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Class Notes 01.15.15
West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 5 years ago

Class Notes 01.15.15

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+ Foundation students tour Washington, D.C.

Eighth-grade students at Foundation Academy learned all about U.S. history during their trip last week to Washington, D.C.

The trip included visits to the White House, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol.

+ Business is booming for one W.G. student

Workforce Advantage Academy junior William Clark of Winter Garden learned at an early age the benefits and risks associated with working for himself. He began a landscaping business, before he was able to drive and has grown it into a successful enterprise.

“I wanted to make money, but I didn’t want to work for someone else or make minimum wage,” Clark said.

Clark’s neighbor and former Orlando Magic player, Gilbert Arenas, donated to Clark the lawn-care equipment he needed to start the business, and Arenas became his first client, at $80 per month, in April 2012. Clark soon began introducing himself as new neighbors moved in and building relationships. The business has flourished as homeowners become aware of his skill and commitment to customer service.

At times, working for oneself presents challenges, Clark admits, particularly if he puts off something, but he enjoys turning people’s yards into a thing of beauty. He still cuts lawns but has moved into planting, complete overhauls and other major projects. For a while, he worked at a part-time nursery job, so he could learn more about plants and what works well in different settings.

Clark recently sold half of the business to a partner, so he could buy a much-needed truck and trailer, which has allowed him to expand the firm to accept work beyond Winter Garden. The company, 2 Wil’s Landscaping, currently has more than 60 accounts and is adding more.

Workforce Advantage Academy offers a business curriculum taught by certified teachers and an opportunity to work part time, earning school credit hours and money. Students find the Orange County Public Schools charter school’s small class sizes and personal attention from teachers conducive to learning.

“No matter where you have come from, people share common goals — to have a job they enjoy, a family, money to live well,” said Kenneth E. Hartsaw Jr., founder and executive director of Workforce Advantage Academy. “We help them achieve that. We give them choices and the tools to be successful.”

Workforce Advantage Academy began 10 years ago with about 100 students. It has grown to serve more than 230 juniors and seniors annually. 

+ Windermere natives shining in college

Two Windermere natives recently were named to the dean’s list at their respective colleges.

Katia Berger of Windermere, the daughter of Robert and Kathryn Berger of Windermere, has been named to Randolph-Macon Academy’s dean’s list for the first quarter of the 2014-15 school year. To be named to the dean’s list, a student must earn a grade-point average between 3.3 and 3.99.

Berger is a freshman at Randolph-Macon Academy.

Sylvia Tough, also of Windermere, received academic honors from Arizona State University by making the university’s dean’s list for the fall 2014 semester.

Undergraduate students who earn 12 or more graded semester hours during a semester in residence at ASU with a GPA of 3.50 or higher are eligible for the dean’s list. 

+ Montverde Academy to host groundbreaking

Montverde Academy will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Upper-school building at 8:25 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, outside MVA’s Learning Village grounds, the site of the former MacKenzie Upper-school.

The MVA community is invited to attend the event and help celebrate the beginning of the Montverde Academy Upper-school’s new chapter.

MVA’s new Upper-school classroom building will be about 36,000 square feet in size by final construction and architecturally mirror that of the MacKenzie building. The new structure also will house the Upper-school administration offices, Upper-school computer lab, college counseling offices and IT department. A study-hall area also will be constructed within the building.

SCHOOLS-Spring Lake

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