Jefferson Elementary principal to become district superintendent
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jun 17, 2013 | 4696 views | 1 1 comments | 123 123 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Jefferson School District Board of Trustees is expected to approve the hiring of the Jefferson Elementary School principal as the district’s new superintendent during its meeting Tuesday, June 18.

James Bridges has served as the school’s principal for 11 years and was also a teacher at the school for two years.

Dana Eaton, current superintendent, told the district in mid-May that he is stepping down to become superintendent of the Brentwood Union School District.

His last day is June 30.

Bridges said on Monday, June 17 that he’s glad to be staying in the Jefferson School District.

“It’s been something I’ve been working for since I got into education,” he said. “It’s a natural step for me to take.”

Board president, Deborah Wingo, said Bridges accepted the job offer after his interview last week, and that Tuesday’s vote was a “formal action.”

Bridges was one of five candidates interviewed by trustees, according to Wingo. His “commitment and passion” for the district made him the top choice, she said.

“He’s been in the district a long time,” Wingo said. “He understands the culture and traditions of the district.”

Leadership Associates, of La Quinta, conducted the hiring search. The company also helped in the recent hiring of a superintendent for the Lammersville Unified School District.

Eaton, a resident of Brentwood, said his new position allows him more time with his 8-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter — who are students in that district.

“It was a tough decision,” he said. “Jefferson feels like a second family to me. Four years ago they welcomed me in with welcomed arms. I’ll miss it a lot.”

Wingo said she understood Eaton’s decision to leave.

“Dana is a great guy,” she said. “He is a fantastic leader and I’m very sorry to be losing him. I’m happy for him personally — next step in his career — but it’s a loss for Jefferson and we’ll definitely miss him.”

The Jefferson School District Board of Trustees meets at 6:30 p.m. at the district office, 1219 Whispering Wind Drive.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or
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June 19, 2013
What a great choice! I had the pleasure of having my son at Jefferson. Dr. Bridges is an exceptional educator. He cares about the kids at ALL levels, is very involved and encourages the students to reach and then go beyond their abilities. He sets expectations of self worth every day. By far the best administrator I have EVER worked with- having children in both public and private schools. Congratulations Dr. Bridges- well deserved. "Make it a great day. The choice is up to you." And kudos to Jefferson School District for such high standards.

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