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East County Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2019 3 years ago

School District of Manatee County administrator honored

Doug Wagner earns the Kent C. Schulz Distinguished Alumni Award.
by: Andrew Atkins Staff Writer

The accolades continue for Doug Wagner.

The Interim Director of Operations with the School District of Manatee County will likely shed the “interim” part of his title at the April 23 school board meeting, and he just received the 24th annual Kent C. Schulz Distinguished Alumni Award from the Leadership Manatee Alumni Association.

Wagner, through his career milestones, said he has had a lot of help along the way.

“The team gets the credit for having processes and delivering solid results,” he said. “Our bottom line from these type of administrative jobs is to support our students, our teachers, our schools — the whole educational community.”

While Wagner remains humble, those in his orbit know the kind of person he is, like the 2002 Kent. S. Schulz Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, Linda Agresta.

“So much to say about him,” Agresta said. In addition to being an award recipient, she’s worked with Wagner for 25 years of his 28-year career.

“Every single person has value and can add value."

— Doug Wagner

The words she picked to describe Wagner included patient, fair-minded, well-respected and caring.

“He’s a team-building boss and he acknowledges his staff and appreciates them,” Agresta said.

Patricia Petruff, one of the School Board of Manatee County attorneys, said that as far as she can tell, everyone likes him.

“He does his homework, he listens, he works to understand all the different points of view,” Petruff said. “When I got to a meeting he’s at, I go, ‘Oh, thank the Lord, it’s you.’”

Wagner, in accepting his award at the April 10 luncheon at Pier 22 restaurant in Bradenton, thanked his wife, Karla.

She was proud of her husband and his accomplishment.

“He works so tirelessly,” Karla Wagner said. The award is “so special, because he has touched the hearts of so many people.”

In the past year, Wagner has juggled three positions: interim deputy superintendent of instruction, executive director of adult and technical education, and chief information officer.

When he assumes the role of deputy superintendent of instruction as the permanent administrator, he said he won’t be in those other positions — the district has filled the CIO position and posted the other — but he will stay involved.

“I look forward to providing support to our schools,” Wagner said. He plans on staying with the district as long as he enjoys what he’s doing and looks forward to learning more about the operations of the school district.

Over the course of his career, Wagner said his biggest challenge as an educator and administrator is spreading the understanding that not every student needs to go to college.

“Not every child has to graduate from a four-year university to be successful in their career. Every child just had to be excited about what they do when they enter the world of work,” he said.

With experience comes wisdom, and Wagner had no difficult recalling the greatest lesson he’s learned.

“Every single person has value and can add value,” he said. “Every single person counts and matters.”

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