Board OKs Imagine High School

“SARASOTA COUNTY – The Sarasota County School Board unanimously approved a charter school application for Imagine High School at North Port Tuesday before an appreciative crowd of about 100 students, teachers, and parents.

Justin Matthews, principal of the Imagine elementary and middle schools, was thrilled with the decision, and expects to meet or exceed the School Board’s expectations.

‘I really am excited and honored and humbled at the opportunity the School Board has provided for us to build a high school in North Port,’ Matthews said Tuesday evening. ‘I think they saw a need based on parents’ response, and they also set expectations. This is a fantastic county, and an A school distric. We have great schools and they expect us to contribute to that, so we’re going to do everything we can to live up to their expectations.”

Prior to the 4-0 vote (board member Carol Todd was absent), several members from the crowd emerged to voice their support to an affirmative vote for the charter. Among them was Barbara McKeathon, a North Port city planner and president of the board for the Imagine charter school, who noted positive change she believed the current Imagine Middle School is having on North Port.

‘The positive change is due in part by the great job our staff is doing, by providing an excellent educational experience and creating an open communication environment for our parents and students,’ McKeathon said. ‘And we have had parents plead with us to ensure that we will provide them with a secondary-level educational experience, by adding a high school grade level for their students who are currently enrolled at the Imagine Middle School. . .’”

Article published by the North Port Sun on Nov. 17, 2010. Full article unavailable on-line.