Trustees weigh coaching consultants for superintendent

John Perales is shown here. He is the new superintendent of the San Benito High School District.

San Benito High School trustees will consider proposals for professional mentoring and coaching services related to Superintendent John Perales during the general board meeting this week.
The contracts would cost $5,000, to work with Edwin Diaz, or $1,400 per month for continuing work with Dave Long & Associates. The board may also consider a combination of their proposals or working with both consultants, according to background information in the agenda packet.
The item appeared on the agenda for the Tuesday board meeting as “Consideration of Follow Up Actions to Previous Board Study Session.”
The San Benito High School superintendent and five trustees previously gathered at a special Saturday workshop Jan. 9 to discuss a breakdown of trust and communication among officials, but violated the state open meetings law by following it with a closed session that had been absent from the agenda until that morning.
Following that meeting, even the approval of the special meeting’s minutes proved contentious, with Trustee Evelyn Muro commenting she felt the minutes from the special workshop were light since a lot was covered during the four-hour workshop, according to draft minutes from the Jan. 26 board meeting, which were set for approval by the board during the general meeting this week.
Trustee Juan Robledo requested adding three items the consultant mentioned back to the minutes, and Muro made a motion to pull the minutes and bring them back at a future gathering, according to minutes from the Jan. 26 meeting. The motion failed 2-3, with Trustee Steve DeLay, Bill Tiffany and Ray Rodriguez voting no, according to those minutes. Tiffany acknowledged it was a special workshop but said he was unsure why more detailed minutes were needed since additional documentation was attached, according to minutes from the Jan. 26 meeting.
In the meeting this week, trustees will consider a contract with consultant Edwin Diaz, which would cost $725 per day (not to exceed $5,000) and would provide “professional mentoring and coaching services” to the superintendent from Feb. 15 through June 30.
The consultant’s services would include regular meetings with the superintendent to address issues he identifies; observation of board, staff and community meetings, as requested; attendance; and participation at board meetings and study sessions, according to background information in the packet. The consultant would also provide advice to address district and community challenges.
Dave Long & Associates—which formerly sent Consultant Mike Crass to lead the weekend special meeting—also offered a proposal for follow-up that would cost $1,400 per month, according to the agenda packet.
The services would include “on-going coaching and mentoring with John” by phone every 10 to 14 days, or as the need arises, and in person once a month; having the consultant be a part of the superintendent’s evaluation process; and additional board/superintendent workshops every three months.
The item was listed as a “discussion/ action” item on the agenda with a proposed time of 40 minutes, the longest time allotted for anything on the agenda. To read the agenda packet, go here:
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