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E. Bridget Ashton Headshot

On Tuesday, March 5, the Williamson Board of Education approved the contract of E. Bridget Ashton and appointed her as the next Superintendent of Schools. Ms. Ashton’s first day will be July 1, 2024. 

Ms. Ashton comes to the District from Honeoye Central School District, where she has served as Superintendent since 2020. Before taking on her current role at Honeoye, she was Principal at Naples High School for three years, and K-12 Assistant Principal at Wheatland-Chili Central School District for two years before that. 

Though her background is in business management, Ms. Ashton first found herself working in public education as a health office clerk in the Rush-Henrietta Central School District when her children were very young.

“I was handing out Band-Aids and TLC, and had the epiphany that I was meant to do this,” Ms. Ashton said. “I knew I wanted to go back to school to become a teacher.”

So she did — Ms. Ashton then earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from SUNY Geneseo, worked as an Elementary School Teacher at Rush-Henrietta CSD for a decade, and later went to SUNY Brockport for School Building Leader and District Leader Certifications. Ms. Ashton also completed the Superintendent Development Program at SUNY Oswego. 

Ms. Ashton fell in love with small, rural schools after working at Wheatland-Chili CSD in Monroe County almost ten years ago. That close-knit school environment is what brought her to the role at Naples, and later to Honeoye. 

“I feel confident in Williamson being exactly the profile of a district I’m interested in for three reasons: One, their commitment to academic excellence. Two, the very strong culture within the District that is conducive to doing what is best for children. And three, the partnership with the community,” Ms. Ashton said. 

That second point — Williamson’s strong culture throughout all aspects of education, athletics, extracurriculars, community involvement and beyond — is of significant importance to her personal values as a leader in education, Ms. Ashton said. 

“Nothing trumps culture — if we think about academic performance, it has to be a safe, supportive learning environment. Not just for the students, but for the adults too, and Williamson has accomplished that,” she said. “You have teachers who are committed, dedicated and motivated to do great things for kids. It’s clear that’s the moral imperative.”

More than 20 excellent candidates applied for the position, said BOE President Jamie Sonneville. From that initial pool, 10 were interviewed and 3 were brought into a final round of conversations and visits to the District. 

Ms. Sonneville said the Board felt a unanimous connection and affirmation that Ms. Ashton was the right candidate after her visit to the District during the search process. 

“We were incredibly thoughtful and deliberate in making sure the final candidate, Bridget, was somebody who really was committed to student excellence and student achievement,” Ms. Sonneville said. “We have a really wonderful, positive culture here in Williamson, and it was incredibly important the person that we hired fits in with the District and can keep that culture intact as we move forward.”

Current Superintendent Marygrace Mazzullo announced her upcoming retirement at the start of the 2023-24 school year. Her last day with the District will be June 30, 2024.

“We were looking for somebody who would carry on the leadership style and the legacy Marygrace Mazzullo is leaving behind here,” Ms. Sonneville said. “We want to deeply and sincerely thank her for a decade of dedication to improving and upholding our standards and opportunities for students. Mg has really changed the culture and established a deep commitment to our community, and she will certainly be missed.” 

Ms. Ashton looks forward to joining the Marauder Community this coming summer. Having already held a Superintendent position for the last several years, her biggest challenge — and biggest joy — will be learning the ins and outs of her new school community.

“My hope? A year from now, it won’t feel like there’s someone new,” she said. “That I will have established trusting relationships with the stakeholders, internal and external, so that they feel confident in our ability to continue to grow as a District. The Board has a longstanding commitment to excellence, and I look forward to helping Williamson continue to reach new heights.”

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