MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Manatee County has a new superintendent for the 2023-24 school year.
Jason Wysong spent three years as the deputy superintendent for Seminole County Schools and spent seven years as a classroom teacher.
“Manatee is regarded as an innovative school district and prior leadership did a lot of work bringing innovative programs to Manatee, and we want to be sure that we always sustain those prior efforts before we launch new ones," Wysong said.
Early in his tenure, he said he's made it his mission to meet as many school district employees as he can. During a recent school visit, he greeted new teachers.
"Make some friends, both fellow rookies and veterans," he told them. "Maybe meet district staff, get those phone numbers — because, again, on those tough days, it helps to have a great network."
District officials say the county has more than 300 new hires.
"This is an amazing school district, an amazing community, and you made a great choice," Wysong said to one new employee.
Wysong said one of his priorities is literacy, which will focus will support communication — something he says is key to long-term success.
"I hope you focus on literacy and spend every single day in your classroom," he said. "Students are reading, writing, speaking, and listening."
While curriculum is important, Wysong said safety and security are also some of his main concerns. He said the school board is investing in several technology and campus projects to enhance security.
"We understand that parents are trusting us with their children every single day," Wysong said
When asked about the district's plan on handling new state laws, some of which have caused some controversy ahead of the 2023-24 school year, he had one simple answer: "My rule has always been: We are going to follow the law."
To go along with his new role as superintendent, Wysong earned his doctorate and specialist degree from the University of South Florida in educational leadership. His contract is three years, but he said he hopes to be with Manatee County Schools for the long term.