DUNEDIN, Florida – The Academie da Vinci Charter School for the Arts and Technology has been providing students with a performing arts education for 25 years. In Jenny Cox’s class, students are discovering a lot about performing arts.
“We do a little bit of everything,” said Cox, a music teacher at the school. “We sing. We learn to play instruments. We play the ukulele. We play hard instruments.” The oldest charter school in Pinellas County is Academie da Vinci Charter School for the Arts and Technology.
“We are the first charter school in Pinellas County schools,” Cindy Dick, head of Academie da Vinci Charter School for the Arts and Technology, gave her explanation.“We specialize in the performing arts, so we offer dance, music, technology, and musical theater.”
The school’s students claim to love the atmosphere of learning there. “I really like coming here all the time and, you know,” said student Jacob Nowicki. “Hanging out with everybody and, of course, doing my work.”
“It’s an A-rated school or B-rated school, very high up on there,” shared student Valentina Duro. “And that’s actually, specifically, the reason my parents moved me from the public schools.” The school’s fourth to eighth-grade dance classes are taught by Anna Oglesby.
“I just think it takes them out from sitting at a desk all day and I kind of zoning and then they’re able to move around and again get their emotions out and just move. It’s nice to move, you know,” she declared. Student Lona Baechel feels that attending school is a step on the right way for her. She aspires to become a trained ballet dancer.
“Been dancing since I was two years old and I found out this school, had a dance program, so we joined as soon as we could and I’ve been dancing ever since,” she said.
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The academy provides a special chance that combines academics and the arts to give its pupils a well-rounded educational experience.
“They get to shine and be a star, whether it’s academically or they get to be a star, whether they’re in the art side, it brings both of them together,” remarked Academie da Vinci Charter School instructor Leanne Megesi.