Priscilla Haflich's educational legacy continues at MTC.
She walked the Manatee Technical College campus with the stride of a president.
Colleagues said the late Priscilla Haflich, the school’s assistant director from 2001 to 2016, was an elegant, hardworking and matter-of-fact woman who made things happen. She was a problem solver, helping students overcome challenges, and also worked to ensure the school’s programs created the workforce Manatee County needed.
“She believed in the students,” said Doug Wagner, the School District of Manatee County’s director of adult, career and technical education. “She never gave up on them.”
On June 14, MTC officials joined Haflich’s friends, family and former co-workers to celebrate her life and name the
East Campus auditorium in her honor.
Haflich had a nearly 60-year career in education, including 31 with the School District of Manatee County. She was assistant director at the MTC East Campus on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, from the day the campus opened in 2001 until she died unexpectedly in 2016.
East County’s Omar Edwards, assistant director of the MTC East Campus, met Haflich after moving to Florida and working for her starting in January 1999.
“She was my first supervisor after college at the University of Mississippi,” Edwards said. “She took me under her wing.”
Haflich would read over emails Edwards wrote before he sent them out. She wanted to make sure he presented himself well and shared a clear message. At first, Edwards thought she was just micromanaging, but then he realized it was part of her mission to teach him to produce the best product possible.
“She also taught me not to dress for the job you have, but dress for the job you want,” he said.
He followed her to MTC’s East Campus.
She wrote his letter of reference the week before her death at age 81. She was still working full time.
Wagner praised Haflich for her love of learning and for building relationships in the community. She made sure students succeeded, and she kept the pulse of the business community and its needs so MTC could adjust its programs and create a workforce it required.
“She had vision and came up with new ideas all the time,” Wagner said.
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