News Columns & Blogs

Cheer up, children will show the way

When the state of Florida released school grades Thursday, fully half of Manatee schools had earned A’s.

Notable were Samoset and Tara elementary schools, which last year were C schools and this year are A schools.

Also notable was Mike Wilder, who as the outgoing principal of Lakewood Ranch High School, led his school to an A grade, to stand alone among Manatee high schools.

The results were so encouraging that Superintendent Tim McGonegal was talking about the school district moving up in few years to become an A district for the first time. We can hope.

Obviously, when there is good news, the credit can and should be widely spread and shared.

But it really boils down to what the students themselves were able to achieve, and what the classroom teachers were able to inspire.

Congratulations for all the good work in the classroom.


Even before the grades came out, Little Bookworms at Lakewood Ranch Main Street announced that it would be rewarding good grades. From June 15 through July 15, children in kindergarten through 12th grade can bring their report cards to the store to receive 50 cents in store credit for each A on their final report cards, up to a maximum credit of $3 per child. The credit can be used toward the purchase of any item in the store.


There are several community noteworthy items on the Manatee County Commission agenda for Tuesday:

n Commissioners are set to consider a resolution authorizing construction of a two-story combination building at Lakewood Ranch Park by East Manatee G.T. Bray Little League.

n A lease agreement and funding agreement with Parrish Community Foundation is set to be approved for operating a community center at the Old Parrish School House. As an aside, it was my pleasure to recently meet Bill O’Brien, a former principal of Parrish Elementary School. Bill went tandem-jumping on his 85th birthday.

n Adopt a resolution to submit a grant request to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for restoration activities at the Ungarelli Preserve. Last May, the county commission agreed to buy the 35-acre parcel along the southeast bank of Palma Sola Bay.

The $150,000 purchase was one of the best buys the county ever made. Dorothy Ungarelli offered the property to the county as a steal to honor her late husband and his love of the waterfront property.

James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted at 708-7916.