’s young environmentalists work with MANG to give dying mangroves a second chance at life which in turn positively impacts Florida’s fragile ecosystem. As an environmentally responsible company, MANG’s “Buy One. Plant One.” initiative pledges to plant one mangrove propagule for every product that is purchased.  SMA Prep cadets provide the resuscitated mangroves they cultivate on campus to support MANG’s one plant at a time initiative.

Every August for the last five years, SMA- MAJ Deb Walker and her 6th-grade cadets have walked the local beaches and estuaries for stranded Red Mangrove seed pods (propagules). These “props” are doomed to decomposition unless placed vertically so that they can produce their famous red roots that are so valuable to the environment. This year, the cadets brought in over 7000 propagules and cultivated them until their first set of true leaves have appeared.

Several years ago, SMA-MAJ Walker received an email from a member of Captains for Clean Water, an ecological group in Ft. Myers. She was asked about her mangrove cultivation project and they offered to spread the word in South Florida. The result was an email from Kyle Rossin, co-founder of MANG.

Kyle takes the time to work with the cadets and give a lesson on the importance of mangroves in the local ecosystems. The cadets loaded up his truck with about 7000 mangrove propagules that they had been cultivating for months. Volunteers in West Palm then plant the props in local estuaries.

SMA Prep cadets benefit from the network of environmental goodwill SMA-MAJ Walker continues to build. “What a great experience for our cadets: to know that their months of effort are rewarded by their mangroves finding a new home and helping to restore the estuaries that have been so threatened by Red Tide.”

Click below to learn more about SMA-MAJ Deb Walker and her 6th-grade cadets’ past and ongoing green initiatives at SMA Prep:

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter, (6th-12th) located on 2 campuses in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About MANG

MANG is a high-performance apparel and gear company dedicated to preserving the natural ecology of coastlines and mangrove ecosystems. Their team of avid fisherman and naturalists recognize that mangrove habitats are the life-support system and nursery for many juvenile marine species. “Our vision is by 2020 MANG will be a locally recognized and environmentally responsible company that is changing the world by planting one mangrove at a time.” More information is available at www.manggear.com

Pledge Equitable Discourse

As I try to process the rhetoric and discourse that has become a defining perception of American society of late, I am troubled most NOT by the loudest voices that seem to be spouting hateful language and separatist – discordant verbosity, but by the silence of voices guiding us in moral, values-based conversation that brings us together.

I long for that voice of my grandfather, Federico, teaching me to be a loving man at the age of nine, in what seemed a simpler time.

I dream of a powerful voice that envisioned an equitable existence for all mankind regardless of “the color of their skin”, religion, national origin, ethnic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, or …. political affiliation.

I hope and pray for a future for my students, children, and grandchildren that affords voice without fear of persecution, an ability to practice their belief without fear violence, and the ability and courage to accept the differences of others with respect, honor, and integrity.

I am reminded of the trainings and the guiding research that has brought an awareness of the impact of trauma to the education professional, the soldier and military leader, the police officer and first responders, the crisis therapist and mental health provider. The plethora of research and evidence linking experiential trauma to a life-time of health and mental health complications, to include greater likelihood of high risk activities and even a diminished life expectancy, is irrefutable. We all know this as professionals. However, we haven’t examined the effect societal traumas on the social and emotional wellness of our school, community, nation, and the world as a whole. I know that I cannot do justice to the academic discourse surrounding the long lasting effects of local, national, and international events that have shaped our human experience, but I would like to make some observations about a few.

