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Date of Issue: January 11, 2007

Tom Levengood appointed AME principal

Tom Levengood has been appointed by Manatee County School District Superintendent Dr. Roger Dearing to become the new principal for Anna Maria Elementary School.

Levengood is currently the principal at Bayshore Elementary School on 26th Street in Bradenton.

AME principal Kathy Hayes announced in November she will be the new principal at the yet-to-open Gullet Elementary School at Lakewood Ranch effective Feb. 1.

And Levengood is due to start his new assignment on Anna Maria Island on Feb. 1.

"I loved my time at Bayshore, but I've always felt that after you've been at one place more than 10 years, it's a good idea to make a change," he said. "I spent nine years as a fourth-grade teacher at Palma Sola and I then switched to teaching first-grade. That move really caused me to renew my energies for the new challenge."

Tim Kolbe, former principal at AME prior to Hayes appointment in March 2003 and now district director of elementary schools, said, "Tom has an excellent track record as a principal and we believe he'll be a great fit for the job at Anna Maria."

The school district's application process allows other principals within the district who wish to make a "lateral" move to apply, and Dearing to make an appointment from those applicants, prior to the committee selection process.

Although a principal selection committee was formed prior to the school district's winter vacation, the committee had not yet met.

Dearing told The Islander that this occurs when only one of the applicants is an existing district principal in good standing, as is the case with Levengood's appointment to AME.

Levengood has been principal at Bayshore Elementary for 12 1/2 years and he has been a fixture in the Manatee County education system for more than 30 years. Prior to his post at Bayshore Elementary, Levengood was an assistant principal for one year each at Daughtry and Moody Elementary schools.

Closer to the Island, Levengood was a teacher at Palma Sola Elementary School for 17 years, and his wife, Becky, is AME's reading coach. They have three grown children.

Levengood earned his bachelor's degree in elementary education from William Jennings Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn., and a master's degree in education leadership from Nova Southeastern University at Fort Lauderdale.