Hollister School District Board President Stephen Kain announced Dec. 26 that Diego Ochoa is the sole finalist for the superintendent position. He is expected to start in early February with a $209,000 annual salary. “In my more than thirty years of education, I have never met a more qualified person than Mr. Diego Ochoa for the job of Superintendent of the Hollister School District. I give him my 100% support and I am confident that he will be one of the finest Superintendents the Hollister School District has ever had,” Kain said.
The primary qualities HSD was looking for "include collaborative leadership, knowledge of special education, a commitment to staying in Hollister, and cultural competence, the statement said. “I chose to apply to the Hollister School District because the goals of the district align with who I am as a leader," Ochoa was quoted as saying.
Superintendent Lisa Andrew resigned suddenly in June 2018. She was with the district for two years.
The Hollister School District board news release stated that Mr. Ochoa is an experienced, bilingual superintendent with 20 years of service as a special education teacher, principal and superintendent. “I am deeply connected to public education. My wife and I are both educators, as are all of my siblings. As the new superintendent, I will be committed to prioritizing equity and excellence for all students in the Hollister School District. I believe that all children in the Hollister School District can achieve their goals with the collaborative support of teachers, administrators, and staff," the finalist was quoted as saying.
According to Hollister School District Trustee Rob Bernosky, Ochoa is currently at Esparto Unified School District in Esparto, CA. Esparto Unified School District is a public school district located in Esparto,CA. It has 971 students in grades K-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 24 to 1. Hollister School District website states that it serves a student population of about 5,500 students. Ochoa also worked previously at Sweetwater School District in Chula Vista, Antelope Valley and San Diego Unified School District.
According to Hollister School District, Ochoa expects to spend his first few months on the job speaking with parents, visiting schools to get to know students, establishing relationships with the San Benito County Office of Education, and meeting every member of the Hollister School District staff. It also said that Ochoa plans to bring a focus to two of the district’s greatest areas of need, namely working to improve special education services and improve overall student learning. “My goals as Superintendent will include addressing educational programs and providing strong educational leadership to the district and community," the news release quoted him saying.
The Board retained the Services of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, a national school executive search firm to assist them in their search. Mr. Ochoa was selected from a field of 47 candidates. The Hollister School District plans to complete the hiring on January 8, 2019 Board meeting. Ochoa would oversee the nearly 6,000 student district and could begin his role in February 2019. His contract is set for three years with a $209,000 annual salary. The news release stated that during the four month superintendent search process, the Hollister School District gathered input from more than two hundred community members regarding the qualities they’d like to see in the next superintendent.
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