Letter to the Editor: Vision of Indiantown High School is now a reality

Posted 8/2/23

For the first time in the community’s history, students no longer need to make....

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Letter to the Editor: Vision of Indiantown High School is now a reality


My wife Sandy and I live blessed lives. We have a beautiful family, successful businesses, and many wonderful friends. We recognize that our story isn’t everyone’s.

That’s why we’ve devoted our recent years to having critical community conversations and investing in opportunities that change the lives of youth, particularly those growing up with modest resources.

We seek collaborations that provide our community’s children with unmatched educational foundations that aim to secure their personal lives and positively affect their economic futures.

Today, Aug. 2, we made immeasurable progress toward securing economic prosperity for the children of Indiantown, one of the most culturally diverse, economically challenged areas in Florida’s Treasure Coast region.

Today we joined hundreds of community members, government officials, Indian River State College leaders, faculty and staff, and most importantly, students and their families to dedicate Indiantown High School, a new public charter high school operated by the College.

Today we realized our vision to establish a high school where graduates are not only employable but will thrive—in Indiantown and beyond. Students at Indiantown High School learn in the most technologically advanced classrooms and laboratories and are empowered to pursue college credits or workforce credentials — as early as ninth grade.

Historically, rural districts have faced challenges in providing high-quality, work-based learning opportunities, and their local businesses faced difficulties finding high-quality employees. Traditionally, rural schools have had fewer course offerings and less sophisticated technology.

That’s no longer true in Indiantown.

IRSC embraced my vision to bring the young minds of Indiantown a state-of-the-art facility coupled with outstanding faculty and staff and the benefit of College academic and workforce education programs.

And we moved with velocity. We broke ground in June 2022, welcomed our first students in August 2022, and here we are today at the opening of a new 60,000-square-foot building.

Dedicated community stakeholders played an essential role in galvanizing commitment from local legislators, County commissioners and the Martin County School District. The IRSC Foundation and the State of Florida joined the effort, providing additional financial support.

This was a “whole of community lift.”

For the first time in the community’s history, students no longer need to make the daily 17-mile trek back and forth on a school bus to go to a high school outside of their community.

And for the first time in a long time, we’ve made significant progress in breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

indiantown high school, charles johnston