Manatee announces principals for new schools

“Friday the 13th is a lucky day” proclaims Dr. Mona Jain at new school groundbreaking

A new Manatee County middle school will be named after Dr. Mona Jain; educator and medical doctor.
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A new Manatee County middle school will be named after Dr. Mona Jain; educator and medical doctor.

The School District of Manatee County announced three leadership changes on Friday afternoon, with each taking effect on Jan. 7.

Craig Little, principal of Lakewood Ranch High School, will head the new North River High School, according to a news release. The school is under construction in Parrish, where it’s slated to open in August.

He started in Manatee as a physical education teacher in 2001, then leading Haile Middle School, Johnson Middle School and his current school as an assistant principal, the release states.

The district plans to advertise Little’s position at Lakewood Ranch High, collect public comments and then fill the position by winter. He started as principal of Lakewood Ranch High School in 2014.

According to the Manatee County School District, North River High School is scheduled to open in August, 2019.

“Obviously, I have mixed emotions,” Little said in a prepared statement. “I have strong ties and great friends at Lakewood Ranch, but I am excited about developing a new set of traditions at our county’s newest high school.”

Angela Lindsey, principal of Johnson-Wakeland K-8 School of International Baccalaureate, will lead Dr. Mona Jain Middle School. The new school, in Lakewood Ranch, is scheduled to open in August.

Lindsey started as a math teacher at Sugg Middle School in 1986. She became a department chair at Braden River Middle School, an assistant principal at Haile Middle and Johnson, and a principal at Daughtrey Elementary School before accepting her current position in 2015.

“While I will always cherish my time at Johnson, I am honored to be the first principal at Dr. Mona Jain Middle School,” her statement said. “I look forward to carrying on her legacy of dedication to our students and community.”

Anthony Losada, the district’s director of secondary cirriculum and professional learning, will take the reins at Johnson-Wakeland after its principal departs.

He taught in Manatee for 12 years, starting in 1994, and he later served as an assistant principal at Braden River and Manatee High School. Losado also worked as the principal of Buffalo Creek Middle School.

According to the release, his transition from district administrator to school principal was a personal decision.

“While I enjoyed serving at the district level, I am eager to get back to working directly with our students and teachers at Johnson Middle,” he said in a prepared statement.