Loften academy well serves our young entrepreneurs


Published: Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 12:44 a.m.
Commissioner Long's desire for a charter school will diminish opportunities for students like me at Loften High School.
The Academy of Business Ownership is one the county's newly formed career-tech academies. But as one of Loften High School's many programs, it has been around for several years.
On Jan. 16, Alachua County Commissioner Rodney Long spoke at the School Board meeting about his slow-moving plan to form an interlocal agreement between the county, city of Gainesville and school district to create a mentoring program. School Board member Wes Eubank was aware that this idea is only a "presumed collaboration," that was supposed to begin three years ago. To the School Board members, this is seen only as a failure of communication. To students, like me, who could benefit from the partnership, it seems like another promise that is soon to be broken.
In The Sun's article about the meeting, Long was quoted as saying, "The program has lost its drive, its thrust, its focus, and its direction at Loften." That statement is far from the truth. Some of Loften's students in recent years have gone on to do great things with their lives, including former student Kayla Stump, who was chosen as one of only 16 International Young Entrepreneurs of the Year, but I wouldn't expect Commissioner Long to know that.
Long goes on to disagree with board members who believe that Long's charter school plan will diminish opportunities for students, like me, at Loften. Long says his school will have its "first bit of evidence in ten years." I disagree. I know it will only take me a single year to produce overwhelming evidence that the Academy of Business Ownership is a program worth believing in. Our instructors, Barbara Martin and Stephanie Baldwin, have instilled in us a sense of ambition and initiative. To me, that's enough drive, thrust, focus and direction.
Commissioner Long has misjudged Loften's Academy of Business Ownership. Our program continues to press forward and has the ability to overcome the public's blind perception of our school. Long's idea for a charter school of entrepreneur education is only a dream. Loften has already made that dream come true.
Juliun Kinsey is a student and president of the Loften Chapter of Deca Marketing Club, at Loften High School's Academy of Business Ownership. He lives in La Crosse.

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