SHBS confirms Ramirez as new principal

Assistant Principal Adrian Ramirez talks to the new teachers about Hollister and where their students live during a bus tour of the city last Friday. Photo by Nick Lovejoy

San Benito High School District trustees unanimously appointed Adrian Ramirez as principal out of closed session at the board meeting this week, confirmed Superintendent John Perales.
Ramirez was made the school’s interim principal in December after the former principal, Todd Dearden, resigned during an investigation. Ramirez will have the position through July 1.
“He’s truly invested,” said Shawn Tennenbaum, the district’s human resources director. “He went to school here. His kids are going to go to school here.”
Ramirez was formerly an assistant principal. His office voicemail—which hasn’t quite been able to keep up with his rapidly changing leadership roles—still announces him in the prior role. Ramirez could not be reached immediately for comment.
As part of accepting the job, Ramirez’s annual salary bumped from about $117,000 for the assistant principal position to $132,667, the amount formerly offered to Dearden, according to Perales and Tennenbaum as they sat in the superintendent’s office and spoke with the Free Lance.
Ramirez will also work 220 days as principal, instead of 210 days as an assistant principal, Tennenbaum said. The assistant principal position formerly held by Ramirez is being advertised now, he said.
Ramirez served as a guidance technician, a classified position similar to that of a counselor; a student supervision manager in charge of attendance and discipline; four years an assistant principal; and two years as summer school principal, according to the administrators.
“He became a natural choice,” Perales said. “And we could see that beginning to brew, whether it would be here or elsewhere.”
Perales pointed to Ramirez’s deep passion for the success of all students; his empathetic nature; the way he builds immediate relationships “almost immediately” with staff and students; and his understanding of the “lay of the land” after four years as an assistant principal setting him apart.
“He’s bilingual, bicultural, which helps with our student population,” the superintendent said.
Perales added he has told cabinet members that one of the questions he asks when deciding whether or not to keep a staff member is if he would leave his children with them. The answer with Ramirez was yes, he explained.
At the high school, agreements with principals are yearly contracts that go through July 1, Perales said. The superintendent has seen principals get two-year contracts, he said.
“And I would not hesitate giving him a two year contract,” Perales said. “I have that much faith in him.”

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