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East County Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 1 year ago

School Board of Manatee County hires Saunders

In a 3-2 vote, the board approved a contract for interim superintendent Cynthia Saunders.
by: Andrew Atkins Staff Writer

The School Board of Manatee County approved the contract for interim superintendent Cynthia Saunders to become the permanent superintendent in a 3-2 vote at its meeting on Tuesday night 

The vote came after multiple delays over the course of months and in the wake of allegations from the former Florida Commissioner of Education, Pam Stewart, that Saunders inflated graduation rates during her time as deputy superintendent. 

Both Saunders and the board chair, Dave Miner, said they were confident the issue of the allegations would be resolved in the near future. 

“I have confidence in the integrity of Cynthia Saunders,” Miner said. “I think this is a great day for Manatee County.”

Saunders said she’s excited for the district to begin moving forward and to have a sense of stability with somebody permanent in the role. 

“I’m looking forward to the continued progress the district has made thus far,” she said. 

Both of the board members who voted against approving the contract for Saunders, Charlie Kennedy and Gina Messenger, said they supported the position of the board. 

"I have no hurt feelings," Kennedy said. "I will move forward, supporting the superintendent, supporting the board." 

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