Some people who retire after a full life of working plan to enjoy the remainder of their lives taking it easy. Not so for six women in West Palm Beach who have a combined 200 years of experience as educators in Palm Beach and Martin counties. Instead of resting on their proverbial laurels, they decided to open LaMensa Academy New Generation Charter School, choosing a name that emphasizes intellectual pursuits.
The school opened on Aug. 22 for children K-3 to be introduced to math, science and technology — a commendable objective in light of the growing demand for children to be technologically minded from as early an age as possible.
Ms. Elizabeth Taylor, whose 40 years in education includes two decades as a principal and administrator, came up with the idea for the school and persuaded five colleagues to join her: Julia Bullard, Delores Calloway, Bettye Lawson, Revia Lee and Pamela Patterson.
But, like so many things, the support of the community is necessary for the venture to succeed. That has not been forthcoming — not because the school is not worthy of being supported, but because the women spent most of their time preparing to launch the academy and paid little attention to the need to let people know about it.
Ms. Taylor and her colleagues opened LaMensa with six students and increased the number to 38 after an open house. But even that is not enough for the school to retain its charter. It has to show wider support. In a commendable gesture, the Palm Beach County School District is giving the women some breathing space so they can market their school and attract more students.
It is not certain whether that can happen in time to prevent the closure of LaMensa during the current school year. If it is not, the women say they will be back and this time they will make an effort to let the community know about them and their project.
It is hoped that the community will pay attention and rally to their side to ensure the venture does not collapse completely. It is not often that this type of collective brainpower is put at the disposal of the community. When it is, residents should eagerly embrace it.