Pinellas County's first charter school celebrates 25 years
DUNEDIN, Fla. - For 25 years the Academie da Vinci Charter School for the Arts and Technology has been offering students an education in the performing arts.
Students are learning a lot about performing arts in Jenny Cox's class.
"We do a little bit of everything," said Cox, a music teacher at the school. "We sing. We learn to play instruments. We play the ukulele. We play barred instruments."
Students take part in an acting class at Academie da Vinci Charter School for the Arts and Technology.
The Academie da Vinci Charter School for the Arts and Technology is the oldest charter school in Pinellas County.
"We are the first charter school in Pinellas County schools," explained Cindy Dick, principal of Academie da Vinci Charter School for the Arts and Technology. "We specialize in the performing arts, so we offer dance, music, technology and musical theater."
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Students at the school say they enjoy the learning environment.
Students at Academie da Vinci Charter School for the Arts and Technology take part in a singing class.
"I really like coming here all the time and, you know," said student Jacob Nowicki. "Hanging out with everybody and, of course, doing my work."
"It's an A-rated school or B-rated school, very high up on there," shared student Valentina Duro. "And that's actually, specifically, the reason my parents moved me from the public schools."
Anna Oglesby teaches fourth through eighth-grade dance at the school.
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"I just think it takes them out from sitting at a desk all day and I kind of zoning and then they're able to move around and again get their emotions out and just move. It's nice to move, you know," she stated. Student Lona Baechel believes she is moving in the right direction by being at the school. She wants to be a professional ballet dancer.
A dance class at the Academie da Vinci Charter School for the Arts and Technology.
"Been dancing since I was two years old and I found out this school, they had a dance program, so we joined as soon as we could and I've been dancing ever since," she said.
The academy offers a unique opportunity that incorporates academics and arts for a well-rounded education experience for its students.
"They get to shine and be a star, whether it's academically or they get to be a star, whether they're in the art side, it brings both of them together," said Leanne Megesi, a teacher Academie da Vinci Charter School.