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Jefferson City School District Announces Leadership Changes for District Special Services Department

District promotes Bridget Frank to assistant superintendent of special services, Jesseca James to director of student services

JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City School District today announced the promotion of Bridget Frank from the district’s director of special services to the assistant superintendent of special services, and Jesseca James, the district’s student services coordinator, into a new role as the district’s director of student services.

Bridget Frank, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services

Bridget Frank, the district’s director of special services, has been promoted to assistant superintendent of special services for the Jefferson City School District. The 2022-2023 school year will be Frank’s sixth year leading the JC Schools Special Services Department. With her promotion, Frank’s new title is a more accurate reflection of her important role and responsibilities in the district. 

Frank will continue to serve as the leader of special education services in the district as well as nursing support, student/staff wellness, section 504, gifted evaluation, social workers, and school psychological services. 

“I'm excited to be continuing the important work of the JC Schools Special Services Department,” Bridget Frank, assistant superintendent of special services, said. “I'm honored to work with the tremendous staff that we have and look forward to continuing to ensure that all students graduate from JC schools college, career, and life ready.”

Before joining the district’s leadership team in 2017 as the director of special services, Frank had already worked for more than a decade in special education. She began her educational career as a paraprofessional for JC schools.  She then continued as a graduate assistant for the Center for the Advancement of Mental Health Practices in Schools, where she supported the center’s online mental health program, conducted training on suicide prevention and awareness, and created modules to be used for future workshops and courses on mental health. 

Frank went on to work for the North Kansas City School District for four years, serving four elementary schools and handling various K-12 cases for the district and parochial schools. From 2010-2014, Frank was a school psychologist for Columbia Public Schools. There, she served three elementary schools which consisted of a wide range of student socio-economic, academic, and behavioral needs. 

She returned home to Jefferson City to become a school psychologist for JC Schools in 2014. Among her many responsibilities as a school psychologist for the district, Frank led the special education evaluation process within her buildings, assisted with 504 evaluations for students with disabilities, served on the student-support team process, and implemented various behavioral and academic interventions.

Frank earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in justice systems from Truman State University in 2003. She earned her education specialist degree and master’s degree in school psychology from the University of Missouri in 2007. 

Jesseca James, Director of Student Services

Jesseca James started working for JC Schools in 2016 as a school psychologist and three years later, she became the district’s student services coordinator. 

As the director of student services, a new role within the district, James will lead and facilitate the planning and rollout of academic and social-emotional multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) districtwide. MTSS is a tiered, data-informed framework that educators use to ensure that the majority of students respond to core instruction. MTSS uses data to identify students who need additional support for enrichment or remediation and then school staff provides that support with the right focus and intensity.

She will also provide professional development opportunities to district staff on all aspects of MTSS, including key components of tier 1 support as well as specialized interventions for students requiring more support in addition to core instruction. In addition, James will continue some of her previous duties, including overseeing the Section 504 process and providing support with special education evaluations as well as academic/behavioral interventions.  

“I’m very excited to continue to build off of the great things our teachers and school staff are already doing to support our students both academically and behaviorally,” Jesseca James, director of student services, said. “This role will allow me to work with school staff and the community to put systems level initiatives in place for our learners who require more support or need opportunities for enrichment. These systems will lead to more efficient practices that will ultimately result in better outcomes for both students and staff.”

She has a total of 10 years in education, previously working in Arkansas and Massachusetts as a general education teacher, psychoeducational research assistant, autism line therapist, and school psychologist. 

While in Massachusetts, James worked with the University of Massachusetts and Boston Public Schools as a researcher on the rollout of the Comprehensive Behavioral Health Model that integrates tiered supports and services within a school according to student needs. The model also recognizes family and community partnerships as an integral part of a school's success. This work ignited James’ passion for work in the public school system and the MTSS framework, specifically.

James earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Central Arkansas in 2012. She went on to obtain her master’s degree and education specialist degree – both in counseling and school psychology – from the University of Massachusetts in 2014 and 2015, respectively.