February 22, 2019
Dear Friends, Members and Advisors:
We hope everyone has had as great a start to 2019 as we have! The last few months have been a flurry of activity.
Earlier this month, we closed the purchase and sale transaction in Panama City, Florida. The Foundation is now the proud owner of 230 acres of land abutting North Bay, with 1 mile of shoreline. We are so excited to finally have a home!
An Amazing Milestone
On February 13, 2019, together with the Bay County Economic Development Alliance, Casa Laxmi announced this project to the community at the BayEDA Investors’ Meeting. The meeting was attended by some of the most prominent business people, entrepreneurs, and educators in Bay County. Approximately 100 people were in attendance, together with several media outlets. Kiran Kulkarni and Sonal Thomas participated in press interviews immediately following the announcement. In attendance from the Casa Laxmi team were Kiran Kulkarni, Shalaka Kulkarni, Sonal Thomas, Dee Vaidya, the Honourable Dave Levac and Dr. Joshua Aronson. We received an incredibly warm welcome and the community was extremely supportive of the project – the standing ovation we received spoke volumes! We have since received an outpouring of support from people nation-wide, offering their expertise and assistance.
Here are some links to the various news pieces that have been released:
Our Team Grows!
We are proud to announce that Russell Speirs has joined our Education Advisory Board! Russell is the CEO and Founder of RSAcademics, a management consultancy that enables independent and private schools worldwide to flourish by finding and developing leaders, guiding decision-makers, making connections and shaping the educational debate. Set up in 2002, the company employs over 80 staff and associates and supports over 250 schools each year across the globe. The company exists entirely to serve schools and is headquartered in the UK. Russell is a graduate of the University of Oxford and The European School of Management.
We are now working with our local architects, civil engineers and environmental consultants to complete the master planning of the campus. We hope to have the first iteration soon and will circulate it for comment shortly thereafter. In the meantime, f you have any suggestions or ideas on how to design the campus, please reach out to us!
University of Pennsylvania
Penn’s Graduate School of Education has offered to collaborate with Casa Laxmi to offer professional development programming for our educators. In particular, Penn offers a program to residential school teachers to help them turn a school into a community. In addition to implementing their practices at the Institute, Penn has offered to create custom professional development programs for our teachers, given the uniqueness of our school. Teachers would even obtain certificates from Penn upon successful completion of these programs.
Casa Laxmi has teamed up with Cornell’s astronomy department to design an astronomy lab on campus. In fact, Cornell’s professors have advised us that instead of spending resources on high powered lenses and state-of-the-art telescopes, they can assist in establishing a live feed into telescopes across the world. So imagine – from the comfort of our campus, our students could be watching an astronomical event in real time, but that visual would have been captured remotely.
Casa Laxmi has been working steadily to find the perfect school partner. This partner will be an established boarding school, under whose name the Institute will operate. We hope to finalize this in the coming months, and upon doing so, expect another big announcement!