Bridges steps up to higher office
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jun 21, 2013 | 1775 views | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jefferson School principal James Bridges was unanimously voted superintendent of Jefferson School District by its board of trustees on Tuesday, June 17, and he is eager to get started.

Bridges, 42, has served the past 11 years as principal of Jefferson School, where he also taught seventh grade from 1995 to 1997.

“I start the job off with tremendous background information,” he said. “The relationship with the parents and the staff allows me get into the position faster.”

The transition to superintendent was a “natural step” in his career, Bridges said.

“It’s been something I’ve been working for since I got into education,” he said. “I’m very happy. I thank the board for trusting the future of the district with me.”

Bridges has previously worked as the education technology and library media services coordinator for Escondido Union School District in San Diego County, director of technology for Los Angeles Educational Partnership and educational technology coordinator for Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in economics from San Diego State University, a master’s degree in educational administration from California State University, Sacramento, and earned his doctorate in educational leadership at University of California, Los Angeles.

Among the challenges Bridges will face as superintendent of the four-school district is the $19 million reconstruction of Jefferson School planned for 2014, which could help to accommodate an anticipated increase in students from the more than 600 homes planned for development.

He will also oversee the installation of new Common Core State Standards testing during the next two years.

“It’s a couple of years process,” Bridges said. “This year, we trained our teachers in the area of language arts and they will start implementing bits and pieces this year. Next year, we will implement math and by 2014-15 we’ll have both language arts and math.”

Bridges was born and raised in Tracy and now lives in Ripon with his wife, Julie, and their three children, Lauren, 12, Luke, 10, and Leighton, 6.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.
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