As a trauma trained educational professional, I am prompted to think of our societal traumas as I would a school aged child. In one of my trainings the facilitator exemplified the effects of a child’s trauma by pulling books out of a backpack labeled with things like; domestic violence, alcohol in the home, bullying online, sibling in jail, etc. The backpack seemed bottomless. I would like to pull a few things out of OUR proverbial backpack:

  • Closer to home than we would ever like to be … active shooters in schools. Students, parents, grandparents, school faculty and staff, local first responders. Let’s think about the level of fear that these have propagated, and the resulting effects on educational priorities. Other ramifications of the fear is the “hardening” of schools to the point that you can’t tell if the fences and walls are to keep the danger out, or to keep the danger in. Likely the most divisive effect of this circumstance is the enduring contention between sides over armed Teachers or staff that has caused great distress among families, friends, and communities. The discordant rhetoric surrounding this disagreement has caused seemingly irreparable harm as it has often devolved into fractious, hateful language, and greater division within our society.
  • A week ago, my wife and I went to see the movie “The Hate You Give.” This movie, as an artistic representation of the antagonistic political discourse attributed to the theme of maltreatment of oppressed populations, attempts to refocus the discussion on the concept that these issues will never be addressed until we can set aside the hate and address the root causes to the circumstances. Even before the release of this movie the discourse took a sharp turn toward accusation, animosity, and deflection to political agendas, rather than a willingness to listen, debate, and work toward a solution. The seeming unwillingness of leaders, formal and informal, or a suppression of voices of reason to see this as an opportunity to resolve societal ills only encourages greater fragmentation of values and morals and bolster fanatical perspectives.
  • The seemingly burgeoning human rights atrocities propagated by war, conflicts, political unrest, crime, and what seems to be an increase in religious, racial, and ethnic contention throughout our global society has had the effect of stoking the dormant fears we have of the unknown and averted our attention from the value of service to others. Rather than meeting to address a distressed circumstance that may have displaced a group of people from another part of the globe or even near our borders, the divisive rhetoric has once again embraced the discourse of fear and hate and displaced our values for human rights. This continuing discourse of fear and hate has handicapped our societal value system and disabled the ability of our leadership construct from acting in the interest of the natural rights of all humans.
  • Fanaticism and extremism have been terms copiously alleged from all parties, viewpoints, belief structures, as well as pundits, politicians, and from organizational platforms. The accusatory use of these terms toward opposing perspectives propagates the hate language and affects a climate of division and conflict. De-escalation of of this divisive rhetoric and realignment of societal and political discourse based on the values of respect, honor, and integrity, which are arguably the cornerstones of our constitutional foundations, must be achieved to combat the perception of fascism and engender the concept of democracy.

As a father and grandfather, as an educator and education leader, as a veteran and current member of the armed forces … I beseech my fellow American, my fellow human, to take a moment to reflect on the discourse we are involved and assess whether values are being compromised. I am not asking to set aside your beliefs and passions, rather to guide the discourse we have in a manner that values our neighbors, our communities, nation and global society.

Reflecting on what I can do to alleviate these concerns, even within my own small community, I know that I can affect change in one certain way … I can pledge my personal attention to equitable discourse.

  • I will honor your voice
  • I will express myself with respect
  • We will find a solution that reflects our integrity

 

Sarasota Military Academy Announces 2018 Wreaths Across America Campaign

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local public charter school, recently announced the 2018 SMA Wreaths Across America Campaign through a partnership with Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit that aims to remember fallen U.S. veterans, honor those who serve and teach children the value of freedom.

“In 2009, Sarasota Military Academy staff, cadets and families introduced the Wreaths Across America campaign to our community, and we are incredibly proud to continue this tradition at the Sarasota National Cemetery,” said SMA-MAJ C.J. Bannister, Sarasota Military Academy Foundation, Inc. Chief Development Officer. “As a veteran, the mom of a cadet attending SMA, and a proud supporter of this event, it’s incredible to see the involvement and passion of the cadets throughout this campaign. This partnership is ideal as the mission of Wreaths Across America perfectly aligns with the mission at SMA, and it is an incredible learning experience for all involved.”

During the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Sarasota National Cemetery, SMA cadets and community members participate in honoring veterans and remembering their sacrifices and service. Through partnerships with other schools and organizations throughout Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties, this campaign has been led by SMA cadets, staff and their families since the Sarasota National Cemetery opened in 2009.

