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Guest Commentary: Congratulations Graduates


As the 2013-2014 school year comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Class of 2014! I would also like to thank and congratulate all the parents and families of each graduate, this is a memory moment for all!  Enjoy that walk and be sure to take a look back over the stage and catch the view of the full house cheering you on to college & careers!

For our teachers, staff and community, we also have an opportunity to celebrate the first release of FCAT data. We are aware that Manatee has not been in the top percentage of our state rankings in some time but we own the right to celebrate heading forward and upward! Thank you to each teacher, staff and student who remained steadfast to the mission of our district and thank you to the leadership team whose support has been needed and welcomed.

In moving onto the summer months; the School Board along with the Superintendent and Leadership teams will be meeting and working on budgets for 2014-2015. This will mark the first complete budget cycle for Mr. Mills and his team. Thank you to those who have taken on the challenge to take this district to the top of the state. We look forward to celebrating more good news with our neighbor communities and I thank those in Sarasota and other counties who have called and congratulated us on stabilizing our district. It was a great moment as a Board Member to see a letter from Pam Stewart to recognize us on being one of three counties to excel in all areas!

This year will be the first budget for Manatee County that is defined and aligned to the mission and vision of our district. I appreciate the support from all of the Charter Schools as we worked through the costs of transportation. In the past there was a cost per mile and cost for driver per hour. The real cost of a driver includes pay and benefits and the real costs per mile include tires and maintenance. This is just one example of the level of accountability that is coming to Manatee County. It is a new day and a new process and as we saw through this one issue, staff provided facts and data and transportation worked with finance and budget and HR together to determine all of the costs.

Staff is working diligently to provide for the educational needs of our students and their classrooms. The public can view our meetings and workshops with us at location, or on television. Working together and being well informed will provide us the best results and continue our path to return to the top of our state and provide our students with the best return for the investment of public funds for their education.

Julie Aranibar, Chair
Manatee County School Board


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