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SRQ DAILY Sep 3, 2022

"For years we knew Baby Boomers would retire at a faster pace and higher rate than Millennials would enter the profession. But recent compounding factors caused the looming shortage to accelerate and spiral."

- Jennifer Vigne, Education Foundation of Sarasota County

[Community Dialogue]  About the SRQ DAILY | Perspectives Edition

SRQ Daily: The Perspectives Edition features analysis, commentary and insight on current events in Sarasota and Manatee counties from regular columnists, local leaders and guest contributors. Readers are invited to submit letters that respectfully share their perspective on a local community topic or issue to: letters@srqme.com. Submissions received before Thursday of each week will be considered for the immediate Saturday edition. Editors reserve the right to fact-check and edit. SRQ MEDIA does not house an editorial board and as such does not publish editorials or endorsements of candidates. The opinions and analysis of columns and letters shared in this edition are those of the writer who submitted them. The Perspectives Edition serves as a respectful and thoughtful space for readers to share their voices on topics that are important to them. 

[Community]  Dialing in a New Frequency
Roxie Jerde, roxie@cfsarasota.org

When I meet someone new, I always ask what drew them here or what connects them to this community. Expected answers like “family” and “the weather” come up often but rounding out the list of usual response is “The Arts.” It is a wide-sweeping phrase, and can mean many things: performing arts, visual arts, arts organizations, independent artists, arts education or a general yearning to be among creatively inclined people. Our community’s artistic tendencies are so ingrained in our cultural foundation that Visit Sarasota, our visitor and convention bureau, has registered the tagline “Florida’s Cultural Coast,” which it has been using for more than 25 years to tout our rich treasure trove of and love of the arts. 

This identity certainly makes us unique and attractive to visitors, as well as longtime residents and newcomers alike. As we continue to welcome neighbors to our area, the arts are an enduring beaconing song; however, as generations shift, we have an opportunity to invite new voices into our arts community, to create a new harmony of legends and innovators. 

This summer, I had the privilege of witnessing how younger, diverse voices can create a positive impact on our local arts scene. Through generous, visionary donors and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, we were able to bring the Diversity in Arts Leadership (DIAL) internship to Sarasota-Manatee, joining just five other municipalities across the nation that host DIAL.  

A program of Americans for the Arts, DIAL gives college students who are underrepresented in arts administration the opportunity to complete a paid internship program. Our inaugural program brought five college students into the following five organizations: The Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Art Museum, Manatee Performing Arts Center, CreArte Latino Cultural Center and The Ringling Museum’s Historic Asolo Theater. In these internships, the students spent 10 weeks learning about the business of the arts, from marketing and development to curation and technical production operations.  

While learning on the job, these students also brought smart questions and new ways of thinking to the organizations they worked with. For some time now there has been a collective concern about how to engage younger generations in the arts, and I like to think students like the DIAL interns offer some answers. Their voices and experiences shine a light on how our region can continue to be known for its vibrant arts community, but perhaps with a new take. 

With oversight by the Cross College Alliance, DIAL connected young adults attending Ringling College of Art and Design, State College of Florida, New College of Florida, and we welcomed one student from George Mason University. With options like New York City and Nashville, all chose Sarasota-Manatee as their location. Here they saw a community to learn from and where they could add to the chorus of creative professionals that infuse our region with vitality. 

It is my hope that when the next generation of arts leaders is asked what drew them to the area, the answer is “career opportunities,” and when asked what connects them to community is “the people.”  

Roxie Jerde is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. 

[Education]  The Search for Teachers is Real
Jennifer Vigne, jvigne@edfoundationsrq.org

“I wonder what teachers make,” muses a little red-headed girl, her back leaning against a tree trunk.

 “A difference, Peppermint Patty, they make a difference!” 

The sage wisdom of Charlie Brown, the lovable main character in Charles Schulz’s iconic cartoon strip “Peanuts,” is portrayed in the comics, but the issue reverberates beyond the funny pages. And it is no laughing matter.

There’s no question about it: Life-changing teachers make a difference for students. The fact is bolstered by heartfelt and grateful testimonies of legions of students and their families whose lives were changed for the better because a teacher cared. 

This, however, is not a laudatory greeting card to teachers. This is a call to action; we don’t have the luxury of time for sentimentalism without concurrent fast and effective steps that help stem the steady stream of teachers walking away from classrooms. 

The stark reality is we don’t have enough teachers returning to the classroom or entering the profession to offset the rate at which they’re leaving. 

This emergency didn’t happen overnight. For years we knew Baby Boomers would retire at a faster pace and higher rate than Millennials would enter the profession. But recent compounding factors caused the looming shortage to accelerate and spiral.

Sobering data provides a quick glance at the shortage challenges confronting our own high-performing district, the state and the nation: 

At the end of August, entering the fourth week of the 2022 school year, some 70-plus classroom teachers and direct pupil support positions remain unfilled on the Sarasota County Schools jobs posting website. 

