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Island School Grads of 2024 tell of their future plans

May 23, 2024
By Staff Report

Each year, the fifth graders at The Island School write of their favorite moments at the school, and their future plans, just before graduation. Below, our graduates: 

Sophie Benson

I was very fortunate to have gone to this amazing school, especially starting in kindergarten. Although it is sad to leave The Island School, I’m looking forward to a good new chapter in my life. My advice to next year’s 5th graders is to always pay attention and be respectful and kind to the teachers.

My favorite memory in the fifth grade was in science class where we did an experiment on friction on different surface areas. During English Language Arts I really enjoyed reading the novel Thunder Rolling In The Mountains by Scott O’Dell. In math class we learned a unit on multiplying fractions which I dearly enjoyed. The most important thing I will miss about this school is how bonded and friendly all of the students are.

Next year, I will be continuing my education at Sky Academy in Englewood. When I get older I dream of two career paths, a musician in the big city which is indeed my dream life style. I also take much interest in dermatology ‘cause I sure do have a love for my skincare!

If I could travel anywhere my choices would be Los Angeles because many artists live there and I can see the Hollywood sign. I would also enjoy visiting Paris to have a croissant under the Eiffel Tower, and to experience one of the biggest Dior stores in the world. All I can say to conclude is that The Island School is one of the best elementary schools in the world for multiple reasons. Lastly, I would like to thank my entire family for always supporting me throughout elementary school.  

Alex Benton

I have been a student at The Island School since kindergarten. I like coming to The Island School because it feels like home. My favorite memories in 5th grade were when we looked in microscopes and played jeopardy in science. In English Language Arts we learned about the Civil War and how the soldiers

lived back then. In math, we learned how to multiply fractions and how to use cross canceling. In 5th grade we had celebration lunches for people’s birthdays. On my celebration we had pulled pork sandwiches and soda. I will miss the teachers at The Island School because they taught us something in our life. In Ms. Rahal’s class we had “Rahal Bucks” that we earned. We even had to pay taxes.

I want to be in the Navy when I grow up because I want to honor my grandpa. And if I were to travel anywhere for a day I would want to go to NASA. I have been reading the series Diary of a Minecraft Zombie. I play videogames with friends, Marco and Bobby and we like to play games like Minecraft and Roblox.

 I was scared when we were doing finals for school. I had a good time at The Island School. 

Campbell Cole

I was born in the state of Indiana. When I was in second grade, we relocated to south Florida for my dad’s new job. After we moved, my mom soon found a new job in Boca Grande. Thanks to this job opportunity, I was able to attend The Island School, for elementary. I am extremely thankful to have attended The Island School for the past three years.

My favorite memory of The Island School is when Ms. Bengston scared us randomly during our independent “quiet” work time. She made all our hearts JUMP! I really enjoyed reading the book, Thunder Rolling in the Mountains, during Mrs. Brown’s class. In science, I loved looking under the microscopes and learning new topics with Mrs. Shirback. She is a really fun teacher!

To future 5th graders, make sure to listen to your teachers, respect them with kind hearts and also pay attention!

I will miss everything at The Island School! I’ll miss the kids, the teachers and car rides to and from school with my parents. I will dearly miss Ms. Bengston, Mrs. Shirback, Mrs. Brown, Ms. Rahal, Ms. Blalock and all the Specials teachers. I will remember you all as I enter 6th grade at Sky Academy in Englewood for middle school. 

I have two career paths I am interested in for my future. First, is becoming a gynecologist to help with women’s health. Next, is to be a professional volleyball player because I love the sport and it is one of my favorite hobbies! 

When it comes to traveling, I would love to go to Greece, London, Nashville and back home to Indiana. Greece is where my great great grandparents lived and it would be interesting to visit my family roots. London has great landmarks I would love to see such as Big Ben and Parliament. Nashville is on the list because obviously that’s where Taylor Swift lives. Indiana will forever be a place I call home and is always a great place to visit for a fun time with family and friends!

Thank you to my parents for supporting me through the fun and challenging times of school. I love you both so much. A big thank you to Mrs. Oliver for leading our school the past few years and to Officer Willy and Deputy Dave for always keeping our school safe! Thank you to everyone for allowing me to have a chance to experience and be a part of The Island School Family! 

Eleacea Karuzis

When I first set foot inside The Island School in first grade I knew immediately I was going to grow up there. These are some of my most valued and loved memories made here at the Island School: On my birthday my fifth grade class went on a field trip to L.A. Ainger to see what middle school will be like. Another memory is that we made prisms out of paper cubes in math class. I enjoyed the field trip to Dakin Dairy in fourth grade with the beautiful Ms. Rahal. We even got chocolate milk at the end of the field trip. I liked listening to read-alouds in Mrs. Brown’s class. And when we looked through telescopes in science class.

 Some advice to next year’s fifth graders is to pay attention in class, follow directions, and try your best. And the golden rule is: ALWAYS USE CAPITAL I’S IN MRS. BROWN’S CLASS. All jokes aside, I will miss all of my friends, teachers, projects, and fun field trips. I may not have a chance to do these wonderful things in middle school.

 I would like to either work at NASA or open my own reptile shop. Maybe even be a biologist. All three would be awesome if I can work different jobs on different days of the week. I have an interest in going to Japan to visit the Pokémon Café where they have all the cute treats made to look like 

Pokémon. I am currently reading a series called Wings of Fire, a series about dragons that I strongly recommend to next year’s fifth graders.

This has been a difficult year for me because my Yaya (grandmother) has passed away and will not get to see me graduate from The Island School and will not see me start middle school at L.A. Ainger. My “Yaya” has always supported me and loved me, she believed that I could achieve my goals and make my dreams possible.

