Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Principal Changes Planned | Closure of Orange Ridge Spurs Shuffle in District Leadership

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Principal Changes Planned | Closure of Orange Ridge Spurs Shuffle in District Leadership

Article excerpt

MANATEE COUNTY SCHOOLS

BRADENTON -- Thirteen principals, mainly at the elementary school level, are changing jobs as part of a larger staff shuffle announced Wednesday by the School District of Manatee County.

The district also added three new administrative position overseeing curriculum and student services while filling four vacancies created because of employees retiring.

Some existing principals moved up into district positions, creating openings, and the closure of an elementary school caused a domino effect.

"The closure of Orange Ridge-Bullock resulted in an opportunity for us to make some strategic principal shifts," said Cynthia Saunders, deputy superintendent for instruction. "The goal of all of these position hires was to match the best person to the best position to help us move forward together as a school district."

Earlier this month, the School Board voted to close aging Orange Ridge-Bullock Elementary, 400 30th Ave. W., at the end of the school year, declaring the campus unfit for students. The majority of the students, including special needs children attending the Bullock program, will be sent to the newer Rogers Garden, about a mile away at 515 13th Ave. W.

Instead of choosing either Orange Ridge Principal Maribeth Mason or Rogers Garden Principal Latrina Singleton to lead the newly combined school, the district chose to move a veteran principal, Pat Stream, to unify the staffs. Stream is currently the principal at Samoset Elementary.

"She has done a great job where she is, but in combining the staff of two and creating a new one, we want to make sure everything is equal moving forward," Saunders said.

Mason will move to Samoset, and Singleton will go to Blackburn in Palmetto.

Saunders said other moves were both methodical and strategic and resulted from employee interest in changing jobs as well as a need to match skills with district needs.

At Mills Elementary, for example, Principal Mike Rio was promoted to executive director of elementary education. …

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