After only two years, Hollister School District will begin another search for its education leader, as Superintendent Lisa Andrew announced last week that she is resigning from her post.
Andrew informed board members June 19 and then made her plans public during a June 20 special board meeting, according to district trustee Robert Bernosky.
“That’s where I’m sort of disappointed that she stayed just the two years. That’s a very short time for a superintendent,” Bernosky said. “We have some difficult issues that we’re facing, most of all the litigation with the County of San Benito. That’s not an easy undertaking to fully understand.”
HSD is currently involved in a lawsuit against the county over the allocation of developer fees and property taxes from the county office to the local school districts.
Bernosky said the board will hire an interim superintendent from a pool of retired superintendents, including some local candidates, until they find a permanent replacement. They will begin interviewing for the interim position June 29, according to Bernosky.
The retirees “have the ability to step right in, and that’s what going to happen here,” said Bernosky, who was a member of the bond oversight committee at the time Andrew was hired on in July 2016. A few months later, he won his seat on the HSD board.
“We got off to a rocky start. But I think after she began to realize that my motives were only to improve Hollister School District, we (developed) a very good working relationship,” he added. “That’s why I’m disappointed she’s leaving.”
Andrew said she is leaving Hollister to pursue “a wonderful opportunity” to lead an education nonprofit called A Learn Silicon Valley Education Foundation.
“I just want to thank the parents and community of Hollister in trusting me and giving me the opportunity to serve their kids,” Andrew said. “We accomplished a lot (in my two years.)”
Andrew was most proud of establishing a new culture and climate program called “Capturing Kids Hearts;” implementing new English Language Arts and English Language Development curriculum; improving staff professional development opportunities; modernizing school buildings; and leaving with a balanced budget and a healthy reserve.
Trustee Peter Hernandez was on the board when Andrew won a majority vote to take on the superintendency. Hernandez said while she had the credentials, he was skeptical how long it would last since she was commuting to Hollister from Campbell.
“She was definitely a fresh mindset as far as the superintendency. There were big distinctions between her and the previous superintendent, which I loved,” Hernandez said. “I know Lisa worked really hard. There’s a lot of good things that came out of her leadership.”
However, Hernandez hopes her replacement will either have roots in and/or move into Hollister upon being hired, along with the credentials to be a successful leader, because “the biggest component is being vested in the very community that you’re serving,” he said. “There’s power in that.”
Andrew replaced former HSD superintendent Gary McIntire, who retired after nearly six years at the helm. Andrew worked previously as the regional executive director for Partners in School Innovation, a nonprofit that helps low-performing schools succeed regardless of backgrounds.
During nearly 28 years in education, Andrew worked as a teacher, mentor teacher, district coach, assistant principal and principal. She also spent 16 of those years working in administration. Prior to working at a nonprofit, she was the director of the educational services branch of the Santa Clara County Office of Education.