East Lee Leadership Academy Dedicates Training Complex

On Friday, December 12, 2014, East Lee County High School (ELCHS), home of the East Lee Leadership Academy (ELLA), dedicated its recently completed outdoor training complex. The ELLA Training Complex includes a 65-ft rappel tower, a covered outdoor classroom, and an enclosed marksmanship range. The purpose of the tower is to train JROTC cadets to rappel, climb the rock wall, and use the zip line. Cadets will demonstrate use of the tower and the marksmanship range. Speakers included: Cadet LTC Hanna Peterson, ELCHS Principal, Brian Mangan and JROTC Director of Instruction for Lee County Schools, Thomas Madigan, LTC(ret.)

Lehigh Chamber Meets at East Lee

The Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce held their General Member Luncheon at East Lee County High School on Tuesday, December 3. These local business and community leaders had the opportunity to tour the High School and learn about the programs and opportunities available to the students.

JROTC Academic Bowl Team Set for District Competition

The East Lee County High School JROTC Leadership Academic Bowl team has achieved a 4th place seeding for the District Academic Bowl Competition on December 3rd. The Jaguars will take on Dunbar High School at the event.

Team members include Cadet David Sorrels (Jr, Team Captain), Cadet Colten Burdick (Soph), Cadet Emerson Laney (Soph), and Cadet Hoyuky Pec (Soph).

The squad is excited about the competition and motivated to represent East Lee to the best of their abilities!

East Lee Automotive Academy

The Automotive Academy at East Lee County High School is one of nine Career and Technical Education programs offering students an opportunity to receive college readiness and career training in a specific field of study. We spoke with the instructor in the Academy, Shane Gibson, as well as some of the students, to find out more about this successful program.

Criminal Justice Academy Hosts Lee County Sheriff

The East Lee County High School Criminal Justice Academy played host to Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott yesterday. Sheriff Scott spoke about his experience in law enforcement and took questions from the Criminal Justice cadets as well.

East Lee Medical Academy

The Medical Academy at East Lee County High School is one of nine Career and Technical Education programs offering students an opportunity to receive college readiness and career training in a specific field of study. We spoke with the instructor in the Academy, Sandra Grage, as well as some of her students, to find out more about this successful program.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks


By: Yaneliz Matos

October 11, 2014, greeted Southwest Florida with clear blue skies, dewy grass, and degrees reaching humid temperatures that attract northern birds south. Though the ones who were out and about on such a beautiful morning weren’t winter folk seeking warmer weather. No! It was SW Florida’s very own residents. Now the question is, why were they up in the early hours of Saturday, when they could be snuggling under covers? The answer is simple. They were seeking to support a cause, and they did just that every step of the way during the 11th Annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks.

Gathering at Estero Community Park, hundreds came together to show their support through donations, which help fund research and increase awareness. Haley Shurack, who works with early childhood development, commented on how she was honored to be a part of such an important cause, and how through donations, the organization gets to do projects, such as special camps that allow kids with behavioral challenges find a place where they can enjoy themselves.

Present at the event was Lehigh Acres’ very own East Lee County High School students, a group composed of both National Honor Society and Student Government Association members with their sponsor, and teacher at East, Mary Jo Potter. The group integrated their bodies, minds, and souls into the event as they walked along side many people who shared the same desire to make a difference. As East Lee County’s students prepared to commence their walk, they intercepted the rising business, Autism in Motion, which offers therapy and recreational programs to individuals with autism. These jaguars got their blood pumping as they struck a pose with Sue Lacono, one of the directors of Autism in Motion, as she instructed them in a yoga session. Arms raised and smiles wide, East Lee County’s kids were eager to return for another session after their mini workout. After some time, the walk finally began and hundreds strode with purpose as they didn’t just talk the talk for Autism Speaks, but also walked the walk.

One Book, One School


By: Zion Young

Here at East Lee County, all of our students and the majority of our teachers have gathered together to read one book called, “Life As We Know It,” during our school’s designated DEAR time (meaning Drop Everything And Read). “When a meteor hits the moon and knocks it closer in orbit to the Earth, nothing will ever be the same. Worldwide tidal waves. Earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions. And that’s just the beginning.” Sounds interesting right? Well, I took the liberty of going around asking some students and teachers how they felt about the new novel the whole school has been reading this quarter.

One of our Spanish 2 teachers, Ms.Persing, said, “It’s interesting, and it makes you wonder how it’d feel if the world ran out of supplies.” Several other teachers had similar responses, finding the book to be thought-provoking and an exciting read. Many students agreed with this, claiming that the book kept them interested and wanting to know more. Tu Long, a student at East, said, “It’s a good book and keeps me wondering how we’d live day to day if such a catastrophe were to happen.”

Not everyone is enjoying this book choice, however. Some students complained, “We just can’t get into the book; it’s hard to read something when you aren’t really interested in it.” This just goes to show that we all have different interests. Even though we may not all like everything the book has to offer, it is allowing the entire school to unite and participate in discussions on one topic with which we all are familiar.

Homecoming Pep Rally

Jag Artists Featured at Reverie and Rock Art Gallery

The winners of the Spray Off from the Make A Difference Day event have had some exciting opportunities open up since winning the contest. Their art from the event is on display in the Reverie & Rock Art Gallery and were mentioned online as a highlight for the Dec 6th Art Walk (http://www.fortmyersartwalk.com/). The Alliance for the Arts invited them to paint murals to display along McGregor Blvd and the three will be painting on-site for the January 3rd Art Walk.  Jose Guzman did a fantastic job and represented ELCHS. In addition, East will have two teams, possibly three, competing in the Chalk Block event and a few have entered pieces for the Art Under 20 Show at Art Fest in February.