written by Nicole Finnicum, Sanibel Sea School Youth Education Director
Sanibel Sea School is a truly magical place. We get to share the wonders of the ocean with kids and inspire them to care about our blue planet. The experience is transformative for most – we push kids out of their comfort zones, give them the courage to try new things, and help them foster a deep connection to the ocean.
I’ve been lucky enough to spend the last eight years co-creating these experiences, helping to change lives and inspire young individuals and for me, that has been personally transformative. Back in 2013, I began my Sea School journey as a marine science educator not knowing how much this sandy bucket school would impact my life. I have shared so many laughs with campers, learned so much about the ocean, gained new skills as a young professional, and was certainly pushed out of my comfort zone.
In the spirit of growth and transformation, I am writing to share the bittersweet news that I will be ending my journey at Sanibel Sea School. I have recently accepted a position in Experiential Learning with my alma mater, Ohio University, and my husband Michael and I will be moving back to my home state of Ohio.
Sanibel Sea School will be left in good hands. I am so excited and proud to share that Shannon Stainken will assume the role of Youth Education Director for Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), leading Sanibel Sea School into a strong future. Shannon is an outstanding leader and truly embodies the spirit of Sea School. I am confident that she will continue to share the magic of the ocean with so many kiddos..
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for allowing me to share these experiences with your kids and trusting me to help build this school. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the awesome team at Sea School – I know they will do great things.