“There are approximately 13,000 gravesites at the Sarasota National Cemetery and we are proud to be involved in this annual campaign to cover as many gravesites as possible,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “When you sponsor a wreath, not only are you helping us honor our local resting veterans while teaching our cadets about those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, you are also supporting SMA and our cadets and staff.”

The annual campaign yields back five dollars to SMA for each wreath sponsored, and fundraising dollars support cadet extra-curricular activities for both Academy middle school (Prep) and high school cadets. Sponsorships and donations will be accepted until Tuesday, November 20, 2018 and the 2018 Wreaths Across America Ceremony will take place on December 15, 2018.

To donate to the 2018 SMA Wreaths Across America Campaign, or to learn more about SMA’s involvement in this organization, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/support-sma/wreaths-across-america.  

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

 

Diversity at SMA

Friends and Families,
This past week has been at the least interesting, and at the most – nearly – divisive. This week the leadership with the Sarasota County Schools released a document providing their guidance for gender diverse populations. Please understand that these are not policy, but rather a guiding document for schools to refer. I would like to set all of your minds at ease by expressing the following guidance from the SMA Leadership Team:
  • First and foremost, ALL cadets, regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, gender and gender orientation, age, disability, marital status, and sexual orientation are valued as members of our community and will be treated with RESPECT.
  • Any type of harassment will not be tolerated, and any accusations of harassment should be reported immediately.
  • Sharing of personal cadet information is a violation of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.
With these understandings in place, and under the guidance of best practices and policies, the accommodations to be implemented in the case of gender diverse cadets are based on case by case circumstances by a team that considers the health, wellness, and academic success of all cadets impacted.
  • Gender diverse refers to the social construct that may include gender identity and gender expression.
  • The determination of accommodations for the gender diverse cadet will be determined by a team that includes the cadet, administration, parent/guardian, counseling, and an advocate if requested.
  • A plan will be developed that meets the privacy needs of the gender diverse cadet, as well as all cadets.
  • Uniforms will be issued to match the most consistently identified gender identity as determined by the team. This guideline is supported by JROTC protocol.
  • Restroom use will be determined and agreed upon by the team to ensure privacy and comfort levels of all cadets. There are multiple types of restrooms on each campus, to include; single use and traditional with multiple private stalls. These restrooms are for the use of all cadets, but if your cadet has a legitimate privacy concern, the use of the single use restroom may be made available at administration’s discretion. Any cadets have concerns for their own privacy should speak first with the Teacher, and any accommodations will be approved by administration.
  • Locker Rooms use will be determined and agreed upon by the team to ensure privacy and comfort levels of all cadets. Each locker room has privacy options available, and the scheduled use of locker rooms can be arranged to address any privacy concerns. Any cadets have concerns for their own privacy should speak first with the Teacher, and any accommodations will be approved by administration.
I cannot stress enough that each individual within our SMA family must at all times be treated with respect, as this is a foundational value of who we are. I fully trust the integrity of our cadets, staff, and faculty to value every individual and provide them with this respect. If you have any follow up questions or concerns, I would be happy to meet with you. Please feel free to email me at fred.fout@oursma.org, or make an appointment through the front office to meet with me.
Respectfully,
SMA-LTC Frederick T. Fout
Head of School

SMA Cadets Plan Community Holiday Family Mini Session Photo Fundraiser

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) invites the public to a Holiday Family Mini Session Photo Fundraiser on Saturday, November 10, 2018 from 10am to 4pm at the SMA high school campus, located at 801 N. Orange Avenue in Sarasota, and 10am to 4pm at the SMA Prep middle school campus, located at 3101 Bethel Lane on Fruitville Road in Sarasota.

All proceeds raised during the fundraiser will be used to purchase new campus digital cameras for cadets to use for yearbook and digital imaging and photography classes. Photo sessions will be 30 minutes each and each session will cost $50. All photos will be captured by cadets enrolled in photography courses taught by SMA Captain (CPT) Samantha Miller, and participants will receive 5 edited photos from their session.

