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DANVILLE — A Danville High School teacher is heading to the assistant principal's office.

The Danville school board on Wednesday tapped Jacob Bretz to serve as an assistant principal and the ACE House administrator next year.

Bretz will succeed Phil Cox, who will take over as principal when Mark Neil retires on June 30. Bretz will begin his new duties on July 1 and earn an annual salary of $67,000 plus benefits.

A Springfield native, Bretz earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Illinois. He started his teaching career as a Danville High social studies teacher in 2007 and is a charter staff member and co-lead teacher for Danville New Tech High, the upper house that uses a project-based learning instructional model. He also serves as an adviser for the student council and scholastic bowl team and the "cub staff" adviser for the Maroon & White school newspaper.

In 2008, Bretz was a co-recipient of the David L. Fields Excellence in Teaching award for first-year teachers.

"From the get-go, he has turned heads at Danville High School for his ability to engage students, his content knowledge and desire to always learn new ways to motivate students and help them understand why what they're learning is important to them both now and in the future," Superintendent Mark Denman said.

Denman also said Bretz has an "outstanding" work ethic and proven leadership and communication skills.

"He has a nice way with people and gets along well with students, staff, parents and community members. He's just a quality young man who has a very bright future not only in education but educational administration."

Bretz said he's excited to have a chance "to influence student learning from such a wide and far-reaching standpoint" and to lead ACE House, which uses the Leonard Bernstein Center's Artful Learning educational model that uses art and the artistic process to engage students at a deeper level of inquiry and investigation.