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East County Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018 1 year ago

MTC executive's role expands in Manatee County

School district has set no timetable yet for its investigation into Ron Ciranna.
by: Amelia Hanks Community Reporter

Although Doug Wagner had enough to do with being the director of adult, career and technical education for the School District of Manatee County, he always has kept tabs on the school system as a whole.

That’s a good thing since Wagner was appointed an interim deputy superintendent of the school district Aug. 22. He will fill the position left open when the district placed Ron Ciranna on administrative leave to investigate the district’s implementation of a new internal software system. 

Ciranna oversaw the implementation of the system, which has had significant cost overruns the past two years.

Wagner will oversee the operations division in his new role, while continuing to be the director of adult, career and technical education. He also serves as director of Manatee Technical College.

Although Wagner has had a huge job added, he said, “I’m not worried at all. I have a great staff and team to back me up at MTC.”

Wagner said he volunteered to help acting Superintendent Cynthia Saunders.

“Our superintendent works all the time, 24/7,” he said. “As the deputy superintendent, I’m taking over the side of the district that isn’t the curriculum side so that she can focus on what she needs to,” Wagner said.

He said managing the operations side of the school district isn’t much different than his role of running MTC. 

“It is basically the same,” he said. “Like running a machine.”

Dave Minor, a member of the School District of Manatee County board, had originally brought up Wagner’s name to be the interim superintendent. However, he did not pursue the job.

The interim superintendent can’t pursue the full-time position, as written into the contract by the school board. Wagner has not decided if he would like to apply for the full-time superintendent’s position.

“I moved in River Club with my family, and my kids came up in Manatee County, so I want to support this school district in any way that I can,” he said. “I just want to help.

“For right now, my career path is exactly where it needs to be. I’m excited to learn new things.”

Saunders hired George Kosmac, a retired deputy superintendent of operations of Seminole County Schools and a consultant with the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, to oversee the completion of the software system, which handles expense reports, payroll and billing.

Mitchell Teitelbaum, the general counsel for the school district, said the district has no time frame for the Ciranna investigation or how long Wagner will serve in his new role.

Wagner doesn’t expect his new job to be long term.

“This isn’t about me, it’s about our school system being successful,” Wagner said. “People want to move to Manatee County because it’s paradise. We need to make sure our schools are successful and safe, that’s our job.”

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