On May 10th, I was truly honored to receive the “Manatee Person of the Year” Award from the students of Nolan Middle School in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. The students of the Gifted Program at Nolan Middle had a special evening called the “Night of the Notables” whereby each student in the gifted program at the school had to select someone they admired, living or dead, and study their life and their accomplishments. Some students studied past world leaders, famous athletes, architects, writers, business leaders, inventors, etc. It was a fun night as it took place right in the Nolan Middle School cafeteria. The night was organized by Dr. Novello, Head of the gifted program at Nolan Middle School. Dr. Novello was a very kind and intelligent woman who reminded me of my days as a middle school teacher back in New Jersey.
While there that evening, I had an opportunity to mingle with the students and chat with them about some of the “notable” individuals they studied. Nolan student, Brendan Rempernt was dressed as his hero, tennis champion Pete Sampras; while Andrew Fallon chose to dress and study the Leonard Da Vinci. Britney Wenger, introduced my to the students that evening and her hero and notable person of interest was Ruby Bridges. I was joined by my wife, and my daughter Terri and her two children, Sydney and Ryan. It was a fun night and I was truly touched by the kindness of the students in selecting me for this distinguished honor.