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Seabreeze administrators move to East County

Attention, Gullet and McNeal elementary students and parents: Meet your new principals.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. June 10, 2015
  • East County
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Seabreeze Elementary School principal Shirin Gibson and Assistant Principal Cheryl McGrew have both accepted principal positions at schools the in East County. 

Gibson will step into the principal role at B.D. Gullet Elementary School, left open by Kathy McClean. McGrew is moving to Gilbert W. McNeal, following Norma Scott’s retirement.

Shirin Gibson

Shirin Gibson moved from New York City to become a paraprofessional educator in 1996 in Manatee County. Her first year affirmed her desire to become an educator. She received her doctorate’s degree in 1997 and landed her first administrator position in 2007 at Blanche H. Daughtrey Elementary School. For the 2014-15 school year, she served as principal of Seabreeze Elementary School, a Title 1 school, in Bradenton. Gibson said she had been waiting for the opportunity to move to East County, closer to home.

Gullet’s departmentalized model and project-based learning taps into Gibson’s personal experiences, too.

“Gullet’s the kind of school I went to as a child, and I wanted to have the option to work in a school like Gullet,” Gibson said.

Gibson said she was looking forward to the switch to a growing area.

“Having been at a Title 1 and a non-Title 1 (school), children are children,” she said. “It’s the teachers and the parent involvement that counts.” 

Gibson said she leads using a piece of advice handed down from her parents: “You have to have the student, the parent and the teacher on the same page to have a successful child.”

Cheryl McGrew

McGrew is McNeal Elementary’s new principal, but it’s not her first time at the school: She worked for nine years as a teacher specializing in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) curriculum. In 2011, she took the assistant principal position at Seabreeze Elementary School. She lives near Braden River Elementary School.

McGrew has spent 23 of 26 years of her education career in the Manatee County School District. 

She was one of the original teachers at McNeal and remembers opening the school, bonding with parents and picking out the mascot and colors. She developed a connection with the school and said at a forum June 3 that she was happy to return to it after her four years at Seabreeze.

“What I missed was being with my community, and that’s what makes a school great,” she said. 

One aspect of McNeal she’s hoping to improve is the use of technology. She’d like to redesign the website and obtain new equipment for the classrooms. She said some teachers are using 12-year-old computers.

“Your boys and girls are being educated for jobs that haven’t even been thought up yet,” she said. 



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