Palm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach County


Coastal Middle and High School in Lake Park helping kids who struggle academically and socially

Posted at 7:09 AM, Nov 21, 2019

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Lisa Collum, a Jupiter mom of four, is the principal and owner of Coastal Middle and High School. Her previous work experience includes being a public school teacher.

She's now passionate about her mission to lead a very small private school for students who have had difficulties academically and socially, including kids who have been bullied.

Pam and Ron Figoras said they finally feel like they have their daughter, Katrina, back.

They said they owe that to what happens at Coastal Middle and High School in Lake Park.

"She has plans for her future, and she didn't always have those," said Pam Figoras. "I don't think we realized how tough it was until we were through it, and could go, 'Wow, that was really tough on us and it was really tough on her.'"

They said Katrina struggled academically and socially. This private school in Lake Park helps students with similar backgrounds succeed.

"A lot of students come to us who have been bullied," said Collum. "You have 3,000 kids in a high school, and it's hard for teachers and administration to keep on top of it."

Lisa Collum
Lisa Collum

Collum said her school, due its size and nature, is different.

"We are part of their everyday (lives), so there really truly is no bullying here," said Collum.

Collum is passionate that there is no one size fits all when it comes to young students.

"I have kids with anxiety. It's too much with all the kids and all the pressure," Collum said. "I don't want to see those students lost in the cracks or not graduate just because they need something different."

One of the unique aspects about the school is that they treat each student as an individual and try to cater to their needs.

"I am huge on all students learn differently," said Collum.

For Katrina Figoras, a junior, the people and place has made all the difference in her life.

"I like the environment and how it's a lot of one-on-one attention," said Figoras. "It's really relaxed, and you don't feel as weird, and there are really accepting people."