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Guest Op/Ed Response: MCSB Needs to Emphasize Leader Development


In response to the guest editorial titled “MCSB Needs to Emphasize Leader Development” published by the Bradenton Times on Saturday, February 15, 2014, I would like to submit the following facts.

First, an assertion was made in the opening paragraph that Superintendent Rick Mills and Deputy Superintendent of Operations Don Hall lacked classroom teaching experience. That is not accurate. Mr. Mills taught multiple courses at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Mr. Hall taught middle school in both Tennessee and Washington and at the university level at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY, and at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN.

Secondly, the guest editorial failed to acknowledge that the Manatee County School District’s new leadership team is acutely aware of previous shortfalls in building leadership capacity within the school district and is moving forward aggressively to correct that shortfall. In his message to all school and school district-administrators on June 11, 2013 at Braden River High School, Mr. Mills stated the following:

“We need to build leadership capacity in our school district-that is absolutely critical. Not only do we need to build the leadership capacity that we have; we need to produce more leaders in the school district. We are going to start with a very deliberate senior leadership development program and I am going to look at different ways to provide leadership development for our principals, particularly our first and second-year principals.”

Leadership development is already under way and training is being provided by district leadership in areas such as instruction, school management and finances. Building leadership capacity is and will remain a high priority for the Manatee County School District as long as the current administrative leadership is in place.


Steve Valley
Director of Communications, Family & Community Engagement

Manatee County School District


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