Jeffrey Harvey

Jeffrey Harvey

Bursting with school pride, following our school’s second-consecutive A rating in the Florida School Grades program, students and their achievements at Ainger are sources of pride in our greater Englewood community.

With an enrollment of 650 students, Ainger fosters a unique and dynamic rapport between students and staff.

Nowhere is this rapport more evident than in the numbers of students who connect to the school, not only inside the academic classrooms but also in student government, community service, interscholastic and intramural athletics, instrumental music, science fair-competition, school projects, and peer mediation.

In direct connection to student learning, extraordinary hands-on opportunities in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics programs), take place, notably Robotics and Aquaculture. Ms. Dausy, has engaged more than 150 students in high level thinking where student knowledge and skills merge in the completion of computer-based applications (robotics) and in understanding and advancing marine environments that allow specimens to flourish, very near our own Gulf shores.

The school has developed a strong tech-reputation, too, as a result of the 3D Print Club led by Ms. Johnstone which has a following among tech-savvy students.

The Cougar Science Fair saw two student entries advance to the 2019 Florida (State) Science Fair under the leadership of Ms. Sanger.

Ms. Cerbone’s classes have created and continue to nourish a Cougar Garden behind the school. The garden is a beautiful and productive success, a result of students’ learning about the planting, growing, and cultivation of produce on school grounds.

Of special significance in protecting and advancing a safe school environment, computer teacher Ms. Karr has formed a Peer Training and Mediation group, where trained students participate in helping their peers resolve conflicts and interpersonal challenges.

No less noteworthy are the more-than 170 students who contribute to our thriving band program. By the time this article is published, the unified and individual talents of our instrumentalists under the direction of Mr. Ostrow will have entertained numerous community, peer, and parent audiences during the holiday season.

The program also advances a special niche via a Jazz Band where, among other instruments, students can ply their skills on guitar-strings. The Band performed in the fall at F.A.M.E. (Friends for the Advancement of Musical Education) in its fundraising efforts to support the performing and fine arts in our community.

Broad participation by both girls and boys allow our intramural programs to shine.

Soccer, flag football, softball, floor hockey, basketball, volleyball and cross country running keep student interest high during seasonal offerings.

At the interscholastic level, boys’ and girls’ basketball, girls’ volleyball, wrestling and boys’ and girls’ track teams allow gifted student-athletes to compete against other middle schools’ similarly situated teams. As of this writing, the girls’ volleyball is currently 3-1.

Just for fun, the Ainger PTO sponsored the Cougar Color Run, which drew healthy participation from families and community members. This run/walk event has become a fall staple in our activity schedule. Our PTO also sponsored the annual L.A Ainger golf tournament on Nov. 16, which was a huge success, raising over $12,000 for numerous different school initiatives. We our lucky to have such an active and supportive PTO.

Dec. 7 featured a Winter Dance. Our students have high interest in these school-sponsored activities as evidenced by the numbers of students who turn out for them.

Finally, I am very proud of our Cougar Cares Club sponsored by Ms. James and Ms. Costello through which more than 50 caring students perform needed community service. Of special note, these students visit armed-services veterans who are in assisted-living facilities in our community, warmly interacting with and supporting our veterans in their later years.

As you can see we have lots of great programs that take place every day here at L.A. Ainger Middle School. I cannot stress enough how supportive and hard working our Ainger staff is, always going the extra mile for the students.

It is truly my privilege to lead this tremendous group of people. If you have questions of our staff or our school leaders, please feel free to contact us.

Jeff Harvey is the principal at L.A. Ainger Middle School

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