Manatee school district announces new Lakewood Ranch High School principal

Lakewood Ranch High School’s next leader has been chosen.

The School District of Manatee County announced Friday that Dustin Dahlquist has been chosen as the new principal. He was selected from a batch of three other finalists that also included William Harris and Michael P. Mullen.

All three finalists participated in a public forum Wednesday night, introducing themselves and answering questions from the audience. The forum contributed to the final decision, along with interviews and staff input, according to a school district spokesperson.

“Mr. Dahlquist has demonstrated strong leadership and academic success within the school district. We’re excited for him to start this new chapter and continue a tradition of excellence at Lakewood Ranch High School,” said Willie Clark, executive director of secondary schools.

Dahlquist has worked in Manatee County as a teacher and administrator for more than 21 years. He has served as Buffalo Creek Middle School’s principal since 2016. His new role will take effect “early next year,” according to a press release.

Lakewood Ranch’s current principal, Craig Little, will head to North River High School, which is slated to open in August.

The school district says a job posting for Dahlquist’s replacement at Buffalo Creek will be available soon. The process will be similar to the selection of the Lakewood Ranch principal, including public input and the chance for faculty and staff to speak with finalists.

Ryan Callihan is the Bradenton Herald’s County Reporter, covering local government and politics. On the weekends, he also covers breaking news. Ryan is a graduate of USF St. Petersburg.
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