Csenge Penszki

I am 11, turning 12 on January 2. I have a sister named Hanga, we have a dog named Coco (a German shepherd), a lovebird named Skittles, and many fish, with a snail. My sister and I don’t share rooms anymore, she is 12, and is starting 8th grade next year. I come from Hungary, I was born there and moved here when I was only one. My whole family is from Hungary, we speak Hungarian, at home, and with each other. I have a very strong passion for volleyball, and my love for it grows every day. I LOVE reading. My favorite series are, Wings of Fire and Survivors. One place I would like to visit is Hawaii because it is so full of beauty and upbeat moods (I also love its many islands). I want to be a lawyer, a volleyball player, and an author.

I came to The Island School in kindergarten and continued through fifth grade. I went to preschool on the island as well. My teachers are lovely. I love all of my fifth-grade teachers. I’m happy I got Mrs. Shirback for science as she was my first-grade teacher as well. I really liked Ms. Rahal as my fourth-grade teacher. I remember in Kindergarten we made gingerbread cookies with Mrs. O’Connor. I love her so much. Mrs. Angela and Mrs. Brianna are by far the best after school staff! The programs at The Island School are lovely. I love all the special memories.

I will be going to Sky Academy in Englewood next year, just like my sister. I hope that I will be able to play on their volleyball team.

My favorite thing about The Island School is probably all the friendly teachers, and the small numbers of students at the school. My favorite thing in fifth grade was the signs we made for the golf cart path. And our birthday celebrations. On my birthday I chose to have a wrap bar with all the trimmings. And our many fun science experiments, I can’t even choose one! I love driving onto Boca Grande, it is such a pretty island.

 My advice to the next fifth graders is behave and have fun. With that, you will make it through a great year. 

Olivia Rittinger

I’ve been at The Island School since Kindergarten. My favorite memories from 5th grade are: reading A River Between Us by Richard Peck, science experiments and looking under microscopes, and most of all I loved learning algebra. Something that always brightens my day is the way the board never cooperates with Ms. Bengtson, because laugh breaks during math are refreshing. Celebrations for our birthdays were really fun this year. Our teachers made us a breakfast taco bar for mine! One thing I’ll miss here (well not one I’ll miss everything but here are a few): All the staff, my bff’s!, along with all the support the staff and my besties give me!

When I’m older I would love to become a marine biologist, an actress, and an astrologer. Places I really want to go are Italy, France, Dubai, and Bora Bora. 

I have a passion for gymnastics and I’m going to nationals in summer. I love how my family and friends are always there for me during the rough times.

Next year I’ll be attending Sky Academy in Englewood. I’m extremely excited but I’m also nervous because it’s a big change. Some advice I’ll give to next year’s 5th graders is to not talk in class and turn-in and DO your homework. Some quotes I like are: “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.” Also, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

Aria Schork

My dad and my mom always tell me to do my very best, and that’s my goal every day! I love to play soccer, I play for the girls Venice Falcons. We have to travel for some of our games. I play right defender. I love to design homes and play outside with my friends and family. Also, I love sketching and painting!

 I started at The Island School in 1st grade and loved it so much my family wanted me to stay for next year. And here I am graduating 5th grade!!! Some of my favorite memories are, when we were guessing what was in the mystery bags in science, when Ms. Bengtson “fights” with the white board when she’s teaching math, and when the class listened to the book called The Unteachables by Gordan Korman in ELA class with Mrs. Brown. I’ll always remember 4th grade with the crazy Ms. B. and the awesome Ms. Rahal! I really enjoyed performing Native American Tales in Ms. Rahal’s 4th grade ELA class. The legend of the “The Cannibal Monster” from the Tlingit tribe is such a fun memory with my class!

My advice for the future 5th graders is sometimes it’s best just to stop talking and be respectful. And best of all have fun! I will miss how much fun we had every day, and my teachers.

 My future career path goal is to be an architect and run a family business. I really enjoy helping my dad with his business and want to carry on a family business when I am older. My dad, uncle and myself go to West Virginia to go side by siding, so I’m looking forward to another adventure soon! Of course, I always enjoy when my mom takes me shopping for girl time too! 

Next year I will be attending Student Leadership Academy on Venice Island. I’m excited and ready to start a new adventure in middle school. I hope I can make good friends just like my friends here!

Brielle Spurgeon

I was born in Florida, on August 17. I have two sisters, Ava and Cecilia (Cece) Spurgeon. I live with my Nana and my Pop Pop. I was five years old when I started Kindergarten at The Island School. The year was 2018.

My favorite memories from 5th grade were the birthday celebrations. On my birthday, I chose to have macaroni and cheese. It was very delicious! In math I learned the easy way to divide, and it helped me with division A LOT! In ELA, I read a book called The River Between Us and it was written by Richard Peck. When I read it, my class was learning about the Civil War. It was so good! In science I learned about the solar system and memorized the planets in the solar system in order!

Advice for next year’s 5th graders is to pay attention to the teachers and then you will get good grades. Also, do not sass the teachers! What I will miss from The Island School is all the teachers and my best friends. I will never forget all the memories I had at the school.

I want to be an engineer when I grow up because I want to build and create something that will make a positive impact on the world. I would like to travel to Italy to see where my family started! I would also really like to go to Paris. I have dreamed of going to Paris for a long time. I am very sad to be leaving The Island School, but the upside is that I live on island so I will be sure to visit The Island School a lot of times. I am excited to start my new adventure in middle school!

On Wednesday, May 29th, The Island School will be hold a golf cart parade to recognize their 5th-grade graduates. It begins at 11:45. See Ballyhoo for details.