Rancho’s Scott Bowman selected as inaugural principal of Jeffrey Trail Middle School

A veteran administrator whose name has become nearly synonymous with energy, enthusiasm and collaboration has been tapped to serve as principal of Irvine’s next middle school, IUSD Superintendent Terry L. Walker announced today.

Scott Bowman, currently principal at Rancho San Joaquin Middle School, will open the new Jeffrey Trail Middle School in the fall of 2013 after overseeing a number of critical steps in its development.

Indeed, the scheduled task list for the next 18 months includes completing construction, landscaping the campus, identifying a leadership team, engaging local stakeholders, hiring teachers and support staff, establishing the curriculum and designing a bell schedule.

But Bowman’s selection represents a significant checkmark on the to-do list.

“We could not be more excited to welcome the first students to Jeffrey Trail Middle School, and Scott Bowman was the ideal choice to bring this exceptional new campus online,” Superintendent Walker said. “Not only does Scott possess a breadth of knowledge that is instrumental in creating a world-class learning environment, he is a gifted collaborator who has the remarkable ability to inspire and motivate others in the pursuit of a shared vision.”

“Above all,” Walker said, “Scott is passionate about educating kids, and he shows it each and every day.”

Bowman, who has worked at Rancho San Joaquin since 1983, will continue as that school’s principal through the 2012-13 school year, and his successor will be named by the spring of 2013. Anticipating a large number of highly qualified candidates for the position, district officials plan to seek input from the Rancho staff and community to determine which leadership traits are most desired.

Over the course of his distinguished career, Bowman has helped develop state content standards, served as a curriculum consultant, authored a book on physical education and attended more than 200 local, state and national conferences as a speaker or presenter.

He began teaching in 1979 at IUSD’s Bonita Canyon Elementary School and joined the staff of Rancho San Joaquin Middle School four years later. In 2001, he was named assistant principal at Rancho, and in 2007 he was promoted to principal.

Married with two grown daughters, Bowman earned his master’s degree in administration from Cal State Fullerton and his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Cal Poly Pomona.

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected as the first principal of Jeffrey Trail Middle School, and I cannot wait to begin working with local stakeholders and district staff to cement the foundation of what will be a first-rate educational program,” Bowman said.

“Of course we have a lot of work to do over the next year and a half, but we’re also going to have fun doing it, as we remain mindful that opening a new school is a rare opportunity that should be embraced by the inaugural staff,” he said. “We’re going to tackle each challenge with passion, enthusiasm and dedication, and I am confident that the end result will be a top-tier middle school that will be the pride of this new community for generations.”

Much of Jeffrey Trail Middle School has already taken shape near the intersection of Jeffrey and Trabuco roads — and it has taken its name from a nearby landmark known as the Jeffrey Open Space Trail, which will ultimately link a number of the city’s parks, paths and wildlands.

IUSD worked closely with the Irvine Company to establish funding for the new middle school, and the district was able to secure an additional $9 million from the state by meeting a number of early construction deadlines. As a result of those early deadlines, many features of the campus are on pace to be completed before they’re needed to accommodate students in 2013, though much of the interior, infrastructure and landscaping work has yet to be performed.