SBHS district tables idea for superintendent consultant

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

San Benito High School District trustees tabled consideration of a consultant for Superintendent John Perales during a recent board meeting.
A contract for funding up to $5,000 in professional coaching services with Edwin Diaz, one of Perales’ former supervisors, was listed as a consent action item on the agenda of the March 1 board meeting. Diaz was a former superintendent of Gilroy Unified School District, where Perales was an employeebefore he took his current position.
“I wanted to let you know that the board did not approve me having the coach or the mentor,” Perales told the Free Lance regarding last week’s meeting.
The contract would have cost $625 per day, not to exceed $5,000 from the general fund, according to background information in the agenda packet. Perales said he told trustees he felt so strongly about working with Diaz that he would forgo future raises to cover the costs of the consultations, though the district would have to put that money up front, he told the Free Lance during an interview in February.
“I think the majority of the board felt we needed to re-evaluate what we were doing and move forward,” Rodriguez told the Free Lance on Friday.
The idea of hiring consultants surfaced at the Feb. 16 board meeting when trustees considered whether to hire Diaz or to continue working with Dave Long & Associates. Mike Crass, a consultant with Dave Long & Associates, led the district through a weekend workshop focusing on the breakdown of communication between the board and superintendent Jan. 9.
Diaz, as a consultant, offered to communicate with the superintendent through in-person meetings, phone conversations and electronic communication. The consultant would also observe the superintendent as requested; give feedback and ideas for good strategies; and be present at board meetings and study sessions.

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