Dan Bridges

Dan Bridges (Naperville Unit District 203 / June 27, 2012)

Naperville Unit District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges will stay at the helm through the 2018-19 school year under a contract extension approved Monday.

The school board voted to keep Bridges on board four more years on top of the year he still has left on his current deal.

"This is the primary job we do is hire and supervise a superintendent and when we find one who does as great a job as Dan does I think making sure we can keep him around as long as possible is necessary," board member Suzyn Price said.

Bridges, 43, joined the district in July 2011 as assistant superintendent for secondary education after having worked in West Aurora School District 129. He briefly served as District 203's interim superintendent in the summer of 2012 before the board removed the interim tag and signed him to a three-year deal.

The extension keeps the same contract terms with the exception of new goals. Bridges currently earns a salary of $230,288 and is eligible for annual increases.

Board members have commended Bridges for leading the Future Focus community engagement series, bringing all-day kindergarten to the elementary schools and updating the process of developing curriculum.

"I just really appreciate, Dan, what you bring to this position and how far we see you taking it," board member Susan Crotty said.

Bridges in turn applauded his staff and said the district's success is a reflection on them.

"I appreciate the work of this incredible leadership team and look forward to the incredible work that we'll do moving forward," he said.

The contract extension comes just over a month after a former West Aurora High School student reached a confidential settlement of a lawsuit alleging Bridges, who was the school's former principal, and other administrators in that district failed to properly inform law enforcement officials of a suspicious incident involving then-band director Stephen Orland and a student in 2010.

After another incident in 2011, Orland was arrested and is now serving a 12-year prison sentence for sexually abusing two students.

mjenco@tribune.com

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