The statewide picture is grimmer with around 8,000 classroom teacher vacancies two weeks before the start of the new school year, according to data from the Florida Department of Education. 

An alarming number of open positions at all grade levels were in Exceptional Student Education; science, reading, math, English and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). These certification areas are difficult to attract and retain. 

From FLDOE: “These shortage areas represent certification areas where substantial proportions of teachers who are not certified in the appropriate field are being hired to teach such courses, where significant vacancies exist and where postsecondary institutions do not produce enough graduates to meet the needs of Florida’s K-12 student population.”

Need evidence about the detrimental national effect? 

From the Wall Street Journal, June 20: “Some 300,000 public-school teachers and other staff left the field between February 2020 and May 2022, a nearly 3% drop in that workforce, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data . . . A National Education Association poll conducted this year found 55% of teachers said they would leave education sooner than planned, up from 37% last August.” (The 55% rate in 2022 is more than double the number in July 2020.)

Examining what’s behind the lower rate of teachers entering the profession at the same time more teachers exit leads directly to the challenges of working conditions and overall compensation. 

If teachers need a side hustle to pay rent, that is problematic in itself. While Florida recently increased pay for first-year teachers and is now implementing increases for veteran teachers, we need to do even more to appropriately raise the value and respect highly qualified teachers bring to our community and economy. 

Compensation obviously is a determinant in a teacher’s decision, but other, more complex factors impact a teacher’s job satisfaction and turnover rate. 

The RAND Corporation’s 2022 State of the American Teacher and American Principal Report included the alarming key finding that 73% of teachers and 85% of principals experienced frequent job-related stress, compared with 35% of working adults. 

In WSJ, several teachers attributed their resignation decision to COVID fatigue and other stressors combined to create an unprecedented amount of stress and increased mental and physical health problems among students and teachers. 

Classroom teachers themselves provide answers. The New Teacher Center, a teacher-founded organization that works for educator effectiveness, cites several non-monetary reasons that impact teacher job satisfaction and retention, among them: leadership and policies that give them greater autonomy, teacher-led professional development, and access to community resources for their students.

Solutions from the nonprofit The Center for Teaching Quality include hybrid roles for teachers and balancing classroom instruction with other roles designed around individual teachers’ strengths—curriculum development, peer coaching, and mentoring new teachers—to “fill the bucket” of strong teachers.

On a more personal and local basis, we have tangible and immediate ways to show our support for teachers and encourage their ability to form the next generation. 

One of the greatest gifts that highly effective and qualified teachers have is the ability to forge healthy relationships with students and families. To encourage a respectful environment, we all can be mindful of our conversation in front of children and remember children behave according to the blame, praise or respect of teachers they hear at home. 

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County (EdFoundationSRQ.org) offers ways to directly support teacher requests for class projects through DonorsChoose as well as help fund larger classroom and schoolwide grants through our signature program, EducateSRQ. 

We also invite community members to contact us if they are interested in supporting teachers. We have daunting challenges in front of us.  What we cannot afford to do is nothing. Let’s all work together to ensure our teachers have the resources and support they need every day, excited to help students grow into healthy, happy, productive citizens. 

Jennifer Vigne is president and CEO of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.  

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Sarasota Modern: Wink Wink Modern Pool , September 4, Noon-5pm

The Sarasota Modern & Hiatus Tequila present Wink Wink Modern Pool: Sunday Funday! Join us for some end-of-summer fun on Sept 4, 2022! 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. $30 General Admission $40 at the door VIP Rentals (prices vary, limited availbility). Our Wink Wink Modern Pool Bar will offer a full menu fun tropical fusion bites and featuring Hiatus Tequila cocktails. DJ Joey D will be playing Tropical House and your favorite summer time tunes from Noon til' 5:00 PM. This event is 21+. ID's will be checked and wristbands will be given out upon arrival. Valet Parking $14.00 per vehicle All registered Sarasota Modern Hotel guests are allowed free access to this event Please see our front desk agents for your wristband for entry. $30 General Admission Online, $40 at the door.

[SOON]  THEATER: Urbanite Theatre: Mr. Yunioshi , September 7 – September 11, Varied

MR. YUNIOSHI Written, Directed and Performed by J. Elijah Cho. A Limited Engagement. September 7 - 11, 2022. Urbanite Theatre. What compels an actor to play a character that they probably shouldn't? In this side splitting roast, J. Elijah Cho cleverly answers that question by exploring Mickey Rooney's infamous yellowface performance of Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany's. For tickets and info contact - phone (941) 321-1397, email info@urbanitetheatre.com, website www.urbanitetheatre.com

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 2nd Street Sarasota FL, 34236

