The Bridge City Independent School District recently received an academic rating of Recognized by the Texas Education Agency. Bridge City is one of only two school districts in Orange County to receive such a rating. The 2007-2008 rating of Recognized is an improved rating from the 2006-2007 rating of Academically Acceptable.

Three of the district’s campuses, Hatton Elementary, Sims Elementary, and Bridge City Intermediate all received a rating of Exemplary, the highest possible rating given by TEA. Bridge City Middle School and Bridge City High School both received Recognized ratings, improving from a 2006-2007 rating of Academically Acceptable.

Bridge City I.S.D. superintendent Dr. Jamey Harrison stated, “We are extremely pleased with our student performance scores from the 2007-2008 school year. As a district, we increased in almost every rating category substantially and did not decrease in any category. We are extremely proud of our students and our faculty and staff for their commitment to excellence. Our district results combined with our individual campus results serve as evidence, we believe, that Bridge City is one of the best districts in the state of Texas. We now take on the challenge of working to earn the distinction of the best school in Texas.”

The district improved Reading/English Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematics, and Science at an average of about a 6% increase. The district found the most improvement in Science, increasing a full 12% in one year.

“We worked diligently to ensure we were serving all our students well. We are extremely happy with the major improvements in scores for all our kids. This kind of major improvement in one year is very rare. It is a testament to the work ethic and passion of our students, teachers, and staff members.” “When we are able to combine a passionate, talented faculty with hard working kids and a community that strongly supports its schools, we know we can become the best school in the state of Texas. Again, that is our mission: to become the best in Texas. We are very proud of our Recognized rating. Now, we have set our sites on an Exemplary rating. Of the 17 categories that comprise our rating this year, we actually met the Exemplary standards in 10. We are excited about the possibilities for 2008-2009.”

As the district prepares for the coming school year, many new faces can be seen in the principals’ offices. Bridge City High School will be led by a not-so-knew face in a new position. Mr. Richard Briggs takes the reigns of BCHS officially for the coming school year.

Briggs was introduced to the district in March, serving as the Associate Principal for the remainder of the 07-08 school year. He now assumes the roll of principal as the former principal, Ms. Gina Mannino, has been promoted to the position of Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction.

Briggs, a 1981 BCHS graduate, previously served the district for 19 years before leaving to serve as an administrator in Port Neches-Groves I.S.D. He returns home very excited. “Being a lifelong resident of the community of Bridge City, it is indeed an honor and privilege to serve as the new principal for Bridge City High School. The traditions of academic and extra-curricular excellence established over the years will no doubt serve as our foundation as we strive for even greater heights. A world class faculty and staff, the intense work ethic of our students, and the continued support of parents and community will ensure that success”

Bridge City Middle School will be under new leadership as well. Mr. Scott Mackey, the former principal, has moved to the Lufkin area to be closer to his two daughters.

Assuming the principal’s position at Bridge City Middle School will be Ms. Kelly McBride. McBride joins Bridge City from Beaumont I.S.D. where she served as an assistant principal for the past six years. “We are very excited about Ms. McBride joining our team. She has a strong background in curriculum and a clear passion for education,” says BCISD superintendent, Jamey Harrison. “She will be a real asset to our middle school.”

McBride is very excited to begin the school year: “I am ready to meet the students and get the school year underway. This is such a great school and a great community. We are ready for a great year.”

Joining her in the Bridge City Middle School administration will be Coach Kevin Jones as Assistant Principal. Coach Jones has worked in the district as a teacher and coach for the past three years.

Regarding Jones, Harrison states: “He will be a great compliment to Ms. McBride. He is one of the hardest working people I have ever seen. Coach Jones has been a great teacher and a great coach for us. I am very confident he will serve the district well in this roll as well.” Coach Jones will continue to coach this school year in addition to serving as assistant principal.

Coach Jones fills the assistant principal vacancy because Kent Broussard, the former assistant principal, will now serve as the principal of Sims Elementary. Broussard has served as an assistant principal in the district for the past four years, both at Bridge City Middle School and Bridge City Intermediate. “I am ready to get back to the elementary grade levels,” says Broussard. “Most of my experience is in elementary. Sims is a great school with great teachers. I am excited about this new challenge.”