Manatee County superintendent Cynthia Saunders to retire after 2022-23 school year

Sarasota Herald-Tribune | By Steven Walker | October 28, 2022

Cynthia Saunders, who has served as Manatee County School’s superintendent since June 2018, announced her plans to retire at the end of the 2022-23 school year, according to a press release sent Friday.

Her retirement comes as her contract expires in June. Her last day will be June 30. She previously served as executive director of secondary schools and deputy superintendent of instructional services before becoming superintendent of Manatee County Schools.

“It has been the pinnacle of my career to serve as the superintendent in Manatee County,” Saunders said in a press release. “Our academic ranking amongst the state’s 67 school districts is at its highest level ever, and so is our school district’s fund balance.”

The year she assumed the position, Manatee County schools ranked 41st out of 67 districts in statewide accountability tests. Last year, the county tested 25th, the highest rank the district has ever achieved. 

The Manatee County School Board, which will have two new members sworn in after the November election, will hire the next superintendent and set the timeline for the hiring process.

Chad Choate and Richard Tatem, both endorsed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, won their primary election outright and will be sworn into office in November. Harold Byrd Jr. and Cindy Spray still face one another in a runoff election for the District 2 seat.

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