Lauren Hannani staff writer
AJ Wolken staff writer
Retired no more. Starting July 1, Principal Dave Jackson is returning to the district, not as an educator, but as Assistant Superintendent of Construction and Facilities.
With this position, Jackson will be in charge of coordinating with the contractors that the superintendent and Board of Education hire and overseeing the construction process at El Rodeo, Beverly Vista, Horace Mann, and Beverly.
“I surprised myself by staying the second year, but I didn’t realize the first year I was here that I would fall in love with the Beverly Hills kids as much as I did,” Jackson said. “So when I decided to retire as a high school principal, my plan was to be done. The superintendent asked me if I could please stay around a little bit longer because there’s nobody around that dealt with the demolition and removement of all the materials around the building.”
Jackson also feels that his responsibility of protecting the students was also a big factor in deciding to assume this position next year.
“So when I tried to judge retiring or not retiring, I finally decided it would be best for our kids for us to help get that [buildings] built and get our kids back into that part of the building,” Jackson said. “How do I say no to my kids? So I decided to go ahead and do this.”
Acting facilities director Pamela Johnson is excited for the new leadership that Jackson will bring to the project with his extensive experience with students and education.
“What Mr. Jackson brings is a unique perspective, having lived in this school, knowing everything about what works and doesn’t,” Johnson said. “There’s only so much that even an architect or anybody can get just looking at a school.”
The job entails overseeing construction projects throughout the district. It has a base salary of $170,000-$190,000, but the district has saved money by assigning the position to Jackson for a salary of $200,000, according to superintendent Michael Bregy.
“We’re actually saving money by hiring Mr. Jackson at $200,000 instead of $250,000. We’re actually saving money because we don’t pay for his retirement, his health insurance; those are big ticket items. We don’t pay that because he is already retired,” Bregy said.
Although Jackson does not know how long he will contribute to the construction process, he is determined to improve the efficiency of the logistics of construction.
“What I’d like to accomplish is to have a smooth transition from the [old] construction company [to the new one],” Jackson said. “I want to have a smooth transition from the group we had to the new group and to get on the process of moving forward.”
Johnson is also looking forward to seeing Jackson efficiently do his job while learning new information about construction.
“The other thing that I think he will bring, that you can’t always have with someone who doesn’t come from the instructional side, is that he’ll know what is disruptive to the campus and what isn’t,” Johnson said. “So, there will be some technical stuff that he’ll have to catch up on, but that’s what makes it fun: the career change.”