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.

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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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/.

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/.

‘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/.

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/.

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/.

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/.

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/.

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/.

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/.

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/.

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/.

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

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/.

 

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/.

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 Graduates Accepted to Prestigious Military Academy

Four graduating students from Sarasota Military Academy have been accepted into the United States Military Academy, also known as West Point.

This year, 212 students graduated from Sarasota Military Academy, located in Sarasota Florida, and graduates Anastasia Osborne, Lauren McMahan and Alex Murphy were accepted into West Point Military Academy, along with classmate Davis Ullrich who graduated a year early, in 2017. In addition, 27 graduates announced their intent to enlist in various branches of the Armed Forces.

“This is an incredible honor and we couldn’t be more proud for our cadets as they prepare to embark on a great adventure,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “While we are aware that SMA produces leaders, and the talent and poise of our cadets is unmatched, we are always pleased to share such great news and wish them well as they continue to make us proud.”

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a public charter school and college preparatory academy, which includes a high school and a middle school (Sarasota Military Academy Prep). In 2017, the high school class had a 96.7% graduation rate, which is the second highest rate in the district. The class of 2018 also marks the second graduating class under the “IB World School” distinction, a process that graduates students as IB Diploma Candidates.

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/.

 

World Renowned Scientist, Dr. Pardis Sabeti Returns to Make Science Infectious for Prep Cadets

Dr. Sabeti returned again this year for another interactive session with SMA Prep cadets as part of The Inspire Project WebEx speaker series. The Q and A with cadets was timed to coincide with “Outbreak” a unique infectious disease outbreak simulation that has become a student-driven event and a campus highlight for 4 years running. This year’s simulation received extra support after Dr. Sabeti received one of ten L’Oréal “For Women in Science” grants and teamed with SMA Prep.

Many cadets were curious about Dr. Sabeti’s views on failure and success. Her advice for the short-term was to “deal with failure by going through the emotions,” however, long-term you have to remember you are going somewhere bigger then you may be able to see now. She also reminded cadets that as a scientist most of her days are filled with failures. “Science is a continuous disappointment. It’s a career that is made on the few times you succeed but most of your work are failures.”
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Survivorman, Les Stroud, Celebrates Nature with Evening of Songs and Storytelling

The seasoned musician and real-world survivalist, Les Stroud, inspires with an evening of songs and storytelling through original music and video imagery that creates an intimate and profound call to get back to nature for music and nature lovers alike. This dynamic concert is a culmination of Les’ passions: adventure, nature, music, and performing. His music has influences from roots/blues, folk, and rock. Along with guitar and piano, Les is well-known for his exceptional harmonica playing.

Les comes to Sarasota having been with Sarasota Military Academy Prep’s The Inspire Project as a guest speaker for the past 2 years. For this year’s initiative Project Earth, Les will be on the SMA Prep campus connecting cadets with nature and teaching survival skills. He wraps up his visit in concert 8-10 p.m. on Saturday at Bayside Community Church East Campus.

ShelterBox USA will also be on hand that evening showcasing their emergency shelter to create awareness about their global effort to provide shelter and tools for those who have been displaced by natural disasters or conflicts. Les partners with ShelterBox in Canada and it is exciting to have connected with such an impactful organization locally through their Sarasota location.

Survivorman Songs and Storytelling 8-10 p.m.; Saturday, April 21 at Bayside Community Church East Campus, 8200 Bee Ridge Rd, Sarasota $20; sarasotamilitaryacademy.org 

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy Prep is a public charter, middle school, and high school located 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 Survivorman, Les Stroud

Les Stroud has made a powerful name in the world of documentary filmmaking, indeed starting an entirely new genre of TV, yet he comes by his music honestly. Since the age of fourteen Stroud has been writing songs and studying musically. By age 23 his music was being shopped to the likes of Bruce Springsteen and he was a published songwriter with RCA/BMG music. Taking a break from music to concentrate on outdoor adventure throughout the mid 80’s and early 90’s Stroud eventually returned to his first love when he found an old guitar in a house in Yellowknife, NWT in Canada, while he was dog sitting 30 Inuit sled dogs (go figure!). He re-ignited his passion for music creation and picking up where he left off began writing again. He continued to write and record all through the inception and eventual success of filming the Survivorman TV series, which included writing the theme music for any documentary work he produced and releasing 4 CDs as well as performing hundreds of concerts (in between the Survivorman location shoots). lesstroud.ca/musician

