Get to know our principals: Belinda Bridgewater, Kenneth Durham
Editor’s note: Great schools begin with great people, and Sacramento City Unified has no shortage of talented educators leading our campuses. The eConnection will be profiling principals new to their campuses this year to help our community get to know our administrative team. Today we chat with Belinda Bridgewater and Kenneth Durham.
Belinda Bridgewater, Principal, Isador Cohen Elementary School
Hometown: Milpitas, California
Very first job: “Working at McDonald’s. It was great. I got pimples from eating all the french fries but I learned that I like to work hard and I like to stay busy.”
Education: Bridgewater studied at Howard University before finishing up at San Jose State University, where she earned a bachelor degree in accounting; she has a master’s in Applied Educational Leadership from National University in conjunction with the Sacramento Office of Education.
Previously: Bridgewater worked as an accountant for seven years before transitioning into teaching at John Still Elementary. “Accounting taught me rituals, routines, procedures and customer service.” She served as a district English Language Arts training specialist before her appointment to Cohen.
What I like best about being principal: “Every day is a little bit different. This job allows me to do a little bit of everything — curriculum, working with kids, management, budget, public relations.”
People would be surprised to know that…: “I was a cheerleader all through high school. Every now and then a photo from those days shows up on Facebook.”
Kenneth Durham, Principal, Sacramento New Technology High School
Hometown: Walde, Texas
Very first job: “Landscaping, working for my grandfather in Texas. I was 12. I learned that I really love being outdoors.” Durham camps and hikes in his spare time.
Education: UC Davis, bachelor degree, geology and chemistry; masters in education from Northcentral University.
Previously: Durham was named Twin Rivers Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year in 2012 for his work as an eighth grade physical science teacher at Rio Linda Preparatory Academy. Before New Tech, he served as an Assistant Principal at Inderkum High School and later Davis High School.
What I like best about being principal: “Getting out and experiencing what the students are learning and asking staff about their obstacles and what I can do to remove them. I approach my role as service and servant.”
People would be surprised to know that…: Before his career in education, Durham was a minor league baseball umpire. “I spent two and half years traveling around the country,” he says. “And then I got tired of being on the road.”