Sunday, March 22, 2009

Today's Sun Herald

Wouldn't this be something? We don't want Denise to always be remembered as the young mother murdered in North Port but we do want her remembered! And we want her remembered as the woman who brought about positive changes in the 9-1-1 system and who brought a community together so remarkably.

Okay, I'm crying.

North Port school in search of a name

By TERRY O'CONNOR Correspondent

Published: Sunday, March 22, 2009 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, March 22, 2009 at 12:53 a.m.

NORTH PORT - The new $19 million elementary school in North Port is still in search of a name and input from prospective parents and students.


All meetings will be held at Toledo Blade Elementary School in North Port, 1201 Geranium Ave., portable room 846, unless otherwise noted. Spanish, Haitian Creole, Russian and Ukrainian interpreters will be available.

Times include:

March 24, family meeting, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

April 2, family meeting, 9:30 to 11 a.m.

April 14, PTO meeting, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

April 15, family meeting, 4:30 to 6 p.m.

April 29, family meeting, 9 to 10:30 a.m.

April 29, Kindergarten Round-Up, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Woodland Middle School cafeteria, 2700Panacea Blvd.

May 4, family meeting, 6 to 7:30 p.m.


Principal Kirk Hutchinson’s naming committee is choosing two of the following name suggestions to recommend to the Sarasota County School Board this month. Proposals and the reason they
were selected:

Atwater Elementary — A reference to school’s location.

Calusa Elementary – Native American tribe from Southwest Florida.

Celebration Elementary – Denoting school opening in year of North Port’s 50th anniversary. Golden Elementary, North Celebration Elementary, North Port Elementary and North Port Celebration Elementary for same reason.

Coralrose/Coralrose Fullwood Elementary – Honors Coralrose Fullwood, a Toledo Blade Elementary student murdered in 2006.

Denise Amber Lee Elementary – Honors Denise Amber Lee, a North Port resident murdered in 2008.

Estuary Elementary – Refers to nearby Charlotte Harbor and other estuaries.

Hamilton Elementary – Honors former superintendent Wilma Hamilton.

Joan Morgan Elementary - Honors North Port activist and former City Commissioner Joan Morgan. Also, Morgan Elementary, honoring Joan Morgan and her husband, Ed.

Mangrove Elementary – For mangroves’ ability to provide shelter and stability.

New London Elementary – Denotes street and waterway next to school property.

North Port East Elementary – School is in easternmost North Port.

Pine Forest Elementary – Pine trees are prevalent in North Port.

River Crest Elementary – Refers to riverbanks and island habitats for local birds.

River Haven Elementary – Myakka/Peace rivers and Charlotte Harbor create one of the largest working estuaries in Florida.

Sandhill Elementary – Denotes sandhill cranes prevalent in North Port.

Sharon Christa McAuliffe Elementary – Honors McAuliffe, teacher who died in the 1986 Challenger shuttle accident.

Skyway Elementary – Refers to nearby street.

Spartan Elementary – A warrior up for any fight.

Whispering Pines Elementary – Area surrounding school has many tall pines.

The 124,000-square-foot school on Huntsville Avenue, now known only as Elementary I, is being built on 35 acres a block south of the East Price Boulevard-Atwater Street intersection.

The school will open in August for the 2009-10 school year with room for 970 students, although initial enrollment is estimated to be closer to 650, according to Principal Kirk Hutchinson.

Hutchinson's naming committee will recommend to the Sarasota County School Board two of the 24 school names suggested by the end of this month.

Hutchinson has also scheduled a series of five organizational town hall meetings for families of prospective students and community members beginning Tuesday. A Parent-Teacher Organization and a Kindergarten Round-Up meeting will be held later, too.

In the town hall meetings, Hutchinson will discuss construction progress, school policies and timelines. All meetings are open to the public.

Jon F. Swift General Contractors of Sarasota is building the school to withstand 180-mph winds. The design is by BRPH Architects/Engineers of Melbourne, which also helped create Lamarque and Cranberry elementary schools in North Port and Tatum Ridge Elementary in Sarasota.

Green features include use of regional building and recycled materials, energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning, minimized water usage and drought-tolerant landscaping.