About The Inspire Project 

Guest speakers changing student lives 30 minutes at a time…  a simple, individual 30-minute video conferencing session by every age, walk of life and occupation that have followed their dreams and succeeded.  The session will take place one at a time at the choosing of the participant’s availability.  The series derives its strength from the people that provide inspiration for the young students to not only believe in themselves but in their dreams. To find out more about the 2017-18 Project Earth speaker series visit theinspireproject.us/project-earth

About ShelterBox

ShelterBox is a global organization made up of people who believe in shelter as a human right – that shelter from the chaos of disaster and conflict is vital. We put families first. The commitment of our supporters enables us to provide emergency shelter and tools for families robbed of their homes by conflict and natural disaster.  ShelterBox

SMA Prep Receives 14k in Education Foundation Grants!

SMA Prep did well this year receiving the Education Foundation’s school-wide $10,000 grant along with four $1,000 classroom grants!

SMA-MAJ Todd Brown, Individuals & Societies and Civics: The grant Project Earth received the $10,000 school-wide grant! SMA Prep was selected from 24 school-wide grant proposals. The Project Earth grant’s aim encompasses a school-wide effort towards Eco Certification that extends opportunities to all grades and subjects through embedded curriculum, field trips, and community outreach programs using the underpinnings of STEM and literacy as a driving force to improve SMA Prep’s carbon footprint and community outreach through involvement with local environmental public organizations. 

SMA-MAJ Billy Hodges, Design: “My grant is for the purchase of digital video cameras for the PREP World News program. These cameras will be used by our field news teams to interview sports team members and coaches, video highlights of football, basketball, and volleyball games, teachers and classroom events, school events (Outbreak and others), etc. Those interviews and clips will then be edited down to 30-45 second segments that will be incorporated into the daily live news show.”

SMA-CPT Pam Kok, Visual Arts:  “My grant is a Kickstarter grant called Figure it Out! We will be able to buy a classroom set of artist manikins so that each cadet can have one to use when learning to draw people.  Drawing the human figure is challenging, but very rewarding for young artists when they learn to draw realistic-looking people.  The wooden manikins will also be available for the design teachers when they create stop-action videos.”

SMA-MAJ Carol Pelletier, Language & Literature: “The grant is titled Got Books? The grant will support the purchase of a classroom library that includes nonfiction and fiction titles that are appropriate and interesting to middle school students. In addition, the titles that were selected will support the units currently taught in both 6th and 8th grade.”

SMA-MAJ Deb Walker, Design and AgriScience: “My grant is Decompo Depot. Cadets will grow mushrooms and set up earthworm farms. The project calls for dark spaces and it occurred to me I could use old files cabinets!”

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located 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 Project Earth

Project Earth is a student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school. To find out more about upcoming speakers go to Project Earth

Paul Molnar, One of a Few Remaining Holocaust Survivors, Shares His Personal Story

SMA Prep cadets experienced a profound, personal account of loss and luck from one of the few remaining Holocaust survivors, Mr. Paul Molnar. Mr. Molnar emphasized to the 8th-grade students, that he was 14 years old when the Germans occupied his Hungarian village on March 19th, 1944. “I was the same age as you are now when my life changed forever.”

As Mr. Molnar began to tell his story, cadets embarked on his precarious journey as he recounted his initial relocation to a Hungarian ghetto where anti-Jewish laws were established and he was required to wear the Jewish (Star of David) badge so he could be easily distinguished from others as a Jew. He described the cramped, unsanitary conditions being transported in a cattle car to an unknown destination that he would later learn was Auschwitz-Birkenau. “Many old people died and others lost their minds,” he said recalling his 3-day transport to the death camp.

fullsizeoutput_b08It was at Auschwitz where the sorting lines formed to the right and the left. His mother went to the right staying with his grandmother and little brother. While he and his cousin Otto went to the left. He reminded cadets, “I had no idea where we were or why.”

He would later notice four chimneys spewing ash into a summer sky. “What are they burning?” he asked a prisoner nearby. “It’s your family going up in smoke,” the stranger replied. He would never see his mother, grandmother or little brother again.

“5,000 a day in June of 1944… Auschwitz was built to be a killing machine,” Mr. Molnar stated without hesitation.

Another cattle car transport brought Mr. Molnar to the labor camp of Buchenwald where he believes he remained alive because of his youth, ability to work and also strokes of luck. “I survived not because I was a hero. That’s the way it was.”

