Almost Maine at West Boca High

Students and faculty alike are all talking about how West Boca High School’s production of Almost, Maine is the perfect romantic play to help welcome in the holiday season. The play is directed by Lance Blank and by two students, Noelle Hoffman and Marisa Cioffi. Every cast and stage member is a student at West Boca High School, making this professional-level performance even more stunning.
The story takes place in Almost, Maine, a small town that doesn’t even exist on the map. The plot follows the lives of several characters as they fall in and out of love on one winter Friday night. It is divided into two acts with 10 hysterical, heart-warming, and sometimes even heart-breaking scenes. Also, this comedy is full of ironies and hidden truths that slowly get revealed to the audience as the play progresses, leaving many scenes with shocking endings.
One of this author’s favorite scenes was ‘Seeing the Thing,’ the ninth scene. It is about two very different people, a ‘tough’ girl, Rhonda, and a ‘not-so-tough’ guy, Dave. In this scene, Dave tries to confess his feelings to Rhonda through a painting he painted. However, Rhonda can’t see ‘the thing’ in the painting he is trying to show her. With a few over-dramatized reactions and sexual references, this stood out among the rest of the amazing scenes.
If you weren’t able to see the West Boca High’s performance of Almost, Maine, the same drama department will also be performing the Addams Family starting on March 6 until March 18th at select times.
Tickets for the Addams Family can be purchased for only $15 (pdf order form) and you can reach their box office at (561)-672-2066.

Obituary: Debra Corona of West Boca High

We sadly report the passing of the well-liked Debra “Debbie” Corona, a teacher at West Boca High School. Ms. Corona was 47 years old. She helped develop one of the school’s choice programs, the Information Technology Academy. She also helped out with the school store.
One person associated with the school says she ran an “on the job” training program at the school and the kids loved her.
Ms. Corona is survived by three childen, Sam, Annie and Kyle, all of whom attended Boca High.

More details:
Age 47, she passed away suddenly on Sunday. Born Butler PA in October of 1967. Also survived by brother Vince and sister Rene of Milwaukee, sister Joyce of New York, sister Jenny and their mother Agnes both of Butler PA. Mass and memorial Saturday, December 6, 2014 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 11 AM. It’s at 370 SW 3rd in East Boca, south of Palmetto Park Road. Rather than sending flowers, the family asks donations be made in Debra’s name to the Wounded Warrior Project, perhaps because her son Sam is in the Marines.

West Boca Bulls Lose to Atlantic: Video and Analysis

The West Boca High School football team, the Bulls, had a disappointing loss Friday night to the Atlantic High Eagles. It had been a strong season for the Bulls up to this point, but the Eagles came in and held the Bulls scoreless while putting up 13 points of their own.
The game started with a good performance from the Vanguard marching band and the team looked good at the beginning.

The game started on a sour note for the Bulls as they lost a fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Perhaps that was foreshadowing. Despite that they held the Eagles to a 3 and out on their first drive and then the Bulls moved the ball well at first.
Here’s an example, a pass play where they got about 7 yards.

That drive stalled at the Atlantic 40 yard line. For the rest of the first quarter both offenses struggled and the score was tied at 0-0.
In the second quarter Atlantic made some big plays and scored a field goal and then a touchdown. West Boca’s offense struggled for the rest of the game. We kept hearing Jerrod Ferguson’s name and he made a big interception in toward the end of the 2nd quarter, but the Bulls offense was unable to convert that into points.
On 4th and 9 their field goal attempt fell short. This reporter thought they had a better shot of getting a first down and should’ve gone for it, but it’s easy to say that from the stands.
In the second half neither offense did much though the Eagles did score on a late field goal to push the final score to 13-0.
For the Bulls it seemed like Bulls QB Matt Gross and his receivers were out of sync. On one play he threw what looked like a good pass but the receiver had given up on the play. On others Gross overthrew open men.
Despite the frustrations of a tough game, the players maintained their composure throughout the game. We’re hopeful they’ll learn from this and play better in their next game.
On the bright side, the band seemed to have fun. They were joined by students from the Loggers’ Run Middle School band for performance in the stands.


