School Leadership Team

Principal's Message

  • Principal GDear Manatee Elementary families,

    Thank you for visiting our website, and welcome to Manatee Elementary and the 2021-2022 school year!

    I look forward to welcoming your students to a safe, fun, and engaging learning environment where your children will thrive academically and socially. I pledge to create a space of belonging where students will be accepted for who they are and where they are, yet also be challenged to be the best they can be.  

    We call our community the “Manatee Elementary Family” because we want our school family to be an extension of your family. We want to serve you in times of joy, happiness, and triumph, but also in times of challenges and difficulties. Academic learning and growth are our bottom line, yet we also understand that educating students means being attentive to the “whole child” and caring about their social and emotional well-being.

    Our teachers and staff truly love elementary school-age students, and we love to be a part of their learning and growth during these crucial years of development. We love having parents in our school and contributing to our positive school culture. We are a community partnership school so parents and community are a big part of who we are, and we want you to help us tell our story.

    Please share with us your perspectives and let us know how things are going for you and your child at Manatee Elementary. You can email me anytime or call me at the school at 941-741-3319.  I also urge you to join our Parent Student Teacher Association (PTSA) and our School Advisory Council (SAC) to tell us how we may better serve you and your children. Our SAC will meet every first Tuesday of each month as posted on our school website.  

    Visit our follow our Twitter page at @manatee_el or “Like us” on Facebook if you have a Facebook account. We update these pages regularly with insights into what’s going on schoolwide and in our classrooms. Our website is also a valuable source of information. Every message that we send out to families can be found on our website, along with our newsletters and other important information.

    As I mentioned, Manatee Elementary School is a community school. We are a place of learning, belonging, growth, and support for students, families, and community. Thank you for being a part of our community and school! Let us know how we can help make your MES experience even better!

    We look forward to hearing from you!


    Lourdes M. Gonzalez

    “Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together.” ~ Scott Hayden

Assistant Principal's Message

  • Natalie Jadid

    Dear Mustang Families,

    On behalf of the entire Manatee Elementary administrative team, faculty, and staff, I welcome you to the 2021-2022 school year! It is with great excitement that I join the Mustang family as your Assistant Principal.

    Manatee Elementary is privileged to have a caring team of community partners, parents, families, teachers, and staff who work together as one to help our students realize success. This year more than ever, the basis for success starts with close ties and open communication between our school and families at home. We understand that whatever we do as educators to guide, shape, and motivate your student is multiplied by the loving commitment, interest, and instruction you help to provide at home.  

    This school year will no doubt be unique, memorable and, at times, perhaps even challenging. I am confident that we will come together as a community to create the very best experience possible for our students. It is my personal goal to get to know our students and their families so that I can better serve them and our school. As a team, we will continue to strive for academic excellence, and pledge to support our students’ social and emotional well-being. We will continue to work in collaboration with parents, families, and community partners to prepare our children for any challenge they may encounter, whether academic or otherwise, with the goal of instilling within our children a passion for life-long learning and studentship.  

    Know that our team of caring professionals is ready to make this upcoming year a positive and rich experience for your students. I urge you to stop by and say hello. Never hesitate to ask for help as I am here for you. GO MUSTANGS!

    Natalie Jadid
    Assistant Principal of Manatee Elementary School


    "When educating the minds of youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts" ~ Dalai Lama

  • School Crest

School Coordinator

  • Maria Lehman

    Dear Mustang Parents and Families,

    On behalf of the entire Manatee Elementary administrative team, and our devoted faculty and staff, I welcome you to the 2021-2022 school year! 

    During the first few years of childhood schooling, children experience the most rapid changes of life; therefore, the school environment and experience are critical in a child's development. Children develop quickly during these early years--physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. These years are also a key to predicting ultimate success in their academic endeavors and eventually in their personal lives. At Manatee Elementary, we appreciate the importance of these early years on childhood learning, growth and development, therefore, together with our community-based partners, all children are given the opportunity to experience the very best possible start to their education.

    Today the role of a school is not only to pursue academic excellence but also to empower its students to be lifelong learners. Therefore, teaching at Manatee Elementary is a process during which our teachers first try and understand each individual child so as to provide him/her with a conducive ambience for them to learn what is taught. We believe in teaching by following the child. We strive to keep our students engaged with interesting learning activities.

    In sum, by working together with parents, families, and with the resources made available by our community-based partners, we try to provide the best possible environment for healthy development of young children. We endeavor to provide a carefully planned and structured environment in which the child grows and learns in a way that allows them to develop and grow naturally. Learning at our school is based on teaching the children to be confident, disciplined, and responsible leaders. Education at our school provides a foundation for a lifetime of learning, and is great fun too!

    Our motto “Learn, Love, Lead” is our guiding force and we remain committed to the essence of this maxim.  

    In conclusion, I take this opportunity to thank all parents and families of our students for having bestowed their faith and confidence in us.

    Maria Lehman
    Manatee Elementary School Coordinator


    "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” ~ Albert Einstein