Palmetto Schools History

"There are few successful adults who were not first successful children." ...Alex Chase
A small log cabin representative of the original schoolhouse cabin.

The current Palmetto High School front.

The current Palmetto Elementary School front built in 1991.

A Brief Summary

Early on families taught their own at home. During this time S.S. Lamb hired a tutor for his children. Later, he used a small log cabin as a school, and invited the neighbors.

Growth necessitated the building of a small frame schoolhouse and the hiring of teacher Mr. Nettles, and later Miss Frankie A. McKay (Frankie Howze).

In the late 1800's, the newly incorporated city of Palmetto built Palmetto Academy, the first public school in Manatee County.

Multi-storied red brick and concrete buildings followed, and in 1926 the Palmetto Grammar School building was added to the square block site between 7th and 8th Streets and 10th and 11th Avenues.

In 1947, Florida adopted the present system of having a single school district for each county and as a result Palmetto High School was merged into Bradenton High School and the school's name became Manatee County High School, which required changes in some school traditions. The school colors became red, white and blue by taking red from Palmetto's "red and black" and blue from Bradenton's "blue and gold" and adding white. Palmetto's yearbook had been the Palmetto Leaves, so the new one got the kindred name of Manatee Leaves. The MCHS graduating class of 1958 was the last one to have students from both sides of the river, since Palmetto High School had been phased back beginning in 1957. Palmetto Junior and Senior High students moved to a new high school on 17th Street back in Palmetto adopting the current red, black & white school colors and Tiger mascot.

Palmetto Elementary remained in Palmetto during that time and presently consists of main buildings built in three phases from the 1960's to the 90's.

*Click Here for More History*

Original history webpages were constructed by the webcommittee of Palmetto Elementary School and have been edited for use at this site.

Information was compiled by Mr. Pat Willingham, 1953 Palmetto El grad., 1959 graduate, longtime teacher and coach at Palmetto High School.

-Posted here with permission granted in 2010 from Palmetto Elelmentary School & Mr. Pat Willingham.

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