Bridge City school Superintendent Dr. Jamey Harrison will be leaving BCISD at the end of the school year. Harrison agreed to become the Deputy Director for the University Scholastic League (UIL) in Austin. He has been with the district since 2007.

Harrison graduated from Hardin-Jefferson ISD, received his bachelors and masters degrees from Lamar Beaumont and received his doctorate at the University of Texas in Austin.
He has worked for the Buna, Lumberton and Hardin-Jefferson school districts prior to working for BCISD.

Harrison’s tenure will be remembered as one of accomplishment, leadership and community involvement. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, Sep. 13, 2008, Harrison had students back in class by Oct. 9. The timing was critical in preserving the community as displaced citizens returned home.

For his efforts, Harrison, along with Orange County Judge Carl Thibodeuax and Bridge City Mayor Kirk Roccaforte, were named ‘Newsmakers of the Year’ by the Press Club of Southeast Texas in 2009.

Harrison was instrumental in gaining government disaster relief funds and other resources to build the nearly completed Bridge City Elementary School on West Roundbunch.
He was the right man at the right time for the right job. Thank goodness he was here when at the time he was,” said Gina Mannino, assistant superintendent of cirriculum and instruction.
“The hurricane came and this guy just took over,” said Tom Orozco, president of the Bridge City School Board. “He made sure that we kept our students and he just stayed on top of everything.”

Both Hatton Elementary and Sims Elemenatry were destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Bridge City Elemenatry students have been going to school in modular buildings since the storm.

The new school is expected to open in May. Harrison plans on finishing out the school year to ensure the building is completed.

“I want to finish the new building here, to make sure it’s ready for the first day of school,” Harrison said. He also plans on having everything set up and ready to go for school next year.

“The one thing that he knows and that he has said was that Bridge City the district and Bridge City the town, we’re strong and resilient people,” Mannino said. “We’ll be okay, even after he’s gone. He is definitely going to be missed. Hopefully we’ll take the lessons we’ve learned from him and the great things he’s built here in the district and continue to build on them.”

“We’re all really disappointed, but we’re all really happy for him,” Orozco said. “We’re happy he’s moving up. We’re happy for him, but it’s going to be really hard to replace him. You don’t find guys like that everyday.”

Orozco said that they are in the process of hiring someone from region five to search for a replacement.

“I trust that the board will find a very good replacement as well,” Mannino said.
“While the new job is going to be an excellent opportunity for Harrison and his family, leaving Bridge City isn’t going to be easy.

“This is such a wonderful place,” Harrison said. “It was a really grueling decision for my wife and I to make. It’s an opportunity that’s too good to pass up, but that doesn’t mean that it was very, very difficult to decide to take it. We have been so happy here. We love this town, we love the schools, we love neighbors. It’s just a special place. We’re going to miss it.”

The University Interscholastic League was created by The University of Texas at Austin to provide leadership and guidance to public school debate and athletic teachers. Since 1909, UIL has grown into the largest inter-school organization of its kind in the world. The UIL continues to operate as part of the University of Texas, under the auspices of the Vice President of Diversity and Community.

The UIL exists to provide educational extracurricular academic, athletic, and music contests. The initials UIL have come to represent quality educational competition administered by school people on an equitable basis.

About Nicole Gibbs

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