May 2023 - Armor Persons

May 2023 - Armor Persons
Posted on 05/08/2023
May 2023 - Armor Persons

As the 2022-2023 school year in Lee County comes to an end, great things have been accomplished by our newest kindergarten students to our graduating seniors. When COVID hit in 2020-2021 and then returned in 2021-2022, everyone rallied together to ensure that we addressed the educational needs of our students. It seemed like this year students, teachers, support staff, and administrators would be able to return to normal, but then IAN hit! It has been a year of both challenges and achievements for the district.

The challenges saw many students and staff faced with the loss of their homes and possessions and most schools damaged and unusable. Two schools, Hector Cafferata Elementary and Fort Myers Beach Elementary, were destroyed. Many teachers lost everything in their classrooms, and students had their school year instruction delayed for a month.

With graduation ceremonies coming up this month to celebrate and highlight the Class of 2023, I am amazed by the accomplishments of this group. There is no way to list them all, but here is a sampling:

THE ARTS: Cypress Lake High senior Kristen Noble won the Contemporary A Cappella Society for Best Original Song by a Scholastic Group, TAG. There were many outstanding presentations throughout the year in all the arts: Theater, Drama, Film, Music, Dance, and Visual Arts.

SPORTS: The district offers students many athletic opportunities to compete. The following are the 2023 State Champions:

  • Luke Buzzelli / Ida Baker / Boys Weightlifting
  • Reef Gingell / Fort Myers / Boys Weightlifting
  • Kassidy Emerick / Mariner / Girls Weightlifting
  • Eliana Cook / Riverdale / Girls Weightlifting
  • Julia Knowler / Fort Myers / Girls Weightlifting
  • Jillian Jacobs / Fort Myers / Girls Weightlifting
  • Max Brady / Mariner / Wrestling
  • Christopher Minto / Wrestling

CAREER & TECH EDUCATION: The district had the second most graduates in Florida with Industry Certifications in 2022. This year, 2023 is on pace to equal or exceed it. Courses are offered in all High Schools with 40,000 students participating. Some of the many courses offered are: Agriculture, Architecture, Construction, A/V Technology, Business, Education, Engineering, Finance, Health, Hospitality, Law, Manufacturing, Marketing, Safety, and Security.

ADVANCED STUDIES / GIFTED / SPECIAL ED: All the District High Schools offer either International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), Advance Placement (AP), Honors Programs, and Dual Enrollment. Approximately two-thirds of high school students are enrolled in at least one Advanced Studies Course. There are 5,484 students participating in Gifted Programs, and 12,823 students receiving Special Education Services.

The Class of 2023 has earned more than 50 Million dollars in scholarships to attend colleges, universities, and technical centers across the United States. Job well done!

I would like to thank all our school staff, faculty, and administrators for adapting to the challenges of this year. The Board appreciates all your hard work, early mornings, and late nights. Thanks also go to our parents, students, and community for their support through another unprecedented year.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2023! We are proud of you. To all, have a safe and wonderful summer, and we look forward to next year.


Armor Persons
School Board Chair, District 5


The content and any opinions expressed in this article are solely the author's and do not necessarily reflect the facts, opinions, and beliefs of the Lee County School Board or its affiliates.