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2006 Graduate – Paula Marie Quinn

Paula Marie QuinnBefore Apopka was “The Indoor Foliage Capital of the World” or even before it was “The Fern City,” it was The Lodge. From about 7500 B.C. until about the 1st century A. D. when they disappeared for reasons unknown, Indians were believed to have lodged on the shores of Lake Apopka. Then for about 400 years the region appears to have been uninhabited.

When the Spaniards arrived in Florida in the 16th century, the Acuera tribe of the Timucua confederation was said to have lived in the Apopka area, growing crops and trading. By 1730 these natives were decimated by war and diseases brought by the Europeans and had also disappeared.

Then early in the 19th century, Indians again inhabited the area. There was a Seminole village on Lake Apopka, or Ahapopka, as they spelled and pronounced it. It remained an active village until the outbreak of the Second Seminole War in the mid 1830s. Coacoochee (Wild Cat), one of the most famous and influential War Chiefs, was born here and ruled as Chief of about 200 Indians until this village was evacuated and the natives sought refuge in the swampy areas around the St Johns.

In 1882 the City of Apopka was incorporated. The City limits were measured one mile in all directions from the Masonic Lodge. The “Lodge” is still in its original location on Main Street and is the oldest lodge room in continuous use in the State of Florida.

In 1912 ferns became the industry for Apopka and soon Apopka developed the name of “Fern City”. More tropical plants were introduced to the growers in the area. This influx of foliage took over the fern industry and the City became known as “The Indoor Foliage Capital of the World”.

Progress continued and today Apopka is still an important hub of commerce. One of the fastest-growing cities in Orange County, it is home base to more than 45,000 citizens in the greater Apopka area. Please meet a proud contributor to this important hub. Pictured here is one very happy Paula Marie Quinn. She’s smiling ear-to-ear because she is a high school graduate. She earned and received her diploma in November of Last year. She worked diligently to accomplish this feat.

Paula made the decision to leave public high school to stay home with her grandmother. Her grandmother was sick and needed almost constant care. Instead of just dropping out, Paula enrolled in Citizens’ High School. Paula took all four academic years with us. Paula would study her lessons at the kitchen table when her grandmother was sleeping. She always thought she would return to public school when she was no longer needed by her grandmother.

After enrolling with Citizens’, Paula met a man that would become her husband. She married in 2002 and had a child in 2003. This blessed event precluded a return to public education. Paula remained committed to her education despite the changes in her life. She explains “I am glad I didn’t settler for a G.E.D. It was important for me to have a real diploma. This has made a big difference in my life.”

Paula is now in Beauty School. When she finishes she will make an even greater contribution to the economy of Apopka. Citizens’ has every confidence in her. We have seen her drive and initiative first hand.

Miss Paula Marie Quinn is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for October 2006.