Cadets listened intently to Mr. Molnar’s every word. SMA-Cadet Samantha Mast described the impact of his story. “I could feel how confused he must have been when he was younger; when he was our age.” SMA-Cadet Elise Dunn also expressed an emotional connection. “There are not a lot of people left that can tell their story. It was very special.”

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SMA-MAJ Pelletier, who is teaching Holocaust survivor literature to her 8th graders, was captivated listening to such an intimate recounting. “To listen to his story and see the cadets make specific connections to his powerful and personal story offers a unique, authentic and memorable experience.”

Mr. Molnar was told he was free on May 8th, 1945 finding himself along the Czech border and eventually preparing himself to return to his home in Hungary. He arrived at an empty house and later found out his father was at work and would be returning home. He never imagined he would see his father again. He would eventually learn that he lost 16 immediate family members.

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Members of Mr. Molinar’s family joined him. Two of his great-grandchildren are SMA Prep cadets, who he described as “the pleasure of my eye”.

Mr. Molnar told the cadets not to be a bystander when they hear racial or bullying remarks stating, “this is how something like this happens.” As he received a final thank you for his visit to SMA Prep, he said, “I need to do this, there aren’t many of us left.”

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located 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 Paul Molnar

Survivor/Camps: Ujpest (Hungary), Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Magdeburg, Berga

Born in 1929 in Ujpest, a suburb of Budapest, Hungary, Molnar was the older of two sons of a moderately wealthy Jewish man in the construction business. His life prior to World War II was quite normal. He attended public school, mixed with all kinds of children, and recalls very little anti-Semitism. Watch Mr. Molnar tell his story at Studies in the Holocaust with Paul Molnar, Holocaust Survivor

TV’s Survivorman, Les Stroud, Challenges SMA Prep Cadets to Connect with Nature

Award-winning producer, creator, and star of the hit TV series Survivorman , Les Stroud, challenged SMA Prep cadets to go outside and connect with nature. The adventure-seeking Stroud joined cadets across campus as part of the 2017-18 WebEx Speaker Series and campus-wide initiative Project Earth. Stroud is no stranger to SMA Prep having participated as a speaker in the 2016-17 Project Inspire. Cadets were delighted to listen to stories of survival, traveling the world and pursuing your passions.

Stroud began by discussing his current projects which include building his own television network SMTVnetwork.com. The network is an entertainment and educational resource to teach specific survival skills in authentic situations and environments all over the world. Stroud is also fulfilling his childhood dream of being a rock star. He recently released “an ambitious rock album called Survivorman’s Mother Earth featuring guest appearances by Slash and Steve Vai… focused on celebrating nature and connecting to the earth”. Whether as an author, filmmaker, activist, photographer or musician, one of the driving goals in all of Stroud’s pursuits is to connect people with nature.

Stroud recounted a recent run-in with a “playful” 400lb grizzly while on location for National Geographic as well as his most severe survival challenge occurring in Norway when he spent 10 days cold and wet developing Hypothermia. He made it clear to the cadets that “the cold is always the worst”.

SMA Prep cadets received a few well-grounded life lessons as well. Stroud responded to a question about dealing with stress and anxiety by stating, “calm down, catch your breath and consider zones of assessment… look at what you have to work with”. Start with your self, then your immediate surroundings and then further afield. When asked why he loved to travel so much, Stroud had a one-word answer, “perspective”. He went on to explain how he thrives on being somewhere different that changes how he sees the world and his place in it. One of his favorite places on earth is Peru.

Lastly, a question was asked about how to achieve success in life. Stroud did not hesitate as he responded, “engage in your own life and go after what you want to do… choose work that takes you where you want to go”.

This April, SMA Prep is looking forward to hosting Stroud, in person, on campus where he will walk cadets through an authentic, hands-on survival experience and he will also perform live for an evening of songs and stories at Bayside Community Church East Campus, 8200 Bee Ridge Rd Sarasota on Saturday April 21st, 8PM-10PM. Tickets are on sale at both SMA Prep and SMA High School. Tickets are $15 for SMA cadets and employees at both campuses and $20 to the public. For more information call 941-877-7737.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located 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 Project Inspire Guest Speaker Series

Guest speakers changing student lives 30 minutes at a time…  a simple, individual 30-minute video conferencing session by every age, walk of life and occupation that have followed their dreams and succeeded.  The session will take place one at a time at the choosing of the participant’s availability.  The series derives its strength from the people that provide inspiration for the young students to not only believe in themselves but in their dreams. To find out more about the 2017-18 Project Earth Speaker Series visit www.projectinspire.net/project-earth

