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College School District‘s Jim Brown to Retire

Jim Brown has announced his retirement after serving 19 years as superintendent of the College School District in Santa Ynez, and 39 years in California schools.

Brown began his career in 1979 as an elementary teacher in the Menifee Union School District in Riverside County. He served as elementary and middle school principal and district administrator for 15 years in the Helendale and Hesperia school districts, before coming to College in 1999.

Since his arrival at College, Brown has overseen its transition to an award-winning school district, beginning in 2002 with the first California Distinguished School Award. The district has since garnered several state and federal recognition awards, including:

National Title One Achieving School (2008, 2016), California Distinguished School (2012) and, California Gold Ribbon School (2016). Santa Ynez School is also listed among a small number of National Blue Ribbon School nominees from Santa Barbara County (2009).

Brown was named California State Superintendent/Principal of the year in 2011.

He credits this achievement to the hard work and talent of the teachers and staff of College and Santa Ynez schools, along with the progressive leadership of the School Board, and a supportive parent community.

Beginning with the passage of a local school bond in 2004, Brown led the district’s construction, modernization and rehabilitation of district classrooms and support facilities at both the college and Santa Ynez campuses.

The Santa Ynez Valley Charter School was formed in 2001, with the construction of this campus partially funded by a state construction

The Santa Ynez slogan, Developing World Class Learners, coupled with the College School Slogan, Our College Kids Can!, exemplify Brown’s beliefs about the Bobcats.

“Jim came during a time of trouble and helped us heal and move forward to achieve many successes together,” said Debbie Goldsmith, board member since 1999, and president for a number of years.

Brown said he looks forward to time with family and grandkids – and maybe more time on his Harley. He said he will hold dear his time with the district and looks forward to years of success for new Superintendent/Principal Maurene Donner, faculty, staff, parents and students.

— Victoria Pointer for College School District.


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