Monday, October 18, 2021

Bald Eagles named

Another honor for TBE. Submitted photos

Another honor for TBE. Submitted photos

The Marco Eagle Sanctuary Foundation has chosen names submitted by Mrs. Hoffman’s Fifth Grade class at Tommie Barfield Elementary for two Bald Eagles inhabiting the Marco Eagle Sanctuary, an area commonly referred to as Tract K, now under the foundation’s direction through a long-term lease agreement with the Collier County School District. The eagles have been dubbed Paleo and Calusa. A plaque and check for $1000 were awarded to the school for all the hard work selecting the eagle’s names by Carl H. Way, Founder and Chairman of the Foundation, along with Dr. Gerald Swiacki, Vice-President of the Foundation, and Linda Turner-Swiacki, Sanctuary Membership and Volunteer Coordinator.

The presentation made at the school was filmed on a ‘blue screen’ in their media center and broadcast to students via the Morning Show while school was still in session. Four students from Mrs. Hoffman’s class explained the historic significance of the nomadic Paleo and Calusa tribes to our region. The students were Madison Bonfitto, Hailey Vaughan, Bailey Sparks and Yemerson Aquillera. Principal Dr.

Students explain Eagles’ Names.

Students explain Eagles’ Names.

Jory Westberry and Deb Cooper, TBE’s Reading Specialist, accepted a plaque and $1000 check from the Foundation for additional resource materials in the media center.

Carl extended his thanks to the staff and students for their efforts. “We would like to provide the students of Tommie Barfield Elementary additional resources that will expand their understanding of the importance of the eagles in our American history and how these magnificent birds have become the symbol of our nation and the brave men and women who have fought to keep our country free.

We hope this contest has sparked the interest of the students so they want to learn more about the habitat, family values, and the commitment the eagles have for their young.

The group invited students to visit the sanctuary next fall during nesting season so they could see firsthand how Bald Eagles have become a part of our community. Plans for proper signage and fencing around the protected area are in the making. For more information on the Marco Eagle Sanctuary go to


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