Dr. Benjamin Rollins, an experienced teacher, school administrator and college professor, is Bridges Preparatory School’s new Head of School and will work to continue the innovative charter school’s academic and enrollment growth.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Rollins as our Head of School at Bridges Prep,” said Dee Matthews, Chair of the Bridges Board of Directors. “He brings an exceptional background, demonstrated success and enormous energy to our school. We look forward to great achievements.”
Bridges Preparatory School, chartered by South Carolina in mid-2012, opened at near capacity in August 2013. Since that time the school has grown and solidified its presence in historic downtown Beaufort.
The Bridges Board of Directors selected Rollins after an intensive six-month search. He formally starts July 1 but will be in Beaufort this month with his wife and two children.
“He is a natural fit for our school,” Matthews said. “Dr. Rollins is an amazing teacher and that classroom success helps him connect with both the students and the teachers. He also understands the administrative side of work and is ready to help Bridges Prep move forward.”
A former college professor, high school principal and educational consultant for independent schools in the Southeast, Rollins has established a proven record of investing students, faculty, parents and the broader community in a school’s mission and values.
Much of his research on school leadership focuses on Mortimer Adler’s work with Paideia education – the foundation of Bridges Preparatory School’s educational philosophy.
Already, Rollins has provided the Bridges Prep Board of Directors a proposed 100-Day Plan, which centers on three main areas:
1. Understanding the school culture – becoming familiar with the people, processes, partnerships and communities around Beaufort which represent and comprise Bridges Prep
2. Analyzing critical issues – identify and analyze primary issues facing Bridges Prep and to establish a priority in moving forward with the charter school’s strategic plan
3. Communicating effectively and engaging the community – improve communications and community engagement through responsive, open and honest communications practices, and to foster productive relationships with key stakeholders by delivering timely, accurate information and then listening to people.
Rollins brings 14 years of experience in engaging key school stakeholders. Through his work in independent schools and in the University System of Georgia, he has developed a passion for strategic planning, fundraising, curriculum and technology, innovative professional development, and accreditation.
He graduated summa cum laude from Berry College with a bachelor’s degree in English and also completed a master’s degree from Berry with a concentration in educational administration.
Rollins ignited his passion for Shakespeare and the Renaissance while studying at Oxford University in England, and he completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree in early modern literature from Georgia State University.
From 2006-2014, Rollins worked at Mount de Sales Academy in Macon, GA. Founded in 1876, the school serves about 600 students in grades 6-12 on a 70-acre campus. At Mount de Sales, Rollins served as Upper School Principal and previously as Dean of Academics, Director of College Counseling and an English teacher. While teaching Advanced Placement English, Rollins’ students had a 3.9 class average on the exam, which is scored from 1-5, and had a 90 percent pass rate on the AP exam with students scoring 3 or higher.
From 2014 until his hiring at Bridges, Rollins worked as an educational consultant specializing in student test preparation and helping schools increase enrollment and find better, more creative ways to evaluate teachers.