Education / Schools

Gavilan aims to hire new superintendent in May

Search firm will assist with the selection process.

If all goes according to plan, the Gavilan Junior Community College District will select a new superintendent/president sometime in May. Superintendent Kathleen Rose is retiring at the end of the 2021-22 school year. 

According to a timeline presented at the Dec. 1 Board of Trustees meeting, the process includes appointing screening committee members and setting the desired profile of the new superintendent in late December.

The district hired Community College Search Services for $30,000 on Nov. 9 to conduct the superintendent search, Trustee Irma Gonzalez said. 

The screening committee will be composed of 22 members including students, staff, board members, administrators and faculty. 

With the screening committee established, the search firm would seek input from stakeholders such as students, employees, and community members through surveys and town halls in January. Also that month, the process would include advertising for the position to almost 20 databases and websites.

Between February and April, the search will focus on recruiting and evaluating applicants, and conduct initial interviews and notify finalists of the district’s decision. The district will also conduct reference and background checks for the finalists during this time. 

According to the timeline, the district will announce finalists and dates for forums in late April. 

Gonzalez, who represents trustee area 7 which encompasses the unincorporated San Benito County, said that the new superintendent needs to prioritize students’ needs, have fiscal knowledge, be a proven leader and be a positive role model for students. She noted 68% of Gavilan’s students are Hispanic. 

“It should be someone with enough fiscal knowledge to provide the supervision to help guide and lead us out of the fiscal crisis that we are facing,” Gonzalez said. 

Trustee Jeanie Wallace, who represents trustee area 5 which encompasses most of Hollister, also said hiring someone with fiscal experience was one of her priorities.

“We’ve seen a lot of positive changes in the last year,” Wallace said. “I feel good about where we are going in terms of finances. Not where we are but where we are headed.”

Some of those changes include hiring staff at key positions such as a vice president of administrative services and a human resources director. 

She also said she wants the next superintendent to advance equity within all of Gavilan’s programs and inspire staff to be the best they can. She added that she will not support hiring an unqualified candidate.

“The new superintendent will have to juggle academics, manage personnel, pandemic, finances, community needs and equity,” Wallace said. “Hopeful we’ll find someone good but we’re conscious there is a lot of competition.”


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Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is BenitoLink Co-Editor and Content Manager. He joined BenitoLink as reporter intern and was soon brought on staff as a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. He is a San Benito High School alumnus with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily. He is a USC Center for Health Journalism 2020 California Fellow.