Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Coachman Fundamental Middle

Coachman Fundamental Middle: A merger with the same A+ mission

Ask Bridget Bohnet how she feels about the fact that her school is closing after 14 years and she'll respond with a question of her own: Why does everybody think Coachman is closing?

"We're simply moving," Bohnet insists.

The school district's 2009 Outstanding Educator ticks off the reasons why Coachman's relocation 2 miles west and its merger with Kennedy Middle School is a good thing.

"We haven't lost many kids. We've lost only five staff members. And we're very excited about the opportunity to share what has worked so well at Coachman with so many more students."

Bohnet was in on the ground floor of a massive lobbying effort by north Pinellas parents in 1995 to create a fundamental middle school in Clearwater. She recalls the early days when 115 sixth-graders became Coachman's inaugural class, learning in six portables on the grounds of Curtis Fundamental Elementary.

"We called it 'Trailer Coachman,' " Bohnet said. "We made things up as we went along, which allowed us to be creative. It was one of those opportunities you could never re-create."

Along with five other teachers, two of whom are still at Coachman, Bohnet worked hard to make the school a destination. The school's FCAT scores have consistently been among the highest in the district. In February, 100 percent of Coachman's eighth grade students performed at grade level or above on the writing portion of the standardized test.

With the move to Kennedy, Coachman is intent on keeping its "brand," Bohnet says. One way to do that would be to keep the name, but that's a decision the School Board will make.

More important, Bohnet says, is staying true to the fidelity of a fundamental school as the student body grows from 550 to 850.

She's convinced that the Coachman team — staff, students and parents — will rise to the challenge.

Coachman Fundamental Middle: A merger with the same A+ mission 05/23/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 23, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: 'Channel Zero: No-End House' pumps up the prestige horror


    In its second season, Channel Zero cements itself as one of the scariest shows on television.

    Amy Forsyth in Channel Zero: No-End House.
  2. Utilities face barrage of questions as power returns to Tampa Bay


    Nearly all of Tampa Bay has electricity again a week after Hurricane Irma shredded the power grid, but elected officials here say the problem is far from solved.

    Duke Energy's Scott Crellin (right) works to cut tree limbs from a power line along S Pinellas Avenue as apprentice lineman Nick Ceccarini looks on Sept. 11, the day after Hurricane Irma struck Florida. [CHRIS URSO  |   Times]
  3. Yep, 2017 hurricane season really is more intense than normal


    It was only 25 days ago that Hurricane Harvey made landfall.

    A handout satellite image from Sept. 8, 2017, of, from left, Tropical Storm Katia, Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Jose, which would intensify into a hurricane. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been unusually active. There have been 13 named storms this year. Only four other seasons since 1995 have had that many by Sept. 18. [NASA/NOAA GOES Project via the New York Times]
  4. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs could run into their nemesis


    Greg Auman finishes wrapping up the Bucs' win against the Chicago Bears and looks ahead to Sunday's game at Minnesota, where Tampa Bay could run into nemesis Case Keenum, in our latest Cannon Fodder …

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) sacks Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during a 2016 game. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. How to vamp out for Buffyfest in St. Petersburg

    Music & Concerts

    Who's your favorite superhero? I always answer Buffy.

    Photo illustration RON BORRESEN, Photo by Warner Brothers, Photo by SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
Members of the Florida Bjorkestra rehearse, Monday, 3/13/17, at the Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg for their upcoming concert. In the foreground is percussionist Joe Coyle.

Sarah Michelle Gellar