Every two years the Leadership Academy for Sarasota County Schools celebrates school and district-level administrators with the Leaving a Legacy event.
Saturday evening the guest of honor was Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Lori White. White announced last year that she would be retiring in February 2017 after eight years as Superintendent and a career of 40 years with Sarasota County Schools.
The evening was filled with well wishes for White and her future endeavours as well as reflection on her contributions for Sarasota County Schools.
"I don't think it can be overemphasized her impact on education," said Stephen Covert, Pine View School principal. "She's a person who leads from the front and has led for all these years."
A replacement for White was announced Oct. 18 with Suncoast Technical College Director Todd Bowden. Before the dinner guests were asked to leave well wishes and memories of their time working with White on a tree. Sarasota County School Board member Jane Goodwin took the time to write out a farewell wish.
"She's a leader with a generous capacity for people and organizations," Goodwin said."When we've had tough decisions to make she's made it look easy. She has a kindness and gentleness that we will miss."
The event was hosted in a partnership with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with proceeds from the evening will benefit the Wilma Hamilton Leadership Fund, professional development programs and scholarships for administrators in the Leadership Academy. Leadership Academy is a two-year program that develops school and district-based administrators internally. Approximately 60% of school and district leaders are graduates of the Leadership Academy.