[SOON]  DANCE: Bailando at The Bay: Dance Lessons , September 7, 6:30pm-9pm

Learn a variety of Latin dance styles that are suitable for beginners or advanced dancers. September 7th feature Bachata! Fred Astaire Dance Studios partners with The Bay to offer this new dance series! Enjoy learning a variety of Latin dance styles that are suitable for beginners and advanced dancers. Dance lessons will take place from 6:30-7:15pm, and then practice your skills at a dance party hosted by DJ Nando from 7:30-9pm. Dance style focus on September 7th: Bachata! Location Van Wezel Terrace 777 North Tamiami Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Players Centre: Side by Side by Sondheim , September 8 – September 18, Varied

Join The Players in their 93rd Season with Six That Matter – shows that explore finding purpose, the universal desire to live a life that matters, to fully appreciate aspiration. Be it finding true love, sacrificing it all, a life of devotion, cultivating artistry, finding fame, each of these unforgettable shows- important in their own genres, are celebrations of greatness, of striving for more, that will make memories, sparking feelings of joy- of what being alive fully means. Side by Side by Sondheim is a revue that celebrates the wit and genius of musical theatre’s most influential artist, who searched for what it means to be alive. Get ready to laugh, cry and fall in love with lyrics that are heartbreakingly true and music that captures the soaring emotions of a new generation with Side by Side by Sondheim. Simple and unpretentious, this Tony Award-winning musical is a perfect introduction to the work of this contemporary master and a must for diehard fans. September 8th-18th, 2022. For tickets visit theplayers.org, Ph. 941-365-2494, email BoxOffice@ThePlayers.org

The Players Centre For Performing Arts, Performance Venue & Box Office The Crossings at Siesta Key 3501 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 1130 Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  SPORTS: WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup , September 9 – September 18

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and host USA Baseball revealed the new dates for the next WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, with the 30th edition of the youth world championship to take place from 9 to 18 September 2022 in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida. The elite international tournament will be played at Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium and Bradenton’s LECOM Park, the respective Spring Training homes of the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB). The XXX WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup will include 12 national teams, whose rosters will feature the best youth players in their respective countries.

Ed Smith Stadium and LECOM Park

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Venice Theatre: God's Country , September 9 – September 25, Varied

God's Country by Steven Dietz. A riveting, highly theatrical docudrama about those dedicated to revolution against the U.S. government and the expulsion from "God's Country" of non-Aryans. Three narrative spines are skillfully interwoven in this thought-provoking, unsettling, and challenging fare that examines America’s dark soul, and asks, “What can/should we do about it?” * Includes violent and graphic images, adult language and heavy adult themes. Audience discretion advised. September 9th-25th, 2022. For more information visit venicetheatre.org, Ph. 941.488.1115, email info@venicetheatre.net

Venice Theatre, 140 Tampa Ave. W Venice, FL 34285 (The Box Office is currently closed for walk-up business)

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre Improv: Thank You For Being A Friend , September 10, 7:30pm

FST Improv Presents: Thank You For Being A Friend on Saturday, September 10 at 7:30pm. Thank You For Being A Friend is a unique blend of stories and games in which actors improvise two half-hour episodes of an original sitcom which the audience will help create! Complete with improvised commercials and theme song, Thank You For Being A Friend captures the essence of television’s most beloved genre. As television plummets down to the extent where most is reality TV and less that a third of all new Sitcoms make it to its tenth episode, FST Improv promises to take you back to a time and place where "Everyone knows your name". That's what we're talking about Willis!

Florida Studio Theatre's Bowne's Lab

[SOON]  FILM: MOTE MARINE: International Ocean Film Festival , September 10, 3pm & 7pm

On Sept. 10, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium invites you to view a selection of imaginative, inspiring and award winning films presented in partnership with the International Ocean Film Festival. Two showing times are available (matinee & evening) for this family friendly event. Cost: $8 for Mote Member tickets, $10 for Early Bird Tickets (now through Sept. 1) and $12 for Regular Tickets (Sept. 1 through Sept. 10 at the door). Be inspired by the work of award winning filmmakers as you immerse yourself in vibrant images and creative storytelling. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the showing and concessions will be available from the Deep Sea Diner. Both showings take place in the WAVE Center attached to Mote Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, Florida. 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Artful Giraffe: Sunday Funday , September 11, 11am-3pm

Join us the 2nd Sunday every month for Sunday Fundays! IT'S GOING TO BE AN ARTFUL GOOD TIME! Outdoor Market, Activities, Live Music, Food Trucks, Raffles & More! Support local artists and businesses in the Historic Downtown District. Tap into your creative side and browse through a vast collection of fine art and handmade one-of-a-kind gifts! From shopping to creating you can unleash your inner artist with ceramic painting and other fun activities. Portion of proceeds donated to local charities and organizations. Sun, September 11, 2022 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM EDT At The Artful Giraffe 1861 Fruitville Road Sarasota, FL 34236. To Book a Sunday Funday VIP Ticket (All Ages, 4hr -$40) visit artfulgiraffe.com


The Artful Giraffe , 1861 Fruitville Road Sarasota, FL 34236

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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