With the beginning of a new school year comes several different things. There are new teachers, new classes, new students and this year at Manatee High School, a new principal.
Former Superintendent Tim McGonegal appointed Don Sauer as Manatee High School's principal in June. Sauer replaced Matthew Kane, who served as interim principal after Manatee's former principal, Robert Gagnon, left to become the assistant superintendent of the Manatee County School District.
Sauer was previously an
assistant principal at Lakewood Ranch High School, and when news broke concerning his appointment, students were surprised to find that a Mustang was converting to a Hurricane. Mr. Sauer found it easy to compare the two schools.
"Manatee is a much larger school with a very different campus layout," said Sauer. "It's hard to adjust to administering over 500 more students. Despite the differences in size, Mr. Gagnon and I worked together at Lakewood, so many things are similar between MHS and LRHS."
Moving to a new school can be a very difficult task, especially in the beginning.
Mr. Sauer reflects on his first few weeks at Manatee.
"It has been fast and furious; lots of things coming at me," said Sauer. "Even with all of the work the assistant principals are doing, there still has been a lot to do."
Before his time at Lakewood Ranch, our principal worked at Southeast High School for 12 years. He recalls his first memory of Manatee, at a football game in the 1980s when Manatee bruised the Seminoles en route to a huge victory.
"I was taught from the time I was 20 to hate Manatee. At Southeast it was all athletics and at Lakewood it was an academic rivalry. But now being apart of the school, I've learned it's not the 'evil place' people have made it out to be. MHS has a great staff that truly care about the students," Sauer said.
Students have positive reactions regarding our new principal. Most have never spoken with him, but impressions have still been made.
"I thought it was interesting that Mr. Sauer went from being an assistant principal to becoming the principal at one of the best schools in Manatee County," said Katie Chin, a senior. "That is a big step up and much more responsibility. He seems to be doing a good job and everything is running smoothly."
With Manatee's fantastic teachers, students and assistant principals, Mr. Sauer should quickly learn the expectations of our school, as everyone at Manatee knows anything less than excellence is unacceptable.