Supt. search down to six candidates

New faces on board could delay decision

The current five-member Hollister School District Board of Education convened in closed session Dec. 8 to interview six finalists for the superintendent job.

The governing body was to conduct more in-person interviews with the finalists again Dec. 13 with a goal of identifying one finalist from that group, according to Trustee Robert Bernosky.

“Hopefully, from that we will have our next superintendent,” said Bernosky, adding that contract negotiations will follow shortly thereafter.

However, the decision comes with a caveat, since three of the five current board members will no longer be on the board by the Dec. 18 school board meeting, at which time the new trustees will be sworn in.

Bernosky recognized that the incoming trustees’ opinions as to who the next superintendent may differ from those of the existing board.“The three brand-new board members coming in, if they don’t like our candidate, then we will have to start the process all over again,” Bernosky said.

All of the school board candidates in the Nov. 6 election, as well as stakeholders in the community, were invited to take part in open session discussions and online surveys regarding the hiring process. However, the in-person interviews are in closed session and reserved for current trustees.“I look forward to working with (the new trustees) and moving the Hollister School District forward,” Bernosky said. “The superintendent is key to any school district. If the new board members don’t exactly like what the five previous have decided, we’ll start the process over again. We all have to be in agreement and working together.”

Incoming board members are Carla Deluna-Torres, Stephen Kain and Jan Grist. They are replacing departing trustees Patricia Moore, Peter Hernandez and Elsa Rodriguez.

The two remaining are Bernosky and Elizabeth Martinez, whose seats expire in 2020.Retired administrator William Barr has been filling in as interim superintendent after former superintendent Lisa Andrew unexpectedly resigned from the post two years into her tenure.

At a July 6 meeting, the board agreed to hire Barr from a pool of retired administrators; Barr’s contract was for 46 days at $935 per day.

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