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Administrator named principal at River Ridge

(ran PW PS editions)

A former teacher at River Ridge, who brought the International Baccalaureate program to Pasco, starts today at the middle/high school.

Tammy Rabon, the administrator supervising the creation of the Pasco County school district's high-powered new program for gifted high school students, is taking a new job. Starting today, Rabon is the new principal at River Ridge Middle/High School.

Rabon started her teaching career at River Ridge in 1991, teaching social studies. In 1994, she was named an assistant principal there, a job she held until she left to start the new Land O'Lakes program.

"I really consider River Ridge my home," Rabon said. "I know the staff, and I know the students. It's always been one of my career goals to be a principal."

Rabon has drawn high praise from school administrators for her work bringing the International Baccalaureate program to Pasco. Just two weeks ago, Pasco's fledgling program won the accreditation of the international organization that oversees IB schools. The program is in the midst of recruiting its second class of students.

Bob Dorn, the district administrator in charge of middle and high schools, said he doesn't think Rabon's new job will adversely impact the fledgling IB program. Other school administrators will fill in for Rabon while the district searches for a replacement, Dorn said. Rabon, however, will continue to lead the program's student recruitment efforts over the next several weeks.

"It's not like she's going to Timbuktu," Dorn said. "She's being promoted to one of the more challenging jobs in the district."

While an assistant principal at River Ridge, Rabon played a key role in the school's development of learning communities, where teams of teachers work with a group of students who share common career interests, such as business and the arts. Lessons, projects and assignments within each community are geared toward those interests.

Rabon said she is eager to rejoin River Ridge's development of its learning communities and to bring local businesses into the effort, too. At the middle school level, Rabon said she is excited about the school's recent decision to "loop" its students and teachers next year. "Looping" means that teachers will have the same group of students year after year.

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