A young man grew up in humble circumstances in Manatee County and attended Blackburn Elementary and Tillman Elementary. He then went to Lincoln Middle School before ultimately graduating from Manatee High School. That young man’s name is Willie Taggart and he is now the Head Football Coach at Florida State University. He says it is his dream job.
Helping young people achieve their dreams is the heart and soul of the School District of Manatee County. I truly believe the additional mill that Manatee County voters generously approved on Tuesday, March 20, will make a positive difference in the lives of our students, schools and community.
It will do so by helping us to recruit and retain high-quality teachers because we will be able to offer them compensation that is competitive to neighboring counties like Sarasota and Pinellas. It will also help us offer pay that is more competitive to bus drivers and other support employees who have compelling options available to them in the private sector and with other school districts.
It will do so by giving our students an additional half-hour of instructional time each school day and additional STEM resources. Over the course of a K-12 career, that extra half-hour amounts to an additional school year of instructional time.
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Thank you Manatee County for believing in our students and supporting our teachers and schools. Thank you for the collective sacrifice you have made to help others. Thank you for assisting us in making your children’s dreams come true.
By the way, if you would like to see a video about Willie Taggart’s ties to our school district, visit #WeManatee on YouTube.
Dr. Diana Greene
School District of Manatee County