“When our students were brainstorming ways to raise money to buy new cameras for our photography classes, this fundraiser immediately stood out,” said SMA-CPT Samantha Miller, Sarasota Military Academy photography teacher. “We are excited to help our cadets practice their skills while bringing a unique fundraiser to our community.”

The public is asked to pre-register through the SMA website and attendees are encouraged to dress up in festive attire as the background themes will be Holiday inspired; standard backdrops are available upon request. Pets are welcome and a variety of photo backdrops will be available.

“Our cadets are excited to host holiday photo sessions for families and friends throughout the community,” said SMA-MAJ C.J. Bannister, Sarasota Military Academy Foundation, Inc. Chief Development Officer. “Our cadets in our photography classes asked for new cameras and when asked about a creative way to raise money, they collaborated on ideas and came up with this fundraiser. Not only are we helping our cadets provide a service to their community, but they are also practicing their craft while learning how to raise funds and budget for tools they need to succeed.”

To register for a photography session and support the cadets at Sarasota Military Academy high school and middle school campuses, please visit https://bit.ly/2OTwHS8.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visithttp://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Bullying Prevention Awareness Campaign

Middle school can be a difficult time for students to be different or stand out from their peers.  Yet this is exactly what SMA Prep cadets are doing by using their talents to “Rise Above” the negatively and set an example with their bullying prevention campaigns.

IMG_1274With almost 80 students submitting their ideas in a creative message, the #PreventBullying campaign is spreading across the campus.  “The intent was to get students to think about their actions and responses to each other”, explained Major Becky Morris, Assistant Head of School.

SMA Prep Cadet Jonathan Van Beuren received first place for his artwork in the anti-bullying banner contest and was congratulated for his powerful message, “Rise Above” during  #BullyingPrevention month.  His artwork will be displayed as the SMA Prep Facebook Profile picture and enlarged into a banner for display around campus.

Tying for second place were designs by Anais Zambaux and Peter Van Beuren.  Third place (shown with SMA-CPT Audrey Benitez) was #anti-bullying banner by Martha Cheno Jauregui.

Thank you to our counselors, SMA-CPT Audrey Benitez and SMA-CPT Dianne Sacchetti, for sponsoring this contest and dedicating their time to get the word out to #StopBullying.  Also, many thanks to SMA Prep teachers Laura Victore and Gregg Hermann for their support and encouragement.

You can help spread the word by sharing the post on your Facebook or Instagram accounts or making “Rise Above” your cover image.  Thanks for helping us share the #StopBullying message!

Sarasota Military Academy Cadets Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

Cadets at Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local public charter school, have formed organizations and planned events to recognize and honor Hispanic and Latino community, culture and heritage. The staff and high school cadets have planned a celebration on October 15 in recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which began September 15 and ends October 15.

Sarasota Military Academy Prep middle school cadets and staff will host a celebration recognizing Hispanic Heritage month for cadets and families on October 18 from 6pm to 7:30pm.

“We are proud to celebrate our diverse culture every day at SMA, but we appreciate opportunities throughout the year to pay special attention to heritages that impact and strengthen the lives of our cadets and staff,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “We strive to ensure that each campus organization brings something unique to our SMA community and encourages cadets of all backgrounds to appreciate and understand the importance of unity, diversity and culture.”

The UnidosNow SMA high school chapter began last year through a partnership with UnidosNow, a local non-profit with a mission to elevate the quality of life of the growing Hispanic/Latino community through education, integration, and civic engagement. UnidosNow is currently located at the Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center in Sarasota.

In September, high school cadets and staff founded a second organization: Aspiring Latinos Achieving Success (ALAS) in response to a need to engage Hispanic/Latino cadets, and their families, in order to overcome barriers and connect as a school community.

“Both groups, the SMA UnidosNow chapter and the newly-formed ALAS pilot club, have been helpful in providing cadets with access to information and resources to achieve success,” said Dr. Catherine Rodriguez, Sarasota Military Academy Assistant Head of School . “In our efforts to provide opportunities for engagement and connection within our Academy, our intention is to create a culture of lifelong learning and excellence in academics and decorum in response to a growing population of cadets from a variety of cultures.”

