About Us

About Us – Manatee Education Foundation

Mary Glass - President

Mary Glass

Susan DeWitt - Events Coordinator

Susan DeWitt
Events Coordinator

Alisha Watterson - Office Administrator

Alisha Watterson
Office Administrator


The Manatee Education Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established in 1988, which provides indirect support to the Manatee County School District through a variety of programs that benefit students and teachers. The Foundation acts as a liaison between the private sector and the public school system providing avenues for business, industry and community involvement in public education. Our mission is accomplished by addressing key issues and needs within the public education arena, and presenting effective, efficient and accountable opportunities for the private sector to support quality public education.


The mission of the Manatee Education Foundation is to provide funding for innovative programs and enhanced educational opportunities for the teachers and students of Manatee County Public Schools beyond allocated state dollars.


The goals of the Foundation are to:
 Collaborate with community, civic and business leaders to support educational opportunities and programs.
 Provide supplemental funding for creative and innovative educational programs which cannot be funded through traditional resources.
 Motivate, encourage and recognize outstanding achievement by teachers and students in K-12 education.

Board of Directors 2021-2022

Executive Committee

Mr. Nathan Carr (Chair)
Willis Smith Construction

Ms. Jackie Barron
Mosaic Company

Mark Freeman (Vice Chair)
ME&S General Contractors

Mr. Ross Hodges
SouthState Bank

Board Members

Linda Agresta
School District Manatee County

Samantha Cummins
Williamson Design Associates

Vernon DeSear
Manatee Memorial Foundation

Brando Fetzek
NDC Construction

Bob Gause
Gause and Associates

Mary Glass
Manatee Education Foundation

Stu Henderson
Fawley Bryant Architecture

Charles (Chuck) Johnson, III
Blalock Walters, P.A.

Darrell King
Early Learning Coalition

TJ Kornett
Hancock Whitney Bank

Zachary McClary
Gilbane Building Company

Cynthia Saunders
SDMC Superintendent

Warren Simonds
Community Representative

Dr. Robin Thompson
School District Manatee County

Jeff Podobnik
Pittsburgh Pirates