"This is a wonderful evening and great opportunity for me to say hello and meet everyone," said Prater. "I'm enjoying familiarizing myself with all aspects of the job and look forward to helping make a difference in the district."
Peggy Ann Valley, president of the Discovery Bay Rotary Club, said she came to the event to show her support for Prater. "It's pretty obvious that Eric is in touch with everything that's going on," said Valley. "He knows all the teachers and parents. He's a fresh new face and I think he will bring a lot to the district."
Prater, who lives in Byron with his wife and two young boys, began his career in education in l993 as a teacher before becoming principal at Byron Intermediate School, where he remained until 2000. Last year, he gained national attention by guiding Edna Hill Middle School in Brentwood to the title of National Model Middle School, an honor awarded to only four schools in the state.
Prater took the helm as Byron superintendent on Jan. 1, replacing Dr. Tom Meyer. Meyer will continue in a consulting-superintendent capacity until his retirement at the end of March.