Principal Jeff Estes: Bonita Springs High School to create 120 local jobs

Bonita Springs High School held its first classes on August 10 in portables on the Estero High School campus. Below is a Q & A with Principal Jeff Estes about the school’s job creation goals, which programs it offers students, and what the new school means for the quality of life in Bonita Springs.

When will Bonita Springs High School be open for students?
We should start moving our furniture in July 2018, and then the students will start in that building in August 2018.

Where will Bonita Springs High School athletes practice this year?
We’re using a combination of the Bonita Recreation Center, the Bonita Springs YMCA and Estero High School to meet our needs. Football games will be at the Estero stadium, and most of the events will be at Estero. It’s actually working out amazing, because at 1:45 p.m. every day the district is providing us two buses for practices, and then those buses are also taking them back to the school so they can go home.

How many staff and faculty members have been hired for the 2017-18 school year? How many employees do you expect to hire over the next four years, as the student body grows?
Myself included, there’s a total of 31 people. We’ll probably hire around 90 more for a total of about 120 people, based on enrollment.

Which programs will BSHS provide that set it apart from other high schools in the area?
One is definitely the aerospace academy. No one else has one of those. In that academy, the students can own their private pilot license, and can also get their drone license. Part of that academy, too, is a 14-hour dual enrollment program with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. No one has that.

What do you think students will like most about BSHS?
Right now, it’s the extracurriculars and the aerospace academy and the collegiate academy. We’ve got tremendously high turnout rates for our athletics programs and it’s really cool to see.

Please share anything else you’d like parents, students and community members to know about Bonita Springs High School.
We’ve hired a great staff and as excitement just continues to build for this, we’re able to hire great people. I’ve been very, very selective to hire people for the right slots, and that’s something that not every school has the luxury to do. When we run an ad for a teacher, we get 25 to 30 people who want that job, so we’re going to have a really great staff. It’s the excitement of something new. You have a lot of people who live close, who would love to work in their own town.

Learn more about Bonita Springs High School and keep up with construction progress here.