Partridge will attend Middlebury Language School, an Arabic immersion program offered on the campus of Mills College in Oakland, starting June 14.
“It will be very intensive and I’m looking forward to it,” Partridge said, noting that he spent a year living in Jerusalem from 2002 to 2003. “I developed a love for the cultures of all of the people that live there.”
Partridge was hired in September 2010 as the editor of the Irrigator, shortly after leaving the Gilroy Dispatch as a reporter. He previously served as assistant editor of the Irrigator from September 2003 until September 2005 and then as managing editor of the paper from September 2005 to June 2008, when he left to attend graduate school at the University of Southern California.
Partridge, who was a business reporter for the Tracy Press from 1999 to 2002, started working for the Irrigator just four months after the Press bought the newspaper from Publisher Emeritus Ron Swift.
He said he was proud the California Newspaper Publishers Association honored the Irrigator as a blue ribbon finalist for general excellence in 2012 despite financial challenges facing the newspaper’s former owner.
Though he said he will miss the people of Patterson and the Irrigator staff, he is happy the newspaper appears to have a solid future with co-publishers Will Fleet and Ralph Alldredge taking the helm in November.
“It’s great to be moving on when things are looking so bright for the Irrigator,” Partridge said.
Publisher Will Fleet said the recruitment process for a new editor is under way.
“We are very grateful to Jonathan for his years of good service to the Irrigator and the Tracy Press,” Fleet said. “He led our Patterson newsroom through a difficult period in the newspaper’s history. We wish him the very best in the future.”