The students at MIA will not notice any major changes on campus this week. However, October 1st will be one of the most pivotal days in the school’s history. What is the major change? MIA will officially have a permanent location on Marco Island. We are proud to officially announce that we are buying our land.
Thanks to a generous private loan of $2 million dollars from Bill and Karen Young, Marco Island Academy will purchase the San Marco property from its current owner Kinsley Investments. The loan is being offered at a 2½ percent interest rate for a year, with a 1-year option to extend. During this time, MIA will explore possible options for repayment of the loan. In September, MIA asked the Collier County School Board to consider purchasing the property. During the September school board meeting, board members requested a feasibility study on the property. MIA is also reviewing bond options, private bond offerings, and ultimately, fundraising needs.
There have been several times that I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the incredible people in our community. Today is one of those days. Bill and Karen Younghave demonstrated their deep commitment to quality education for children. They do not have kids who will ever attend our school. Instead, they are making our community a better place to live for others. They exemplify the true definition of philanthropy ~ “love of humankind.” This love is the common thread that binds all of MIA’s supporters together.
Our journey is far from over. This year, we still need to raise over $300,000 to balance our operating budget. In addition, we must raise nearly $80,000 to support our athletic programs, and another $100,000 to pay off a line of credit. There is no denying that MIA’s needs are great. However, I want to take a moment to pause and celebrate where we are today, and where we are headed tomorrow. From the words of my good friend, Tim Truesdell, “Onward and upward.”
Jane Watt is a mother of three children in the public school system. She is also the Founder and Chairperson for Marco Island Academy, a public charter high school. Recently she wrote the book, “Fighting For Kids: Battles To Create a Charter School.” Her mission is to help improve educational opportunities for children.