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History buff Braden River High's future

Carl Auckerman wants to establish relationships before taking over as principal at Braden River High in east Bradenton.

Palmetto High School's Principal Carl Auckerman will take the lead of Braden River High School next year.
Palmetto High School's Principal Carl Auckerman will take the lead of Braden River High School next year.
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For Carl Auckerman, being the new principal of a school is all about building relationships.

Auckerman, who will take the helm of Braden River High School next school year, said the relationships he develops with students, staff and administrators at the school will be crucial to learning the lay of the land as well as understanding the school’s strengths and what needs improvement. 

“I’ve always had a good rapport with people wherever I’ve worked,” Auckerman said. “It’s so critical in any line of work you do. You have to build those relationships. You have to make those deposits into their emotional bank accounts to get them to advance the organization forward.”

From athletics to the music programs to extracurriculars such as Technology Student Association, Auckerman wants to help Braden River High School continue its successes.

“There’s wild successes there, and just being a part of that is going to be awesome,” Auckerman said. “I will be looking at where to support those efforts and where we can grow to make those things better.”

Auckerman is a product of the School District of Manatee County. He attended Anna Maria Elementary School and Martha B. King Middle School and graduated from Manatee High School.

When Auckerman started at Florida State University, he was majoring in economics, but he took history classes as electives. The passion his history professors showed for the topic and their ability to breathe life into history made him change his major to social studies education. 

“There’s certain periods that I’m a fan of — the Civil War and Vietnam era,” Auckerman said. “Those two in particular are pretty fascinating when you get into the details of it, and the instructors I had at the time were just outstanding people that made it just come alive. That was a bit of motivation for me to get into education and teaching.”

After graduating from Florida State, Auckerman enlisted in the Army where he served six years on active duty and in reserves.

When Auckerman returned from service, he knew he needed a job so he started as a substitute teacher for the School District of Manatee County. He was then hired as a gifted teacher at Lincoln Middle School. A history teacher position later became available at Carlos E. Haile Middle School, so Auckerman began teaching at Haile.

His first administration position was as assistant principal at Southeast, Palmetto and Bayshore high schools from 2002 to 2010. He then went on to be the principal at former Central High School from 2010 to 2013 and later became the principal at Johnson Middle School from 2013 to 2016.

Auckerman wanted to advance from being a teacher to an administrator because he wanted to make an impact on the leadership and culture within a school. 

“I’ve always been interested in leadership and the effects of good leadership on organizations and their culture,” Auckerman said.

This year, Auckerman is finishing his 23rd year with the School District of Manatee County.

He’s spent the past five years at Palmetto High School.

Auckerman said Palmetto High School has a uniqueness to it because it was the only school serving the north side of Manatee County for several decades before Parrish Community High School opened in 2019. 

“The fascinating part of this school is the community piece that’s here, and I don’t think a lot of people realize or understand that, but there is a groundswell of support for this school,” Auckerman said. “It’s very much a community feel and a family feel.”

Although Auckerman will miss the traditions of Palmetto High School, he looks forward to learning and participating in the traditions that have been established at Braden River High. 

“I’m excited about joining the pirate nation,” he said. “They’ve had lots of success, and I’m certainly looking forward to continuing that success and building relationships.”


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