Dr. Diana Greene says “goodbye” to Manatee County Schools

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MANATEE COUNTY – “Being the superintendent for the school district of Manatee County has been an amazing opportunity. Situations where you feel like ‘oh I will never experience that’ somehow as Superintendent you seem to experience those situations,”

As of this week, Dr. Diana Greene, the first African American female to serve as superintendent in Manatee County and the second statewide, is moving on.

Let’s assume the unexpected experiences she speaks of will not end as she returns to Jacksonville where she began her career in education at 19 years old.

“It became one of my goals when I left Duval County. I wanted to move up the system to ensure that every teacher had the opportunity to be successful and be happy in their chosen field,”

Dr. Greene became the superintendent of Manatee County Schools on May 27, 2015. Under Dr. Greene’s 3-year leadership, Manatee County Schools received an A “financial rating” from Fitch.

Finances were one of the most pressing issues of the 2015-2016 school year.

“I have to share a cute story I told my senior leadership staff that I prayed to God I wanted to leave the school district as an A rated school district. When we got the Fitch rating of an A, I was like obviously I wasn’t specific. God gave me my A. I was speaking academically, but the Fitch A rating, I’ll take it.”

She says she will miss the Manatee County community.

“I’ve gained more insight and wisdom from everyday people I meet in the grocery story , when I attend events at schools or out in the community. So they’ve just helped me really understand what it takes to be a good superintendent for any community and I hope to take those skills, those strategies, those life lessons to Duval County.”

She says her goal moving forward is to bring prominence to the Duval County School District made up of 197 schools.

“I’m going to need support from the District office down to the classroom to turn the tide of the district having respect or improving our academics continuing to focus on the budget to ensure that we can move that district forward whether its academically, financially, or just a perception from the community those would be my three main goals.”

Dr. Greene’s first day in Duval County is  July 1.

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Jessika Ward is a Sarasota native and an award-winning multimedia journalist. She joined the Suncoast News Network in February of 2018 and is happy to be back in her hometown. Jessika won three Florida Associated Press Awards while a student at Florida A&M University. Prior to coming to SNN, Jessika interned with WWSB ABC7 and worked as a videographer/editor at WTXL ABC27 in Tallahassee. ​​Jessika Ward is a proud rattler and Historically Black College and University (HBCU) advocate. She shares her HBCU experience in "Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities,” a documentary about the history and future of HBCU's that was presented in the Sundance Film Festival and aired on PBS. Jessika's hobbies include photography, watching independent films, watching sports, and reading a good book.

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