Bridges Preparatory hires Interim Head of School

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Longtime Lowcountry educator Bob Cook joins Beaufort’s Bridges Preparatory School as Interim Head of School to continue the charter school’s first-year growth.

“Bob Cook brings exceptional experience to Bridges Prep, and he was referred to us by our Superintendent, Dr. Wayne Brazell, of the South Carolina Public Charter School District” said Charlie Calvert, chairman of the Bridges Prep Board of Directors. “We feel fortunate to bring him on board as our Interim Head of School.”

Bridges Preparatory School, chartered in mid-2012, opened at near capacity to some 360 K-6 students on Aug. 19. The nonprofit organization leases space in downtown Beaufort for its daily classroom operations.

Cook joins Kay Keeler, Bridges’ assistant administrator for curriculum, and the school’s exceptional faculty and staff. Bernie Schein, who stepped in as Interim Administrator for Bridges in late September, will continue to serve on an as-needed basis providing his deep experience with Paideia and assisting with professional development, Calvert said.

“Bob Cook is an experienced and certified middle school principal and Kay Keeler is an experienced and certified elementary principal. That’s a great match for us right there. Bob’s going to help us develop our plan for the middle school grades, which we’ll start adding with the seventh grade next school year,” Calvert said.

“Bob’s also going to help us put in place the foundation for courses where Bridges students can earn Carnegie credits for High School and dual college credit. We anticipate offering some high school credit courses when we begin our eighth grade program,” Calvert said.

Cook began work this week and will be Interim Head of School for the remainder of the school year.

Cook earned a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from The Citadel and a Bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of Education at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

“I am thrilled to join the Bridges family,” Cook said. “So much has been accomplished in the last 18 months at Bridges Prep. It’s a great opportunity for me to serve, and I fully understand and appreciate the Bridges’ approach to teaching and learning. It’s why I love education.”

The Bridges Head of School Search Committee will work to recruit and hire a permanent Head of School.