Skip to main content
Schools
Laraine Batista, right, wipes away a few tears during her speech. Batista is bilingual; however district translator Michelle Gomez-Raney translated her speech into Spanish for the audience.
East County Tuesday, May 17, 2016 6 years ago

Manatee County School District migrant education program graduates 25

Share
An awards ceremony was held at Palmetto High School Tuesday.
by: Jessica Salmond Staff Writer

One feeling pervaded the auditorium at Palmetto High School Tuesday evening: pride. 

Parents, educators, district administrators and students of all ages gathered to congratulate 25 students, the graduating class of

Jason McKendree, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch cattle operations manager, gave the SMR scholarship to Christian Diaz, Palmetto High School.
Jason McKendree, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch cattle operations manager, gave the SMR scholarship to Christian Diaz, Palmetto High School.

2016. 

These students, representing all Manatee County’s public high schools, are successfully graduating from the district’s migrant education program, which helps educate the students of migrant workers. 

Tuesday marked the 30th annual awards ceremony to commemorate the students’ hard work to achieve graduation, which includes keeping up with school work when traveling throughout the United States as their families migrate with crop seasons. 

Superintendent Diana Greene delivered the welcome speech and thanked the migrant student education program administrators, teachers, home school liaisons and parents. 

“They are ensuring that all migrant students have the opportunity to graduate and to set the path for their future,” she said. 

Siblings and younger family members waited to greet the graduates.
Siblings and younger family members waited to greet the graduates.

Laraine Batista also stood at the podium as the guest speaker. Batista is retiring this year after more than 20 years with the district as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher and a home school liaison, working with migrant families and students at Lakewood Ranch High School.

“While working with them, I supported them academically and motivated them to never give up,” she said, while wiping her eyes. “Hope gives us a purpose to move forward and not get discouraged.”

Batista had come to the podium prepared with tissues. 

“There is no way to count the number of students whose lives were changed forever by Laraine’s compassion and love,” said Kate Bloomquist, the district's migrant coordinator. “They are all the better for the time spent under her guidance — and me too.”

Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.

Related Stories

Advertisement