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Education Notes

March 9, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts to present 'Once Upon a Mattress' this weekend

The 2018 Spring Musical at North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts, "Once Upon a Mattress" takes the stage today and Saturday, March 9 and 10. Tickets are $10. Showtime is at 7 p.m. both nights.

According to officials, the school built its biggest set ever for this musical. Seventy middle school students will be performing, supported by another 20 working behind the scenes.

"Everyone is going to laugh the entire time," said production director Kathy Rivadeneira, "They're going to be in awe watching these kids perform."

Students auditioned for the play in December and started three-times-a-week rehearsals in January.

"Once Upon a Mattress" is the musical version of the fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea." It tells the story of Princess Winnifred, who is an ungainly, brash girl competing for the hand of Prince Dauntless. His domineering mother, Queen Aggravain, has declared he must marry a "true" princess before anyone else in the kingdom can marry.

Tickets are available at

Miller to perform Sunday with Gulf Coast Symphony

Christian Miller, a 10th grade student at Canterbury School in Fort Myers, will perform with the Gulf Coast Symphony and Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers at their "Bernstein at 100" concert Sunday, March 11, at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at Florida SouthWestern State College. This performance is part of a world-wide celebration of the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein that includes centennial events around the world.

Miller is the featured soloist in Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms." The program also includes the overture from "Candide" and "Make Our Garden Grow" from the same production, a choral suite from "West Side Story," the overture to "Wonderful Town," three dance episodes from "On The Town" and the symphonic suite from "On the Waterfront."

Miller has been singing and acting since 5th grade. Throughout middle school and high school, he has been heavily involved in the arts. He began in 5th grade playing Charlie in "Willy Wonka the Musical" and discovered a love of performing. He went to All-State Chorus his 7th and 8th grade year, and had the privilege of performing a solo at the state performance his 7th grade year. He performed as Tom Of Warwick in the Broadway travelling production of "Camelot " and portrayed Ralphie in "A Christmas Story: The Musical" in 2017 at the Broadway Palm. He joined the Mastersingers City of Palms Youth Choir in 2016, and is the recipient of the Ruth Ann DeMaster scholarship. In 2017, he won in 2 categories for the Young Artists Awards for classical voice and for contemporary voice/ musical theater.

Tickets for the "Bernstein at 100" performance at 7 p.m. Sunday, start at $29 and may be purchased online at or by calling the Barbara B. Mann box office at 239-481-4849.

Local residents earn degree from Western Governors University

The following local students have received their degree from Western Governors University. The university held its 64th commencement ceremony at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando Feb. 10 to celebrate the graduation of about 15,000 graduates from across the country.

The graduates included:

* Rima Stevens of Cape Coral - master of science in nursing - education (BSN to MSN).

* Teresa Yurko of Cape Coral - master of science in nursing - education (RN to MSN).

* Leslie Torres of Cape Coral - bachelor of science in nursing.

* Adaryll Gandy of Fort Myers - bachelor of science in business management.

* Aimee Anderson of Fort Myers - bachelor of science in business management.

* Jeffery Carstens of Fort Myers - bachelor of arts in science (5-12 in chemistry).

* Jaclyn Fantasia of Fort Myers - master of science in educational leadership.

At commencement, the online, nonprofit university recognized 8,839 undergraduates and 6,117 graduates who have completed their degrees in business, information technology, K-12 teacher education, and healthcare, including nursing. More than 1,100 new alumni participating in the ceremony.

Designed to meet the needs of working adults, WGU's competency-based education model makes it possible for students to fit studying into their busy lives. Students complete courses as soon as they demonstrate that they have mastered the subject matter, enabling them to move quickly through material they already know and spend more time on focusing on what

they still need to learn. As a result, many students are able to accelerate their studies, finishing faster and saving money.

Learn more at

Oasis Middle to present 'Elf Jr.'

Oasis Middle School will be presenting "Elf Jr." Wednesday, April 11 through Friday, April 13th. Showtime will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Ida Baker Auditorium in Cape Coral.

Tickets can be purchased at the door.



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