About Survivorman, Les Stroud

Best known as the Canadian Screen Award-winning producer, creator and star of the hit TV series Survivorman (OLN Canada, The Science Channel US, Discovery Channel International, City TV (Rogers) Canada), Les Stroud is the only producer in the history of television to produce an internationally broadcast series entirely written, videotaped and hosted alone. With Les known as the original genre creator of ‘Survival TV’, Survivorman is one of the highest rated shows in the history of OLN Canada, the Science Channel US and Discovery Channel US and remains the highest-rated repeat show on the Discovery Channel. Survivorman is licensed for broadcast worldwide, with ratings in the US hitting 2 million on individual episodes. He has been nominated for 24 Canadian Screen Awards (formerly the Geminis) and has won for Best Writer (twice) and Best Photography. Visit www.lesstroud.ca for more information.

About Project Earth

Project Earth is an SMA Prep student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school.

SMA Prep Inspires with World Renowned Guest Speakers for Project Earth Initative

SARASOTA, FL. August 24, 2017Sarasota Military Academy Prep, a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership, is inspiring its cadets with a world-renowned speaker series. SMA Prep is promoting its campus-wide initiative Project Earth. The 2017-18 Project Earth Speaker Series line-up includes an array of world-renowned scientists, authors, and celebrities who offer SMA Prep cadets real-world exposure to changemakers who are positively impacting environmental issues on a global scale.

SMA Prep cadets interact with speakers through WebEx or in person and this year’s speakers include: Continue Reading

Data Scientist and Inventor, Dr. Radinsky, Wows SMA Prep Cadets With the Global Impact of Predicting the Future

Director of Data Science, IL Chief Scientist, eBay and Visiting Professor/Scientist, Technion, Dr. Kira Radinsky, enlightened a packed classroom of 60 fortunate cadets as part of SMA Prep’s Project Earth Speaker Series. Dr. Radinsky shared how her passion for prediction led her to create algorithms to tap into the human behavior underlying internet searching. Through a combination of questioning whether we can search to predict and a desire to automate causality and correlations, Dr. Radinsky, “developed algorithms that leverage web knowledge and dynamics to predict future events, that enable early warning of globally impactful events (e.g. riots or diseases) by spotting clues in past and present news reports”. (kiraradinsky.com)  

IMG_0394This phase of Dr. Radinsky’s career was spent understanding historical patterns and how they could predict the future. It was her creative use of algorithmic thinking that reaped the benefits of the computing ability to mine big data and to recognize the human fingerprints behind the internet searches around events. From tracing the steps of a historical Ebola outbreak to a volcanic eruption or predicting violent outbreaks that erupt within societies, Dr. Radinsky’s work is on target with the content and global concepts being investigated in 8th-grade Civics at SMA Prep.
Continue Reading

SMA Prep’s “OutBreak!” Receives Voya Unsung Heroes® Grant

SARASOTA, FL. August 24, 2017Sarasota Military Academy Prep, a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership, announced that SMA Prep has received the Voya  Unsung Heroes® Grant for 2017. SMA Prep was one of only 100 chosen for the $2,000 grant. Continue Reading

SMA Prep Cadet’s Art Makes a Big Splash at 2017 World Rowing Championships

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Sarasota Military Academy Prep is very proud to have SMA Prep-Cadet Adriana Chavez’s vibrant artwork on display at the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park! Adriana’s work is installed as an impressive 15 x 20 foot banner that conveys the themes of Portuguese culture and rowing.

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SMA-CPT Pam Kok invited 130 art and yearbook club students from SMA Prep to attend the World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park.  They were able to view artwork created by students from Sarasota and Manatee County, displayed to welcome the athletes from more than 70 countries participating in the event.  The Prep was asked to create a banner design for Portugal, and Adriana Chavez’s work was chosen.

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SMA-CPT Kok shared why this even was so worthwhile for her students. “Artwork created with a purpose and presented to welcome athletes from around the world shows the students what a goodwill gesture looks like. For the kids to see their peers celebrating each other’s art was very impressive”.

The cadets watched several rowing races from the grandstand. They waved flags and cheered enthusiastically for the U.S. men’s and women’s teams. Afterward, they toured the grounds, picked up some free souvenirs, and were entertained by some U.S. Servicemen who showed them some cool martial arts moves.  SMA Prep is very proud of the cadets who were respectful and well-behaved and represented our school positively while off-campus.

