BY MARCY SHORTUSE - Four tassels were turned on Thursday, May 23, as Luke Crosser, Dafne Garcia, Abigail Turner and Jake Van Atten graduated from fifth grade and from The Island School.
Prior to their commencement ceremony the four, with the help of others, did a “dramatic statues” and chant performance. Afterward, the third, fourth and fifth graders all participated in a song called “Flip Flop,” written and produced by TIS music teacher Diana Donlon.
View More images >>The kindergarten class then sang “Little Red Caboose” and “Hand Held Fingers Thumb” by Dr. Suess, and the first and second graders performed “Boomp Bop,” also written and produced by Donlon.
As a final performance, grades first through fifth sang “This Land is Your Land.” Then, while the fifth graders ran backstage to don their caps and gowns, grades first through fourth sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” dedicated to all of those in the audience who had served in America’s Armed Forces.
After graduation announcements were made and diplomas were handed out, students sang “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Edelweiss” and “So Long, Farewell.”
All TIS students and their families then went to a lunch that was held at and sponsored by The Gasparilla Inn & Club.
When the doors open next fall at TIS, 37 students will be crossing the threshold. So far there are nine kindergarten students registered, five second graders, seven third graders, three fourth graders and four fifth graders.
This year, 30 students attended the school.
Anyone who is interested in having their child attend TIS, a free Lee County charter school, can contact the school at 964-8016, or email email@example.com.
This was the first year at TIS for Jean Thompson, the new head of school. She replaced Rosa Ramos, who returned home to Puerto Rico to be with family and to pursue her own teaching endeavors.
She was tearful as the graduation exercises wrapped up, and the children and their families all went their separate ways for summer break.
“Children are so insightful and amazing,” she said. “Having the opportunity to work with them and watch them grow is a privilege, and brings me such joy each day. I was so excited when I was offered the position as Head of School, I could hardly contain myself. As my first year comes to an end, I find myself even more excited and energized now that I know The Island School students and the Boca Grande community. I still have a lot to learn, but learning is one of those life-long journeys.
“I can’t begin to express the gratitude I feel for all the support I have had this year. Everyone from the staff and parents to The Island School Board and Foundation, as well as the community at large, has been so welcoming and supportive. I am honored and blessed to be part of The Island School and am looking forward to many, many more wonderful years ahead.”
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