Bristol County Agricultural High School's
Ms. Adele G. Sands - Superintendent/Director
I am both honored and excited to be the ninth superintendent of Bristol County Agricultural High School. There is no question that in being named superintendent of this agricultural high school, I have reached the pinnacle of my career. My father would be proud to know that though I did not pursue the dream he had for me (to be a veterinarian during the week and a fly-fishing instructor on the weekends), I am part of a community that holds dear that which he spent his life protecting. I received my Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College and my Masters from Columbia University. I am the mother of three adult children, James, Emma, and Charlotte, each of whom provides countless moments for me to consider how truly fortunate I am. When not on the grounds of Bristol Aggie, I will most likely be found volunteering as a special education surrogate parent for children in foster care; volunteering on a friend’s goat farm or toiling away in my own little garden in my backyard. I look forward to getting to know the Bristol Aggie friends, families, and supporters to ensure the success of our students.
Mr. Kevin P. Braga- Assistant Superintendent/Principal
Mr. Braga looks forward to working with the Bristol Aggie community for many years to come. Mr. Braga enjoys seeing students excel both in and out of the classroom. He served in the United States Navy honorably for four years. He received both his Bachelor and Master’s degree from Bridgewater State University (College), where he received his Bachelor of Science in History, and his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. His professional experiences include being a mentor to inner-city youth in Brockton for ten years, teaching history in the classroom, working as an Assistant Principal, and as Principal for one school district prior to arriving at Bristol Aggie. On a personal level, Mr. Braga enjoys traveling with his wife as he has been to over 30 countries. He also is an avid runner, running a handful of road races each year and completed his first full marathon in 2016. He looks forward to working with the Bristol Aggie community.
Mr. Derek Costa, School Business Manager | Treasurer
Mr. Costa is humbled to serve the students, faculty, staff and community at Bristol County Agricultural High School. He values that our campus is a center of historical agricultural traditions and that its principles are interwoven into the communities we serve in the Commonwealth. Mr. Costa grew up in Dartmouth, Ma and as a first generation student, Mr. Costa earned his Bachelors of Art and then his Masters of Education Administration at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Upon receiving his degrees, he worked first at UMass Lowell and then the UMass Dartmouth campus for 17 years as an administrator in the areas of student affairs and administration and finance. Mr. Costa and his wife Kristin are the parents of two very active children, Tyler and Meghan, who are both involved in various sports which include ice hockey, baseball and softball. Mr. Costa deeply cares for the region and has served the local area for many years as a youth baseball coach in Berkley, an assistant volunteer coach for the Somerset Berkley High School Baseball team, participation with the Berkley K-8 Strategic planning committee, and most recently will be assisting the Town of Berkley in the development of their Master Plan. Mr. Costa is excited to be a part of the Bristol County Agricultural High School and looks forward to supporting the campus.
Mr. James Costa - Technology Director
Mr. Costa is looking forward to his 18th school year at Bristol Aggie as well as an Adjunct Faculty member at Bristol Community College. He is most passionate about enabling the students to use technology to accomplish tasks that, in the past, were impossible. After earning an Associates from Bristol Community College and a Bachelors from the University of Massachusetts, Mr. Costa worked as a manager in the theatre business while serving in the Army National Guard for eight years. Having a strong desire to work with computers, he then switched over to the Air National Guard where he was activated for Desert Shield\Desert Storm. After being released from active duty Mr. Costa earned his Master’s in Education from Lesley University. This is when his love for teaching and his love for computers collided. When Mr. Costa is not helping the over 500 computer users at Bristol Aggie and teaching a course at BCC he enjoys the outdoors with his wife and two teenage boys hiking, swimming and biking. He also loves escaping technology for his woodworking shop. This year he looks forward to seeing the improved communications between the Administration, Teachers, Parents, and Students by getting everyone to utilize their PlusPortals accounts whether by a smartphone app or clicking on Logins at BristolAggie.org.
Mrs. Robin VanRotz - Director of Community Relations
Mrs. VanRotz has been a part of the Bristol Aggie community since 1997 when she walked through the doors of Gilbert Hall as a freshman. During her time here at the aggie, she was involved in volleyball, Student Council and the National FFA Organization, eventually serving as the State FFA President. It was during this time that her passion for agriculture and education was cultivated. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant and Soil Sciences. After graduation, Mrs. VanRotz worked in the floriculture and cranberry industry for several years before coming back home to Bristol County Agricultural High School in 2007 as a Floriculture Instructor and the Bristol FFA Advisor. Later, Mrs. VanRotz earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Management from Fitchburg State University and became the Assistant Principal until 2018. Now, Mrs. VanRotz is the Director of Community Relations and is looking forward to working with the Bristol Aggie community. Mrs. VanRotz is an avid New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox fan enjoys traveling with her husband and is National Champion Roller Skater. She is incredibly proud to be a part of the Bristol Aggie Family.
Dr. Marie-Juanita D. DiGioia - Special Education Director
Dr. DiGioia is incredibly excited about joining the community at Bristol County Agricultural High School as the new Director of Special Education. Dr. DiGioia has always been passionate about special education. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Rhode Island College in Special Education, her Master of Education from the American International College in Administration, and her Doctorate of Education from Nova Southeastern University in Special Education. Dr. DiGioia has several years of experience working with special education both in and out of the classroom. Her experiences include teaching special education in the inclusion and separate settings (grades 7-12), special education coordinator/team chair at the high school level, and as an assistant principal at a regional comprehensive high school where she was responsible for overseeing the Special Education Department. On a personal level, Dr. DiGioia has an awesome teenager, Trey, who is her best friend! In addition, she has 2 adorable cats, a mouse, and truly loves all animals! During her spare time she enjoys boxing, hiking, and the beach. She also loves meditating, collecting sea glass, music, musical theater and spending time with her friends and family. She seems to always be on the go and looking for something fun to do! She is currently most interested in learning about keeping a beehive and is just tremendously excited to join the BA family!
Mr. Brian R. Higgins - Vice Principal
Mr. Higgins is excited to be taking on his new role this year as Vice Principal. For the last four years, Mr. Higgins has been a mathematics teacher here at Bristol Aggie. Mr. Higgins has always been excited to make life-lasting connections with students over the last four years and hopes to continue that trend on a much broader scale in the years to come. He attended Bridgewater State University earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. During his years at BSU Mr. Higgins worked for a company servicing the needs of adults with intellectual disabilities. On a personal level, Mr. Higgins enjoys going on adventures with his children, Ryan and Callan, and his wife Ashley. Mr. Higgins is truly excited for this new role in the Bristol Aggie family for the years to come.