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posted: 5/8/2012 10:31 PM

Dist. 203 names assistant superintendent

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Daily Herald report

The principal of Naperville's Washington Junior High School has been named Naperville Unit District 203's assistant superintendent for secondary education.

Bob Ross, who has served as Washington principal since 2006, will replace Dan Bridges, who was appointed earlier this spring as interim superintendent for the 2012-13 school year. Bridges is replacing Superintendent Mark Mitrovich, who is stepping down at the end of June after three years at the district's helm.

Ross said he sought the post, which he will assume July 1, because he sees it as an opportunity to closely support the district's five junior highs and two high schools.

"I hope (people who know me) would say I have a record of high student achievement and dedication to the mission of the district," he said.

Ross, whose appointment was approved Monday by the school board, also has represented the district in contract negotiations and on interview teams.

Before joining District 203, he served as an elementary school principal in Elmwood Park and taught social studies for seven years in Carol Stream Elementary District 93. He has a master's degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University.

He and his wife, Shari, live in Naperville and have three children who attend District 203 schools.

Becoming an assistant superintendent in one of the state's largest and highest-scoring districts wasn't exactly on his to-do list when he became an educator, Ross said.

"When I started teaching, I didn't envision anything beyond that," he said Tuesday.

But as he spent more time in schools he became more interested in administration, serving as a dean, assistant principal and principal.

"I would have been happy retiring as principal of Washington," he said.

But when the opportunity arose to take another step forward -- especially with the approaching implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards -- he couldn't pass it up.

"It's a really exciting time to be in education," he said.

And Tuesday was an exciting time, too, as well-wishers flooded his voice mail and email with congratulations.

"It's been a nice day," he said.

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