To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

 

PHOTO ID: SMA-LTC Cathy Rodriguez and Luciana Meadows-Marques (back row, L to R) with Sarasota Military Academy high school cadets

 

Sarasota Military Academy IB Program Plans International Heritage Week

Sarasota Military Academy, a local public charter school, recently announced plans for the Academy’s first International Heritage Week, scheduled for December 3 through 7, 2018, at the Sarasota Military Academy high school campus.

The International Heritage Week celebration is a campus-wide event that aims to provide the academy with a unique platform to appreciate, recognize, celebrate and acknowledge diversity within the campus and the community.

“In 2015, Sarasota Military Academy was authorized as an IB Diploma Program World School. Our Prep campus is a certified IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) and we are incredibly proud to be the only military academy in the state with this distinction,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “Through the IB Programmes, our staff and cadets have the ability to collaborate on events such as the International Heritage Week, which helps us celebrate and recognize the importance, creativity and vital diversity that our academy is proud to honor within our community.”

During International Heritage Week, cultures and traditions from various populations will be featured, including Latina, American Indian, Chinese, Irish, Asian and Ukrainian heritage.

“Several of the specific cultures we will be highlighting were chosen to represent the diversity we have within our very own campus, our staff and cadets,” said SMA-LTC Pamela Donehew, Sarasota Military Academy Director of Literacy and IB Program Coordinator. “Teachers are provided with materials specific to their content areas to support their curriculum while aligning with the goals of International Heritage Week. In addition, cadets will form committees to promote and design the week-long celebrations, and they will lead the daily focus of events. It is incredibly important that our cadets take an active role in understanding diversity and finding ways to appreciate and celebrate what makes our community strong.”

The Sarasota Military Academy Prep middle school campus is a full IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Academy’s high school campus enables cadets to participate in IB, dual-enrollment or additional programs of their choosing.

To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

 

Sarasota Military Academy Partners with Nonprofits for Hurricane Victims Donation Drive

Cadets at Sarasota Military Academy, a local public charter school, recently announced a donation drive partnership with Paws and Warriors and Camp4Heroes to collect non-perishable supplies to benefit victims of Hurricane Florence.

Beginning Wednesday, September 26 through October 4, Sarasota Military Academy’s high school and middle school campuses will be collection points for supplies that will be delivered to Camp4Heroes and Paws and Warriors to be distributed to first responders and displaced community members in North Carolina.

Donations will be collected at the Sarasota Military Academy high school campus, located at 801 N. Orange Avenue in Sarasota, during the week between the hours of 2pm and 3:30pm,  and at the Sarasota Military Academy Prep middle school campus, located at 3101 Bethel Lane in Sarasota, from 4pm until 6pm.

“As always, we are incredibly inspired by our cadets and their ability to get involved and mobilize when an important cause arises,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “SMA cadets and staff are proud to partner with Paws and Warriors, Camp4Heroes and to ease some of the burdens caused by Hurricane Florence. Our thoughts are prayers are with the victims and their families, and we are honored to have the opportunity to send relief to those who need it most.”

Cadets and staff began raising awareness of the donation drive by posting a video on social media, along with a list of non-perishable items requested for the hurricane and flooding victims.

SMA joins the efforts of organizations including Paws and Warriors, Hideaway Storage and Camp4Heroes through the “Operation Call to Action” initiative. Camp4Heroes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to create a place of tranquility, relaxation, learning and rebuilding for veterans and first responders. To learn more about Camp4Heroes and Hurricane Florence Relief Efforts, or to find a list of non-perishable supplies, visit https://camp4heroes.org/florence.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

 

Dr. McElheny elected to Sarasota Military Academy Board of Directors

Sarasota Military Academy, a local public charter school, recently announced the addition of Dr. Thomas J. McElheny to the Sarasota Military Academy Board of Directors.

