This is How We Roll “Manatee Strong” 2020 Parade

Photo: Grayson County Schools, KY


This is How We Roll “Manatee Strong” 2020 Parade will be taking place in Manatee County between 9-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2020.

The School District of Manatee County’s Transportation Department has organized this meaningful event to show support for our community – and congratulate students and school communities on a successful end to the year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.



The parade will consist of several school buses, school district vehicles, members of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and a fire truck from Southern Manatee Fire and Rescue.

Due to safety concerns, individual vehicles won’t be permitted to join the parade. Instead, we invite families to join us along the route to say farewell to the 2019-2020 school year.




Depart Matzke Support Complex: 1 Matzke Way, Bradenton – 9:05 a.m.

West on 26th Avenue East | North on 27th Street East…

Wakeland Support Center (across from Pirate City) – 9:07 a.m.

North along 27th Street East | West along 13th Avenue East | South along 15th Street East | West on 37th Avenue East…

Southeast High School – 9:16 a.m.

West on 37th Avenue East | South along 9th Street East | West on 57th Avenue East | South on 5th Street East…

Pass Daughtrey Elementary School (bus loop side/with PE shelter) – 9:23 a.m.

West on 63rd Avenue East | North on 26th Street West…

Pass Bayshore Elementary School (front of school/parking lot) – 9:29 a.m.

West on 57th Avenue West passing State College of Florida…

Enter Bayshore High School bus loop – 9:31 a.m.

East on 57th Avenue West | North along 26th Street West | West on 11th Avenue West | South on 32nd Street West…

Pass by Manatee High School (south of football field) – 9:45 a.m.

North on 35th Street West | East along 9th Avenue West | turn South on 9th Street West | East on 13th Avenue West…

Pass Rogers-Bullock Elementary School (front of school) – 9:51 a.m.

North on U.S. 301 over the Manatee River into Palmetto | West on 10th Street West | North along U.S. 41 Business | West on 17th Street West

Palmetto High School – 9:59 a.m.

North on 14th Avenue West | East on 23rd Street West past Blackstone Park | South on U.S. 41 Business | East along 17th Street West | North on 36th Avenue E past Gamble Plantation | East on 69th Street East…

Pass Virgil Mills Elementary School and Buffalo Creek Middle School – 10:23 a.m.

Continue along 69th Street East | East on Erie Road in Parrish…

Enter front entrance of Parrish Community High School – 10:30 a.m.

Exit South on Martha Road | East on 69th Street East behind PCHS | South on 121st Avenue East and cross over U.S. 301 going south on Ft. Hamer Road…

Pass Annie Lucy Williams Elementary – 10:43 a.m.

Continue south over Ft. Hamer Bridge onto Upper Manatee River Road which turns into Lakewood Ranch Blvd. south of State Road 64…

Pass Lakewood Ranch High School and Manatee Technical College-East Campus – 10:54 a.m.

West along State Road 70 E | North on Creekwood Blvd. which turns into 44th Avenue East passing by Creekwood Park | South on Caruso Road…

Pass by Braden River High School and Manatee Technical College – Main Campus (near west entrances) – 11:15 a.m.

West along State Road 70 East | North along 45th Street East | West on 26th Avenue East…

Return to Matzke Support Complex – 11:28 a.m.



Signs, balloons and other decorations along with loud cheers are encouraged, in accordance with CDC recommendations for social distancing.

We’ll miss you – and hope to see your memories from our last moments together on social media using the hashtag #ManateeStrong and #WeManatee!

Dear Seniors… Letters from a loving teacher


No one could have imagined that 2020 would turn out this way, especially high school seniors.

Manatee County’s senior class would have walked across the stage in their cap and gowns this week.

Soon they’d be shopping for dorm room decor – or soaking up the sun with friends who will soon part ways.

COVID-19 has changed some of that. What hasn’t changed… is the feeling in our hearts.



This week, Shelly Corbran found a letter in her mailbox. It was addressed to her daughter, Meghan, a senior at Manatee High School.

The contents of the envelope included a letter her daughter wrote to herself in 2013, as a fifth grade student at Braden River Elementary School:


Dear Meghan,

If you’re reading this, your dreams have come true and you’ve made it. Do you still remember Mrs. Hood? Well, I’m in her class right now and I love her.

-Excerpt of Meghan’s letter from 2013


Love is a shared sentiment between Mrs. Hood and her students.

In 2013, Amy Hood had already been teaching for several years, but wanted to commemorate her “first” fifth grade class at Braden River Elementary School in a special way.

She asked them to write a letter to themselves as future seniors – with no idea of knowing what that gesture would mean in 2020.

“I told them I would send it to them their senior year,” said Mrs. Hood, now a teacher at Barbara A. Harvey Elementary School in Parrish. “A few weeks ago, I pulled their letters out of my file and composed a letter of my own with some advice from me.”


As you are about to finish high school (online, unfortunately!) I’m sure you have learned many life lessons on your own. None of us could have imagined that our lives would have so drastically changed, like they have and sadly, it has affected you all in big ways.

-Excerpt of Mrs. Hood’s letter to seniors in 2020



Meghan’s mom was touched. Shelly Corbran says her daughter and all seniors have lost out on so much, but this kind gesture filled a void that COVID-19 has taken away from her daughter.

In 2013, Meghan loved country music, lasagna and neon colors. She had dreams of becoming a Pediatric Nurse.

In 2020, Meghan is preparing to attend Florida Atlantic University where she plans to major in Pediatric Occupational Physical Therapy. She was right. Her dreams are coming true, despite the unknown.



As for Mrs. Hood, she is proud of all of her former students and looks forward to continuing this “Dear Senior” letter tradition in the future. Her final words in the letter to her former class, “I love you all”.



Congratulations to the Class of 2020 and Mrs. Hood’s 2013 Wranglers!


WeManatee is a campaign telling the stories of people making a positive impact through public education and those who are benefiting from it. It’s short for “We are the School District of Manatee County.”

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