TIS students head back to school Monday

August 21, 2015
By Marcy Shortuse

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – It was August 21, 2000 when The Island School opened its doors for the first time, with one classroom and 14 students in the Boca Grade Community Center. As the student population grew, so did the campus. Today’s Island School is housed in the current inviting, six-classroom building that was opened and dedicated in 2007.
This year, The Island School will welcome students on Monday, August 24 for the new 2015-2016 school year. This year will be the school’s busiest year yet, with 57 excited students filing through the door on the first day of school.
There will also be some new faces teaching in the classroom. This year Jesse “J.T.” Tremaine will be team-teaching third through fifth grades with another new teacher, Ms. Nicole Tillotson. Tillotson will focus on English and language arts while Tremaine will focus on the subjects of math and science.
“There are 26 students in third through fifth grade this year,” said Head of School Jean Thompson. “We will start the year with third graders in one group and fourth and fifth graders in another group. As the year progresses, the grouping will be flexible based on student needs.”
Tillotson attended Florida State University’s College of Education. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in English Education in 2004 and received a Master of Science in English Education in 2006. She has previously taught seventh grade language arts in Orange County Public Schools and second grade reading at Park Maitland School in Orlando.
In addition Tillotson has taught literature and composition as an adjunct instructor at the college level. This will be her tenth year in the classroom.
Tremaine, who has always had a keen interest in science, technology, engineering, and math, completed his teaching degree at Edison State College and graduated in 2014.
Before he began his teaching career, he worked in graphic design and information technology. He has experience as a substitute teacher in the Sarasota County Public School System, and he taught several science classes at The Island School last year (See Mr. Tremaine’s profile on page 3).
This year, Tremaine and Tillotson will teach nine students in third grade, eight in fourth grade, and 10 students in fifth grade. Megan O’Connor will be teaching eight students in the kindergarten class. Tammy Tieu will be teaching nine students in first grade, and Rebecca Blalock will be teaching 14 students in second grade.
Additionally, Kimberly Deins will be teaching Spanish and Diana Donlon will teach music. Karen Kelley, Jennifer Goslowski and Sarah Moore will be the school’s paraprofessionals, and Judy Still will continue on as the reading specialist.
Also, Kelley will oversee the Art classes and Goslowski will oversee Physical Education.
Angela Colosimo, who many know as the after school director, will now take on an additional role as administrative assistant.
The Island School faculty and staff are looking forward to a fantastic year!