By: Christine Ross, MBA, MS, CCE, IOM, President & CEO, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director, Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council
There has been a lot of discussion about a High School for Bonita Springs. Some of it reasonable and rational, some not. If you have paid attention to news reports or been present at any of the public meetings, you will have heard and seen the statistics that verify the need and the number of school age students in our area. We have heard about the ridiculous distances students travel to get to a school and the early hour (5:15 a.m.) they have to catch the bus. There have been many stories told about students not being able to participate in the extracurricular activities you and I probably enjoyed, because they have no way to get home at the end of the day.
Then there is the topic of a marching band which seems to send those opposed to a high school into sheer panic. You really have to ask yourself, when did band and music become offensive noise and a destructive activity? Music and art are activities that allow humans to communicate across cultural and linguistic boundaries. I wanted with all my heart to take a poll of the meeting attendees at Estero High School on February 24th to see how many had NOT been in the marching band when they were in high school.
It seems that many who are opposed to the high school forget they were once young. They are also under an illusion that they moved to an age banded retirement community, which Bonita Springs definitely is not. I am calling on every member of this beautiful City to join hands to build a sustainable community that will support and attract all age groups, provide jobs for all socioeconomic sectors and balance the importance of protecting our delicate environment with controlled, well planned and designed growth. Please, wake up and do something positive and selfless today. Support a high school, no matter where it is located, and ask how you can volunteer and make a difference in a child’s life.