Superintendent choice says ‘no’

Interim selection now seems likely for RISD trustees
Reporter Editor

Vicki Bridges of the Grand Prairie ISD won’t be Rockdale’s new superintendent.

Lee Jenkins, RISD board of trustees president—speaking at the end of a called session at noon Monday that was to have formalized Bridges’ selection—said the lone finalist called him Sunday afternoon and declined the job.

Jenkins said a prime factor in Bridges’ decision was a “significant” pay increase offered by the Grand Prairie ISD if she would stay at her present position, chief secondary education officer.

He noted Bridges would have been accepting a pay cut to take the job in Rockdale.

“She is also in a brand new house in Grand Prairie,” Jenkins said. “It’s all where she felt the most comfortable and that turned out to be the Grand Prairie ISD.”

Jenkins said the Rockdale ISD has immediately re-started the search for a successor to Dr. Howell Wright, whose contract expired on Sunday.

Justin Cox was hired Monday as the new assistant principal at Rockdale Junior-HIgh School, Justin Cox was hired Monday as the new assistant principal at Rockdale Junior-HIgh School, Dr. Wright’s contract was not renewed earlier this year by trustees. He has since accepted a position as assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and accountability with the San Marcos ISD.

Jenkins said it’s likely an interim superintendent will be hired, but that’s a decision for the board.

Teacher orientation for 2013-14 begins Aug. 15 and the first day of classes is Aug. 26.

Also during Monday’s session, board members approved contracts for five new employees, including new junior-high assistant principal Justin Cox of Victoria.

‘ RIGHT FIT’—Af ter Bridges was announced as the lone finalist on June 11, both she and board members said they believed she was the “right fit” for the Rockdale ISD.

Jenkins had termed Bridges “knowledgeable, excited and hard working.” Bridges said she believed Rockdale, and its needs, fit her “skill set.”

Thirty-three persons applied for the position and five were interviewed. Bridges was to have been hired on Monday, following a mandated 21-day waiting period.

STATEMENT—Following an executive session Monday, terminating in personnel action that did not include the superintendent position, Jenkins read the following statement:

“As of Sunday afternoon Vicki Bridges has declined the opportunity to be the next Rockdale ISD superintendent.

“Ms. Bridges determined, after some soul searching, that she is not ready to assume a superintendent job. In addition she was offered a significant pay raise to stay at the Grand Prairie ISD, her home for the last 20-plus years.

“I, and the entire board, respect and understand her decision and wish her the very best. She is a fine lady and, when she is ready to be a superintendent, some district will be fortunate to have her.

“As to where do we go from here? Rockdale ISD is working with Dr. Bob Griggs on a contingency plan. We will move forward in finding the best person for the job.

“If it takes some additional time, so be it. The trustees have from the onset of this endeavor decided to make sure we took the time to do it right. We will find a superintendent that is best for RISD kids, staff and constituents.

“ We have a well conceived profile thanks to our community’s input and we will find the right person at the right time. If we need to hire an interim superintendent, we will do so.

“This process is important and will work out for the best. We will stay the course and, with some time and work, we will find the right person for Rockdale ISD.

“We are certainly saddened by Ms. Bridges decision but respect it. The board would ask for continued community support and respect, and we would appreciate lots of prayers as we continue this process.”

ASSISTANT— Cox , who replaces Allan Sanders, is currently assistant principal at one of the junior-highs in the Victoria ISD.

A native of Wills Point, he is a graduate of Wills Point High School and Texas A& M- Commerce.

He had previously taught in the Mexia ISD.

In other personnel actions, trustees announced the resignation of Lindsay Franklin as a junior-high social studies teacher and v0ted to hire the following:

Mark Smith, fifth grade; Rebecca Geletka, RJH technology; Kayla Jonse, junior-high teacher; Lauren Robertson, junior-high social studies/softball coach.

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