This creed eloquently encompasses the spirit of our Marco Island Academy family. It has been through our ambitious drive, quest for cooperative synergy, and unwavering kindness that the class of 2021—and every class for that matter—has epitomized this very doctrine. However, our journey did not simply commence when we were giddy ninth graders. Rather, it began at the beginning of our lives. Every decision we have made, crucial or trivial, has led to this rewarding destination. So, let us reminisce upon our expedition.
Believe- We were born bereft of beliefs. Thankfully, our parents, siblings, and mentors diligently guided us down a path of moral discovery. Since you decided to attend MIA, I imagine you and your families subscribed to various positive qualities, such as compassion, integrity, and discipline.
Similarly, as you were traversing elementary school and finding moral footing, Marco Island Academy was nurtured by its own family: our founding board members. They hoped to create an environment where dedication and motivation contribute to collaboration. Even with those noble ideals, they heard, “NO!” countless times. Any sane group would have abandoned ship, but insane generosity and relentless belief kept them strong.
Build- Throughout your middle and early high school years, you undoubtedly learned there was an immense world outside your family… a world full of independence, interaction, and education. Those values you adopted, mistakes you made, and role models you followed all built the person you are today. At least for me, the construction of my current self truly began when I decided to spend my high school years at MIA.
In parallel, our school grew alongside us. The modules and pavilion were assembled, our benefactors donated the land, and our dedicated administrators and admirable teachers got to work. The foliage in the adjacent lot cleared, and our permanent campus took shape. Our senior class may never walk those halls or compete in the gym, but we will always be thankful for this symbol of resilience and growth.
Become- So here we are at a pivotal crossroads. We have filled out our college applications and are contemplating career paths. Soon, we will graduate and enter the “real world.” Let us synthesize those positive values learned from family, friends, role models, teachers, and MIA itself in order to become the best versions of ourselves. Let us turn this ending into a brilliant beginning.
When next year’s students become accustomed to the permanent campus, MIA’s origin will only be a memory. To the class of 2021, however, it will mean everything. Our class shaped MIA, and MIA shaped us. We believed in our school, just as our role models and teachers believed in us. We built our personal values, just as our school was being constructed. We became successful and kind individuals, just as MIA fulfilled its full potential.
On behalf of our MIA family, I wish you luck and continued success. Keep believing. Keep building. Keep becoming. Oh, and make sure to have some fun along the way!
Kevin Barry, Class of 2021