Special to “Mustangs Ahead”

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- LRHS Principal Craig Little is leaving his position at the school to become principal at the new high school being built in Parrish.

Little at graduation 2016
LRHS Principal Craig Little addresses Mustang graduates

Little has been principal since 2014, when he took over the position from former principal Linda Nesselhauf.

“It’s a tough, bittersweet decision,” said Little.  “I look in my closet and it’s half green.  This school means so much to me.

“I’d be fine spending the rest of my career here,” he continued, “but the chance to open a new school from the ground up is a once in a career opportunity.”

In his time here at LRHS, Little has seen many changes in both the students and staff. He has watched the students grow and under his leadership LRHS has received the School of Excellence award two consecutive years.

Manatee School Superintendent Cynthia Saunders called Little “the perfect choice” to open the new school based on his experience, knowledge and record of success.

“We wanted someone with experience,” she said.  “Craig has been an assistant principal here, and then a principal. We didn’t think it was a good idea to open a brand new school with a brand new principal.

“He’s leaving Lakewood Ranch in good shape,” she said.  “It’s a high achieving school.”

Under Little’s leadership LRHS has been named an “A” school three times,  has twice been designated a Florida School of Excellence and last year was named one of the state’s top 100 schools.

Saunders said the LRHS community will be very involved in selecting Little’s successor.

“We didn’t want to just transfer somebody into the job,” she said.

The position will be posted and parents, teacher and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to meet the candidates.  Saunders stressed, however, that the new principal would be picked before winter break.

Little began his career in 1997 in Hillsborough County.  He came to LRHS in 2001.  He went into administration in 2005 and became an LRHS assistant principal in 2010.

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