Dr. McElheny is the founder and CEO of The ChurchPlaza Companies, a major Faith Market brand that provides capital goods and services to churches and synagogues both domestically and internationally. With a background in education and military service, Dr. McElheny brings relevant experience and a lengthy list of community involvement.

“We are proud to announce the addition of Dr. Thomas J. McElheny to our established Sarasota Military Academy Board of Directors,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “We are positive that he will have a great impact as his record in our community speaks for itself. Thank you to Dr. McElheny for your involvement and interest in having a major role in the lives of our staff, parents and future leaders.”

Dr. Mcelheny will serve alongside board members including Chairman Herb Jones, Vice Chairman F. Steven Herb, Esq., Secretary Colonel (Ret) Benjamin M. Knisely, Treasurer Kimball Bobbitt, Audit Committee Chair Carter Donovan, Linda Long, Rear Admiral (Ret) Thomas Logan Malone, Ed.D., and Dr. J. Robert Parkinson.

A captain in the United States Marine Corp, Dr. McElheny served for seven years and received the Bronze Star with valor device, Combat Action Ribbon and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for actions in Vietnam, in addition to other awards and distinctions.

Dr. McElheny previously held office as a member and chairperson of the Sarasota County School Board and as a trustee of New College, Lycoming college and numerous university and college advisory boards including Eckerd College and The University of Tampa. He received his MBA and Doctorate degrees in Education from Florida Atlantic University (FAU), where he also held the title of Director for the FAU Center for Management and Professional Development.

To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

 

Sarasota Military Academy Announces 2018 – 2019 Inspire Project Speaker List

Sarasota Military Academy, a local public charter school, has released a list of celebrity guests and industry experts scheduled to present during the annual “Inspire Project” curriculum, a program created by Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) teacher Todd Brown, PhD.

The lineup of speakers for the 2018 – 2019 academic school year includes platinum-selling, multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM Award-winning vocalist, Emmy Award-winning and Best-Selling author Trisha Yearwood, who spoke to cadets on August 16, 2018, Time Magazine’s Person of the Year and Most Influential People in the World Dr. Pardis Sabeti, award-winning photographer and artist Erik Jacobs, 2nd ranked female on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior in the World Barclay Strong and Somalia refugee and critically-acclaimed author Abdi Nor Iftin, among others.

“Each year, the Inspire Project continues to bridge the gap between successful individuals and our SMA cadets, showing them what is possible and how to collaborate with others to have a positive impact,” said Sarasota Military Academy Teacher Todd Brown, PhD. “Through the Inspire Project, we can work together to empower students, foster change, and allow the future to begin now by adapting our unique experience and lay the groundwork for change together.”

Brown was recently invited to speak at the 2018 AdvancED Global Conference in Cairo, Egypt and Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, and he was nominated for the CNN Heroes award by Harvard University. He created Project Inspire in 2016 and has secured grants from L’Oréal, Voya, Florida IB, and his local school district. Brown has collaborated with Harvard, MIT, Discovery and Travel Channel, as well as multiple contacts around the world including Canada, Israel, France, Ireland, Tanzania, Uruguay, Iran, and he, was recently named to the Advisory Board to Faulu Academy in Kenya, Africa.

“There are many initiatives and programs that set Sarasota Military Academy apart in our community,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “One such program is the Inspire Project, carefully and thoughtfully created by Todd Brown. His vision has grown to not only fuel the imaginations of our cadets but also show them a world where anything is possible through collaboration, hard work and the ability to look for opportunities in every situation.”

To learn more about the Inspire Project or view a list of past or planned speakers and appearances, visit http://theinspireproject.us/. To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

 

Local Students Receive National Recognition in Athletic Shooting Competitions

Mary Tucker and Kinga Aletto, Sarasota Military Academy cadets from the graduating class of 2018, have recently earned recognition for their talents in national shooting competitions, including the 2018 ELEY high school All-American team and the 2018 American Legion National Championships competition.

