Sarasota and Manatee counties make changes to school leadership

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Ahead of the upcoming school year, the Sarasota and Manatee County school districts announced a number of changes in administrative positions at various schools.

Here’s who’s on the move.

Sarasota County

Michelle Miller, who was vice-principal at Glenallen Elementary, started as principal at Gulf Gate Elementary on July 1. She replaced Robin Magac, who retired this year.

“Her collaborative nature and deep understanding of best practices for exceptional students, gifted students, and general education are just a few of the many things that make her a dynamic person to lead the Gulf Gate community,” said said Brandon Johnson, executive director of Sarasota Elementary Schools. County, in a statement.

Mindy Long

Mindy Long, who was the vice principal of Fruitville Elementary, started as principal of Alta Vista Elementary on July 1. She replaced Barbara Shirley on retirement.

“I am honored to be the new principal of Alta Vista Elementary School,” Long said in a statement. “Dr. Shirley and her incredible team have fostered an authentic and inclusive community for all students and families. I am thrilled to get to know everyone and look forward to seeing all of our Eagles soar strongly in the new school year !

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Students line up to board a school bus in Manatee County.

manatee county

Michael Mullen started as manager at King Middle on July 1. He previously served as vice-principal at Bayshore and Lakewood Ranch High Schools. Mullen succeeds Kristin Kreiling, who moves to an unadvertised position.

Shelly DeCesare started as manager of Lee Middle on July 1. She has worked as an assistant principal at Southeast High School since 2016. DeCesare succeeds Ginger Collins, who will be Southeast High’s new principal.

Sheila Waid replaced Cheryl McGrew as Principal of McNeal Elementary. Waid has served as vice-principal at Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary since 2021 and vice-principal at Williams Elementary from 2018-2021.

Natalie Jadid succeeded James Horner, who is retiring, as principal of Moody Elementary. She was a teaching specialist and vice-principal at Manatee Elementary since 2020, and student dean of Imagine Schools at Palmer Ranch in 2019.

Michael Escorcia became the new principal of Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary on July 1. He replaced Pat Stream, who is retiring. Escorcia had been an assistant principal at Daughtrey Elementary since 2017.

Samara Hemingway Primous started as principal of Samoset Elementary on July 1. She has been a vice principal at Bayshore Elementary since 2019 and vice principal at Manatee Elementary from 2017 to 2019.

Hemingway Primous succeeded Maribeth Mason, who was promoted to associate director of exceptional student education for the district. Mason, who served as the principal of Samoset Elementary since 2015, has worked in education for 29 years in Pinellas County.

Andrea Keezer took over from Connie Dixon as principal of Williams Elementary on July 1. She has been vice-principal at Harvey Elementary since 2020 and vice-principal at Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary from 2017-2020.

Aliki Bovoletis started as Principal of Sea Breeze Elementary on July 1. She has served as assistant superintendent in Manatee County since 2015 and replaced Tami VanOverbeke, who is retiring.

Wendy Mungillo, who worked for nearly 30 years in Manatee County schools, replaced Paul Hockenbury as principal of Kinnan Elementary. She has worked in the district’s human resources department since 2016 and served as the principal of three elementary schools in Title 1 Manatee County.

Manatee County Schools also announced several new vice principals: Maria Gil at Bashaw Elementary, Ariana Kennedy at Bayshore Elementary, Bryan Baker at Blackburn Elementary, Jennifer Caldwell at Daughtrey Elementary, Kristina Whightsel at Harvey Elementary, Jennifer Santora at Manatee Elementary, Krista Keats at Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary, Beth Campbell at Sea Breeze Elementary, Allison Gehlot at Bayshore High, Thomas Bellantonio at Lakewood Ranch High, and Michael Perez at Southeast High.

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