Lake Nona High’s Collegiate Academy was featured in the Orlando Sentinel. See the story below:
Record number of high-school students graduating with college credits
Some students earn enough credits for early associate’s degrees
By Lauren Roth, Orlando Sentinel
May 30, 2012
As Daniel Pedrero signed classmates’ yearbooks at the Senior Day awards ceremony, he had two milestones to celebrate. Not only was he graduating from Freedom High School in Orange County, he also had completed an associate’s degree at Valencia College.
Pedrero, 18, is one of a growing number of Florida students taking advantage of dual enrollment, a state-endorsed way for students to take courses toward a college degree while still in secondary school.
“It was probably the best decision I’ve made in high school,” he said. “It’s given me the opportunity to get so ahead, and at no cost.”
As at least 23,000 students around Central Florida mark the end of their high school careers at graduation ceremonies this month, more of them are leaving with college classes under their belts.
The number of Florida students participating in the tuition-free program has grown from about 29,000 two years ago to more than 42,000 this year.
In Central Florida, 4,002 students took dual enrollment courses at area colleges this year. This spring, several dozen high school seniors graduated from Valencia with an associate’s degree, said Keith Houck, vice president for operations and finance at the college.
Pedrero, who plans to major in entrepreneurship at the University of Miami, said he still enjoyed the high school life while attending classes such as political science and calculus at Valencia. “There are some activities I missed, but I went to all of the football games and most of the pep rallies,” he said.
Programs like the Collegiate Academy at Lake Nona High School are helping push more students to take college courses early. Four hundred students at the Orange County school, up from 33 a year ago, are on a track that will have them taking regular college courses by their junior year, and preparatory courses beginning as freshmen.
This year’s Lake Nona valedictorian, Kalene Badree, 18, will go to University of Florida this fall with junior standing. She did so well in her Valencia courses that she’s been tutoring older college students in subjects such as calculus, sociology and economics.
Lake Nona and Panera Bread Company have signed a long-term lease for a 4,413-square-foot outparcel bakery-café with an outdoor patio at Lake Nona Village, located on Narcoossee Road across the street from the Lake Nona Information Center and NorthLake Park neighborhood. Panera at Lake Nona is expected to open later this year.
Panera’s restaurant at Lake Nona will feature its popular bakery, where patrons can find freshly baked breads, bagels, pastries and sweets, in addition to its traditional café that will provide sandwiches, soups and hand-tossed salads.
Just east of Orlando’s international airport, the state-of-the-art community of Lake Nona is quickly developing with billions of dollars in new facilities, thousands of high-value jobs and modern neighborhoods.
The 7,000-acre master-planned Lake Nona community will provide healthy living and sustainability products for residents and businesses through GE ecomagination and healthymagination solutions.
“Our collaboration with GE brings a global perspective to Lake Nona that is helping us achieve a level of efficiency unmatched in the region,” said Lake Nona President Jim Zboril. “With the help of GE’s emerging, innovative products, Lake Nona is quickly becoming a showplace for cutting-edge, sustainable design. GE’s products will play a key role in Lake Nona’s orientation for healthy living and sustainability, making a meaningful difference in energy use and health outcomes at Lake Nona.”
In March, Golf Channel commentators broke from chattering about Tiger Woods’ and Ernie Els’ performances in the Tavistock Cup at Orlando’s Lake Nona Golf & Country Club to gush about a nearby complex of research labs, education facilities and hospitals that make up Orlando’s new “Medical City.”
Over piney treetops, viewers got a long look at the biotech hub, which includes Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and UCF’s medical school. The spotlight on Medical City was a rare glimpse at a part of the region’s economy that is usually defined in terms mouse ears, roller coasters and performing killer whales.
Lake Nona announced today that PGA Tour player and Lake Nona resident Graeme McDowell has partnered with Bistro Concepts, LLC, to bring Lake Nona a modern tavern concept, NONA BLUE.
The group has signed a lease for a 5,618 square-foot restaurant at its retail shopping center Lake Nona Village, located on Narcoossee Road between the entrances to the renowned Lake Nona Golf & Country Club and NorthLake Park.