Gallery: Ina A. Colen Academy Dedication Ceremony

New school honors the life of former teacher Ina A. Colen.


Annie Avery, the Principal, left, celebrates with a check for $50,000 for a new school bus donated by Ken Ausley of Ausley Construction, right, during the dedication ceremony for the Ina A. Colen Academy in Calesa Township in Ocala, Fla. on Wednesday, July 27, 2022. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2022.

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Posted July 27, 2022 | Photos By Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette

The bright sun beaming down on the covered courtyard for the dedication ceremony for the Ina A. Colen Academy on Wednesday, July 27, seemed to serve as precursor for the bright future anticipated for future students.

The tuition-free public charter school established by The Colen Family Charitable Trust will open in August with more than 200 students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Plans are to double the capacity each year while increasing grade levels to include middle and high school.

The academy is in the Calesa Township development in the On Top of the World Communities, which were initially developed by Sidney Colen. His wife, Ina A. Colen, was a teacher. They are both deceased. The school is named in her memory. Their son, Kenneth Colen, is the current president of OTOW Communities.