SMA senior Mary Tucker earned a spot on both the The 2018 ELEY high school All-American smallbore team and the 2018 ELEY high school All-American air rifle team, marking her as the first and only All-American in any sport in Sarasota Military Academy history. ELEY, a leading British engineering company, hosted the top junior shooters in the US at the USA Shooting National Championships in June.

Kinga Aletto, a senior at SMA, was only one of 15 in the country to receive a spot at the 2018 American Legion National Championships in Colorado at the Olympic Training Center held in July. During the competition, she finished third overall in standing and seventh in the country. Aletto is the first SMA cadet to compete at this level and the first to receive a rifle scholarship to compete at the University of Nebraska where she will attend college.

“Since 2005, our cadets have earned various state and regional championship titles and currently, our team is in the top 5 throughout the country,” said SMA SFC Riess Pellegrino, Leadership Education Training (LET) 2 instructor and rifle team coach. “Our rifle team is incredibly talented and competitive, and our cadets use their skills as a motivator to work even harder in school. We enjoy being able to recognize our talented, hard working cadets and show them that anything is possible with patience, practice and determination.”

Over the summer, 8 cadets from SMA traveled to Camp Perry in Ohio with SMA SFC Riess Pellegrino, Leadership Education Training (LET) 2 instructor and rifle team coach, to compete in the Advanced Standing Camp, which began after the CMP National Championships. The SMA team finished in the top 10 out of 55 teams on both days of the competition, which pulls clubs and teams throughout the country.

“We are incredibly proud of our recent graduates, and these young ladies are no exception. SMA is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of our cadets and athletes – we are always impressed by their vigor, tenacity and their ability to set and exceed goals,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “Congratulations to our cadets and athletes on your well-deserved achievements; we are excited to see what great things you’ll continue to do in our community.”

To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

 

Lowe Morrison Joins Sarasota Military Academy Foundation Board

Lowe Morrison, Managing Principal for Sabal Trust, has recently joined the Sarasota Military Academy Foundation Board of Directors. Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) established the SMA Foundation in 2017 to support the academy in an effort to obtain state of the art facilities and the best technology available for cadets and staff.

“While the Sarasota Military Academy Foundation is new to our Academy, we are thrilled to have such a great board of directors involved and excited about the many opportunities for growth, development and community impact,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “Mr. Morrison is an incredible addition to the SMA Foundation Board and we are excited to have their support, passion and resources as we work towards our mission of molding our next generation of leaders and change makers.”

Members of the Sarasota Military Academy Foundation Board of Directors currently include Chairman Lieutenant General (Ret) Howard G. Crowell, Jr., Vice Chairman Herb Jones, Treasurer Captain (Ret) Frederick M. Derr, Secretary F. Steven Herb, Esq., Alexandra Quarles and Lowe Morrison.

Morrison is the Immediate Past Chairman of the Mote Marine Laboratory Board of Trustees and a trustee of the Frank E. Duckwall Foundation. He holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Designation and is a member of the CFA Institute.  

To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

SMA Receives $10,000 Grant from Gilbert Waters Charitable Fund

Sarasota Military Academy, a local public charter school, recently received a $10,000 grant from the Gilbert Waters Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

Waters, who passed in January 2018, was involved in revitalization efforts for the Sarasota community and contributed to local efforts and foundations, including Sarasota Military Academy. Through the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Yale graduate and Navy veteran planned to use his legacy to focus on and financially assist institutions and nonprofit organizations with a mission of creating positive impacts on the community and developing future leaders.

“There are many incredible ways to describe Gilbert Waters, a man who had a hand in many of the reasons Sarasota is so well-renown. Navy veteran, developer, fundraiser, volunteer, advocate, pillar of our community – these are just a few of the titles he held, and that list doesn’t begin to scratch the surface,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “We are indebted to Mr. Waters and his generous donation to Sarasota Military Academy. To be included in his legacy is a great honor, and one that will ensure our cadets continue his mission of improving our community and country.”