Many thanks to Embracing Our Differences, who sponsored the banners, buses, and our admission for the event. The program “envisions a world that embraces diversity, respects differences and actively rejects hatred and prejudice”.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located 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 Embracing Our Differences

Embracing Our Differences is a not-for-profit organization that uses the power of art and education to expand consciousness and open the heart to celebrate the diversity of the human family. It accomplishes this through an annual, large-scale outdoor juried art exhibition and a comprehensive series of educational initiatives, programs, and resources designed for teachers and students. To find out more visit www.embracingourdifferences.org

NASA’s “Growing Beyond Earth Challenge” Accepts SMA Prep In Study

SARASOTA, FL. September 27th, 2017Sarasota Military Academy Prep, a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership, announced that NASA has selected SMA Prep to participate with other middle and high schools in their “Growing Beyond Earth Challenge”. Continue Reading

Harvard Prof, Dr. Sabeti Teams with SMA Prep, Receives L’Oréal “For Women in Science” Grant

Sarasota Military Academy Prep (SMA Prep) will team up with Harvard Professor, Dr. Sabeti after she was awarded one of ten L’Oréal USA For Women in Science grants. The program announced the 10 winners of its Changing the Face of STEM (CTFS) mentoring grants. The projects awarded exemplify a broad range of activities and partnerships focused on mentoring and engaging girls and women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), from preschool to graduate school. The grants will help fund STEM programs throughout the country including in California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Utah.

“Inspiring the next generation of women in STEM is a key component of the For Women in Science program,” said Lauren Paige, Vice President of Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives at L’Oréal USA. “We are proud to build on this commitment through our Changing the Face of STEM grant program and support our fellows in their efforts to promote STEM education in communities across the country.”

Dr. Pardis Sabeti is a Professor at Harvard University and the Broad Institute and a 2004 (For Women in Science) FWIS Fellow

Dr. Sabeti is using the grant to help fund the integration of STEM technology into SMA Prep’s ‘Outbreak’ simulation, which takes a potential real-world outbreak scenario and guides several hundred students on how to respond, through coordination and community, teaching them science and public health in the process. The scenario will mimic the historical and contemporary spread of an infectious disease in which the various groups will have to work together against the clock to stop the contagion. As an advisor to the program and expert in the field, Dr. Sabeti will invite four outstanding SMA Prep cadets who participated in the simulation to visit her Harvard lab next spring.

SMA Prep is proud to be a part of this research as it also promotes a campus-wide initiative, Project Earth, that exposes cadets to authentic scenarios involving environmental science and the positive impact they can have on the world around them.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located 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 Dr. Pardis Sabeti

Dr. Pardis Sabeti is a Professor at the Center for Systems Biology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and the Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease at the Harvard School of Public Health. She is an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and a Howard Hughes Investigator. For more information visit www.sabetilab.org

About Project Earth

Project Earth is a student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school. To find out more about upcoming speakers go to Project Earth

About L’Oreal USA For Women in Science

The For Women in Science program was created out of a simple belief: the world needs science, and science needs women because women in science have the power to change the world. The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship program awards five women postdoctoral scientists annually with grants of $60,000 each for their contributions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and commitment to serving as role models for younger generations.  To learn more visit www.lorealusa.com

SMA Prep Mangroves are Centerpiece at Sarasota Bay Watch Fundraiser Event

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In April 2017, SMA Prep’s AgriScience teacher Deb Walker loaded her car with over 500 mangroves to deliver to the UF/IFAS Extension for the Sarasota County Arbor Day celebration! Her 6th-grade cadet assistants worked hard to get all of the propagules ready using recycled tennis ball containers to hold them with an attached info sheet on their care and about our school.

SMA-MAJ Walker has been working with Sarasota Bay Watch for years. The group contacted her requesting the mangroves be used in centerpieces at Sarasota Bay Watch’s 8th annual fundraiser – “Scallopalooza, It’s Clamtastic!” The event was held at the Sarasota Yacht Club Saturday evening.

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Last year, SMA-Maj Walker’s Agriscience classes started the SMA Prep Garden which now includes conventional raised beds and hydroponic systems. The garden has received numerous awards in this short time: Florida Agriculture in the Classroom (FAITC awarded the Prep Garden the “Golden Shovel Award” in 2016 for the BEST FIRST YEAR GARDEN (secondary schools) in the state of Florida.

A few weeks ago the National Wildlife Federation announced that the campus is a Certified Schoolyard Habitat, due to the biodiversity on the campus grounds. SMA-MAJ Walker has received numerous grants from such organizations as the Florida Farm Bureau, the FAITC, the Florida extension service, and the Education Foundation.

