PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis took part in a special ceremony Thursday afternoon at the AMIkids Panama City Marine Institute.

Patronis swore in the school’s new board of directors, as PCMI is opening the new AMIkids Maritime Academy this coming August.

“They had a lot of hoops to jump through, there’s a lot of paperwork involved, a lot of things that you have to do to be able to qualify, to get a certain amount of money that you need to be able to do it right. They’ve now gotten to that point, this is a celebration day because they finally got to that point that they can be what they need to be for our community and the children,” explained Greg Brudnicki, Panama City Mayor.

Maritime Academy is a free public charter high school for grades 9 through 12 and will specialize in maritime STEM fields like underwater robotics, marine science, as well as aviation.

“Our children are our single biggest most important investment we’ll ever make in our life, bigger than our homes, as we put our resources, our time, our energy into them,” said Patronis. “These are going to be the future leaders of tomorrow, they’re going to be opening businesses, they’re going to be running businesses, they’re going to be taking care of us.”

For more information about the school and enrollment click here.