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Foundation seeks nominees for first Lighthouse Awards

By Staff | Feb 16, 2009

The Cape Coral Municipal Charter School Foundation, founded last year to serve students and educators in the local charter school system, is accepting applications for the inaugural Lighthouse Awards Program to recognize exceptional teachers.
The Lighthouse Award is the charter foundation’s version of the Golden Apple, handed out by the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools. Executive Director Kevin Colpoys said the award was created to spot excellent teachers in charter schools who are overlooked by the Golden Apple.
“We did that because the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools wouldn’t recognize charter school teachers in the Golden Apple process,” said Colpoys. “They have virtually excluded our teachers.”
Even though charter educators in Cape Coral are considered public school teachers, only Lee County School District staff are considered for Golden Apples.
“I felt bad for our teachers that they couldn’t be rewarded for the work they did,” said Colpoys.
The award is a crystal figurine with a pedestal that beams light upward in the model lighthouse. It was shipped from Waterford, Ireland, and is modeled after the Cape Hatteras lighthouse on the coast of North Carolina.
Nomination forms are available in all city charter schools and ask students, parents, fellow teachers or administrators to explain why the nominee deserves the award. They will be accepted until Feb. 26.
The selections process is almost identical to the Golden Apples, and in the end four teachers will be chosen as recipients. The winners also will be presented with a plaque and an undisclosed cash award for use in their classroom.
“Our teachers are very excited about it. They feel they are recognized for their hard work,” said Colpoys.
Lighthouse awards will be handed out May 28 at Cape Harbour. Dr. Wilson Bradshaw, president of Florida Gulf Coast University, will serve as guest speaker.
The foundation also will host a silent and live auction at the Oasis Charter School campus April 18. Each classroom in the system is creating a “theme basket” to be auctioned off to the public. There will be refreshments, food, live music and children’s activities.
“It is on the campus, and in the afternoon we will have music and food. We are trying to keep that as a family-oriented event,” said Colpoys.
Later this month the foundation is helping to organize the first annual Cape Movie Magic, a free concert where the Gulf Coast Symphony and local high schools perform music from “Harry Potter,” “Star Wars,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and others. For more information on the Feb. 28 concert, visit: www.capemoviemagic.com.