Gilbert Waters and his legacy included time spent as a reporter for the Sarasota Herald Tribune, owning his own public relations company and as a founder of what is now FCCI Insurance. In addition to a lengthy list of civic engagement roles, including a seat with the City Commission, the Volunteer Architects Downtown Improvement Committee, Waters was also instrumental in the development of the Ringling Bridge.

To learn more about the Gilbert Waters Charitable Fund, contact the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Military Academy High School Hires New Head of School

Sarasota Military Academy has recently hired Fred Fout to serve as the Head of School for the Sarasota Military Academy High School campus located at 801 North Orange Avenue in Sarasota, Florida.

“When we began the process of selecting a new Head of School for Sarasota Military Academy High School campus, we were thrilled to find many qualified candidates, and ultimately selected Fred Fout,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “Not only does Mr. Fout have an extremely diverse and extensive background in the education system, but he is also a veteran who will bring a new, fresh perspective to our Academy that will delight our cadets, parents and community partners.”

Fout recently served as the Shonto Elementary (pre-K through 8th grade) School Principal in Arizona on the Navajo Nation. Mr. Fout is also a veteran of the Afghanistan Campaign, where he worked as a U.S. Army Civil Affairs Team Sergeant rebuilding schools, health clinics, women’s economic empowerment projects, and mentoring elected and appointed host government leadership. An active member of the Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol, he is noted as the founding commander of the Bahe Ketchum Navajo Code Talker Composite Squadron 211 on the Navajo Nation.

“I am honored to begin this new journey with Sarasota Military Academy, and I am excited to join such a prestigious group of faculty, staff and cadets,” said Frederick Fout, Sarasota Military Academy Head of School. “This is the perfect opportunity  to combine my experience in the Armed Forces and knowledge gained throughout my 19-year career in education in a way that will bring even more value to this community.”

Mr. Fout has been a K-12 Principal, pre-K-8 Principal, Middle School Language Arts, and High School Language Arts teacher. An avid outdoorsman and photographer, Fout can often be found hiking, swimming, and camping with members of his family. He began his new role in June 2018 to prepare for the 2018 – 2019 school year. To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Sarasota Military Academy enlists local veteran to head newly-formed Foundation

Sarasota Military Academy has recently hired C.J. Bannister, a local veteran, to lead the newly-formed Sarasota Military Academy Foundation, Inc. as its Chief Development Officer.

“We are extremely proud to have C.J. Bannister as a part of our team at Sarasota Military Academy,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “While our parents and students are well-aware of our mission and what we are able to do as an Academy, we are excited to have C.J.’s energy, experience and passion as she helps us develop our Foundation to solidify SMA’s legacy and longevity in this community.”

In this new role, Bannister will focus on strategy, planning and administration duties for the Foundation in addition to recognizing fundraising, major gifts and planned giving opportunities. Previously, Bannister worked for a local non-profit organization where she led efforts to provide services to veterans as they faced barriers to employment.

“It has been my honor to serve other veterans in this community through a variety of facets, and I am proud to lead the new Sarasota Military Academy Foundation,” said C.J. Bannister, Sarasota Military Academy Foundation, Inc. Chief Development Officer. “As someone who has served in the Armed Forces and in the local development community, I have a unique perspective on how we can continue to produce leaders through the academy, through our innovative programs and with the help of local partners.”  

After graduating from high school, Bannister joined the United States Air Force and served as a Crew Chief, then moved into training as a Paralegal and worked with Judge Advocate General Corps, commonly known as JAG, for the remainder of her time in the Armed Forces. She earned the rank of Staff Sergeant along with many notable awards and medals until she ended her military career in 2001. Before joining the nonprofit and development industry, Bannister worked as a financial advisor, and she has continued her community involvement and volunteers with a variety of local organizations.

To learn more about the Sarasota Military Academy Foundation, Inc., or any of the programs at Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/. To contact C.J. Bannister, email CJ.Bannister@ourSMA.org.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.