Taking the new vice principal role at Hart represents a homecoming for Jessica Brooks.
Brooks started her career at Hart when the school opened in the fall of 2000. She worked a year as a full-time substitute teacher before joining the staff full time as a Spanish teacher.
"Hart feels like my home because it’s where I started," Brooks said. "I’m really excited to come back."
Brooks will work part time as a vice principal, spending the rest of her time as a 6th-grade block teacher.
"I’m going to still have the teacher's perspective, which will help me as an administrator," she said. "It’s going to be a huge challenge for me. I love challenges, so I’m totally up for it."
Brooks was born in Wisconsin, but grew up in Pleasanton. She attended Walnut Grove Elementary, Harvest Park Middle School and Amador Valley High School. She went to the University of California, Davis for her undergraduate degree in Spanish, English and education, plus her teaching credential. She went to California State University, Stanislaus for her administrative credential.
She returned to Pleasanton because it’s a fantastic place to raise a family.
“To be quite honest, this is the best place on earth to raise your kids,” she said. “We have awesome schools and a great community. I want my kids to grow up here.”
Brooks has two boys – 5-year-old Jonathan, who attends Walnut Grove Elementary, and 3-year-old Joseph. Her husband, James, is a special education teacher in San Ramon.
Hart, she noted, “feels like home to me. I know a lot of the staff. I had a very positive experience here. I know it’s a great school.”
Brooks worked at Hart until 2005. She taught a year at Manteca High School before returning to Pleasanton as a Spanish teacher and ultimately department chair at Amador. She left that job for the opportunity to return to Hart.
“I love being a part of the whole school,” she said. “I like to work with the teachers and the students. I’m looking forward to a great year. I’m excited.”