Superintendent ready for challenges in Hollister

Lisa Andrew is the new superintendant for the Hollister School District. Photo by Nick Lovejoy

Hollister School District trustees approved Lisa Andrew as their new superintendent, a role she will take on this summer.
Andrew, a resident of Campbell, will replace Gary McIntire, the district’s superintendent of nearly six years, in July after McIntire retires.
Andrew is leaving her job as the regional executive director for Partners in School Innovation, a nonprofit that helps students at low-performing schools succeed regardless of backgrounds.
“I think in my current role, I coach superintendents and boards and I help them to create the systems that are going to be more effective,” Andrew said. “I just felt it would be great if I was in there doing the work.”
When asked about her goals for the district, Andrew said she had some listening and observing to do before she could set them. The district has its own published goals, including the huge objective of student achievement, she said. The district will also need to give immediate attention to the facilities bond and its growing population of students, she said.
“I know that there’s going to be a lot of growth,” Andrew said. “There’s going to be many, many more students so I’m sure we’ll need to talk about where to put those kids.”
During nearly 26 years in education, Andrew has worked as a teacher, mentor teacher, district coach, assistant principal and principal, she said. She also spent 16 of those years working in administration, Andrew said. Prior to working at a nonprofit, she was the director of the educational services branch of the Santa Clara County Office of Education. She is also adjunct faculty for National University.
She won’t be the only one in her house working as a superintendent. Her husband, Eric Andrew, is currently the superintendent of the Campbell Union School District.
When asked about the moment she knew she wanted to transition from the nonprofit sector back to school districts, Andrew said it was when she saw the opening at the Hollister School District.
“It’s the only district I applied for,” Andrew said. “I saw that it was open. I was very interested. It seemed like a good fit for me.”
The district values teachers and is one of the highest paid K-8 districts in the area, Andrew said. Teachers also receive a comprehensive health package, have support and can live where they work, she said. The board and superintendent have also been good stewards for taking care of finances, Andrew said. She liked the district’s philosophy, which she defined as valuing teachers, focused on students and with a “very community and family” focus.
Andrew did her homework to prepare for the job. The hiring process included two interviews with trustees and one with a community panel, she said. On the weekends, she drove to each of the schools to “get a feel for the buildings,” she said. Andrew spent time talking with residents in a local coffee shop and at the Country Rose Cafe, she said.
Andrew also did her internet research by reviewing documents about negotiations, plans, goals and school data on the district website. She also read the local papers “to see what the flavor was,” she said.
Andrew is no stranger to her new community. Her brother lived in Hollister and they have friends there, she said. When asked whether the new job might mean a move, Andrew explained her family was considering it.
“Well, that’s definitely on the table,” she said. “I know that I need to be a part of the community in which I work.”

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