Sean and Rebecca Kelly want a principal who will not only pave their own path in creating a successful school, but one who will also keep some things the same, they said.
"This school has been branded as a community school," Sean Kelly said. "But, we also want to know what the next vision is for the school."
The Kellys, who have two children who attend Lakewood Ranch High, sat among more than 30 other parents and students May 27, in the school's auditorium, to learn more about the three candidates vying for the principal position at the East County school.
After hearing presentations from candidates Scott Cooper, Tony Losada and Justin Terry, forum attendees rated each of the educators on a one- to five-scale, with five being a "great candidate."
Cooper and Losada have spent their careers in education in the Manatee County School District.
A New York native with five years of administrative experience, Cooper, Braden River High assistant principal, stressed the importance of students participating in extra-curricular activities.
"There needs to be something that interests each student," Cooper said. "I don't want kids to get lost in the system — to be anonymous."
To Losada, collaboration is key. The Manatee High assistant principal referenced his experience working with fellow faculty members to create relationships that benefit the students — the most important people in the school system, he said.
Terry, born and raised in Wylie, Texas, is looking for a change of scenery, he said. Terry brings 11 years of administrative experience.
Schools Superintendent Rick Mills will make a recommendation for the position by June 3. The school district will vote on the replacement at its next meeting, June 10.
Contact Amanda Sebastiano at [email protected].