Hollister School District’s Board of Trustees has identified the lead candidate for its vacant superintendent position, according to a recent announcement directly from the board.
“President Stephen Kain is pleased to announce that Diego Ochoa is the sole finalist for the superintendent position,” the Dec. 26 release states.
Ochoa is expected to have his contract ratified at the Jan. 8 meeting. He also is hosting a Jan. 7 meet and greet at the district office from 5:30-7pm.
Board President Stephen Kain commented on Ochoa: “In my more than thirty years of education, I have never met a more qualified person than Mr. Diego Ochoa for the job of Superintendent of the Hollister School District. I give him my 100% support and I am confident that he will be one of the finest Superintendents the Hollister School District has ever had.”
Ochoa is an experienced, bilingual educator with 20 years of service as a special education teacher, principal and superintendent.
“I am deeply connected to public education. My wife and I are both educators, as are all of my siblings,” Ochoa said in the release. “As the new superintendent, I will be committed to prioritizing equity and excellence for all students in the Hollister School District. I believe that all children in the Hollister School District can achieve their goals with the collaborative support of teachers, administrators, and staff.”
Ochoa expects to spend his first few months on the job speaking with parents, visiting schools to get to know students, establishing relationships with the San Benito County Office of Education, and meeting every member of the Hollister School District staff.
Ochoa plans to bring a focus to two of the district’s greatest areas of need, namely working to improve special education services and improve overall student learning.
“My goals as Superintendent will include addressing educational programs and providing strong educational leadership to the district and community,” he stated.
The board retained the Services of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, a national school executive search firm to assist them in their search. Ochoa was selected from a field of 47 candidates.
Ochoa will replace retired administrator William Barr, who was filling in on an interim basis after former education leader Lisa Andrew resigned from the post two years into her tenure.
“The Hollister School District plans to complete the hiring on January 8, 2019 Board meeting. Ochoa would oversee the nearly 6,000 student district and could begin his role in February 2019,” according to the announcement. “His contract is set for three years with a $209,000 annual salary.”
During the four- month superintendent search process, the Hollister School District gathered input from more than 200 community members regarding the qualities they’d like to see in the next superintendent. Those qualities include collaborative leadership, knowledge of special education, a commitment to staying in Hollister, and cultural competence.
Ochoa said, “I chose to apply to the Hollister School District because the goals of the district align with who I am as a leader.”