DID YOU KNOW MANGROVES:

  • Prevent erosion due to their strong roots securing the sand or dirt.
  • Provide nesting sites in their branches.
  • Have protective roots which provide shelter and act as a nursery to many organisms.
  • Use their roots to filter out dead organic matter from the water, keeping it clear.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located 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 Project Earth

Project Earth is a student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school. To find out more about upcoming speakers go to Project Earth

About Sarasota Bay Watch

Sarasota Bay Watch is a grass-roots, non-profit, citizen-based organization dedicated to preserving and restoring Sarasota Bay’s ecosystem through education and citizen participation. You can become an active participant by joining as a member and volunteering in Sarasota Bay Watch’s on-going effort to protect and restore this valuable natural resource. For more information visit www.sarasotabaywatch.org

Mote Scientist, Dr. Tracy Fanara, Challenges SMA Prep Cadets to Become Superheros for the Planet!

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Mote Marine Scientist, Environmental Engineer, and Science Communicator, Dr. Tracy Fanara, engaged a group of 200 eighth graders as part of SMA Prep’s Project Earth Speaker Series. Dr. Fanara kept her environmental call to action simple: “Learn something every day and teach something every day”.

The scientist shared her journey and emphasized how remaining curious, passionate and dedicated to her interests led to valuable discoveries, meaningful collaborations, and her dream job as Manager of the Environmental Health Research Program at the Mote Marine Laboratory. The program investigates the effects of marine and freshwater chemicals on public health. Beyond producing real-world solutions that improve public health, Fanara admits that being the program lead allows her the freedom to take her research in the direction she chooses. Continue Reading

UF Extension Service Donates Bounty of Seedlings to SMA Prep Garden

ifaslogoRepresentatives from the University of Florida Extension Service visited the SMA Prep Garden bringing many seeds and seedlings for the fall crop. Cadets planted soybeans, broccoli, corn, kale, cabbage, radishes, peas, beans, collards, and pollinators.

SMA-MAJ Deb Walker, the SMA Prep master gardener, spoke about why this is such an important resource for her 6th-grade cadets. “The University of Florida Extension Service is a huge supporter of school and community gardens. Twice a year, they bring seeds, seedlings and their amazing knowledge to the SMA Prep Garden to share with our cadets.”

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SMA-Cadet Tristan, a 6th grader, has shown great enthusiasm and pride in being a part of the SMA Prep Garden. “I really enjoy planting the seeds and watching the plants grow over time.” Tristan went on to say, “I help my grandmother with her garden and I am learning a lot that I can share with her”.

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SMA-MAJ Walker’s AgriScience IB MYP Design class is unique to SMA Prep and focuses on skill building, service learning, project-based learning and problem solving within the Design Cycle. The SMA Prep Garden won the Golden Shovel Award from the Florida Department of Agriculture in 2015-16 for Best First-Year Garden. The SMA Prep Garden is one of the inspirations for the campus-wide initiative #projectearth.

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Cadets will journal the progress of each plant until harvest time at the end of the semester. Cadets also get to take their harvest to market and sell their plants and herbs on campus to faculty, staff, and cadets. Cadets are exposed to the full process of what it means to grow your own food and provide it to the larger community. This awareness spreads throughout the SMA Prep campus.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located 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 Project Earth

Project Earth is a student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school. To find out more about upcoming speakers go to Project Earth

About UF IFAS Extension

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible. The Mission of UF/IFAS is to develop knowledge in agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge accessible to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. To find out more visit www.ifas.ufl.edu

Award-Winning Author, Carl Hiaasen Speaks to SMA Prep Cadets

Carl Hiassen, the award-winning author of popular novels for young readers, spoke to cadets as part of SMA Prep’s Project Earth WebEx Speaker Series. Mr. Hiaasen’s books were the focus of the summer reading program at SMA Prep. Cadets were excited to hear directly from an author who many cadets have read and enjoyed for years. The well-crafted questions asked by SMA Prep cadets sought to find out about the author’s approaches to writing, his commitment to the environment as well as being a native Floridian. Continue Reading

National Wildlife Federation Certifies SMA Prep as Schoolyard Habitat®

SARASOTA, FL. August 24, 2017Sarasota Military Academy Prep, a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership, announced that the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), has recognized that Sarasota Military Prep  in Sarasota, Florida has successfully created a Certified Schoolyard Habitat® through its Garden for Wildlife program. NWF is America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization. Continue Reading