Big Crowd at Olympic Heights for School District Forum

An estimated 400 people showed up to the school district’s event at Olympic Heights High School on Lyons Road north of Glades. The meeting was for discussing the school board’s Resolution on Accountability. Slides from the presentation are at the bottom of this article.
The resolution has mysteriously disappeared from the school district website, and of course they ran out of English language copies of it. Plenty of Spanish language ones were available. However we were able to find a copy of it online at Diane Ravitch’s blog.
The resolution is lengthy but basically it seeks to limit the impact of testing on education. We give credit to the school district staff for keeping their presentation reasonably brief, and then allowing the audience members to speak.
Many of the audience commenters were teachers, though there were also students and parents. The group below spoke toward the end of the event.
An Olympic Heights junior, below, spoke early on.
And this 5th grader spoke well about the pressure of testing and the uncomfortable experience it has been for her.
There were other kids in the audience:
One of the teachers who spoke identified himself as the chair of West Boca High’s Language Arts Department, Noel Levin.
Generally the speakers read from prepared statements and were well received by the audience. The main complaints seemed to be about testing, curricula, and teacher pay. The “Common Core” buzzword came up repeatedly.
It seemed that a couple of things were missing. First, while the complaints were coherent, there did not seem to be a clear solution. Second, the resolution and much of the comments addressed federal and state issues beyond the power of the school board, but there was virtually no presence from state and federal officials.
There was one exception to that, as State Rep. Irving Slosberg took the microphone and gave a rousing speech encouraging people to vote out Rick Scott and the Republicans in Tallahassee and “change the management” in state government.

Irving Slosberg (far left); School Board candidate Tom Sutterfield 2nd from right
Irving Slosberg (far left); Board candidate Sutterfield 2nd from right

We spoke with Slosberg outside. We asked whether the problems people are complaining about (testing, curricula, common core, etc.) were brought about by both parties and he didn’t answer that directly. He focused on teacher pay, blaming Republicans for it being so low. We also asked about Charlie Crist’s role in the FCAT and Slosberg said that was in the past. He clearly did not like our questions and stuck to his partisan message. Regardless, we appreciate that he showed up and so did the audience.
A few other state and federal elected officials live close by but didn’t come. Early on we “tweeted” to Ted Deutch and Kevin Rader on Twitter but they did not respond.
Slides from the presentation are below:
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West Boca Runs Up Score on Olympic Heights: 80-3

This article was written by one of our new interns.
In a rivalry that has totally been one sided since the school was built in 2004, the West Boca Bulls once again were victorious last night against the Olympic Heights Lions.
You could literally call this game “The Run of the Bulls,” because that’s what happened. This game was competitive for maybe the first half of the first quarter. West Boca edged out to an early lead on the opening drive and never gave it up. It included a circus-like one handed grab from Sophomore Wide Receiver Shavon Taylor and was later capped off by a bumblin’, grumblin’ 19 yard touchdown run by Junior Running Back Jerrod Ferguson.
A few possessions later Olympic Heights would score their only points of the game, a 50 yard Field Goal, which would have been good from 53-54 yards, by Senior Kicker Khalid Iqab. He’s a bright spot for the Lions. Khalid is quoted to have said “I’m just playing on the football team to kill time before Soccer season starts”. If he kicks 50 yard Field Goals more often he may be scouted to kick on the college level.
The offensive line for the Bulls proved quite fruitful for them. They had key blocks which opened up great holes for Shavon to run through.
On the other hand the offensive line and offense in general wasn’t as fruitful for the Lions. They didn’t make enough blocks to have their running game be successful. However on the Special Teams for the Lions their Senior Returner/Wide Receiver Josh McMann was quite the spark. He led them a couple of times into stupendous field position but the offense squandered the opportunities he provided.
It just didn’t look like Olympic Heights came out serious enough to play this game. In fairness to them though they’ve had their head coach who was hired in March, leave the team two weeks before Fall practice started and their current head coach was hired a week before Fall practice started. Hopefully they’ll be able to turn it around with the new coach, who has a winning background.

Editor’s Note: I asked our new intern if West Boca pulled their starters after the game got out of hand. He said they did not.