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Optimism as Supe Signs Contract

New Superintendent Alejandro Hogan signed his contract at Thursday's school board meeting.

If you’d sat through any of the public school board meetings in the last month, you might be forgiven for wondering if you were in the same place on Thursday night.

June started with two where teachers and community members stood before the board to . But it ended, at Thursday’s last board meeting of the month, with a new superintendent signing a contract with the district before an audience brimming with goodwill.

“It’s a new day for the district,” said Jan Speller, president of the South San Francisco Classroom Teachers Association.

“I was on cloud nine,” said Saima Abdullah, a parent who visited new home district in Salinas as part of hiring process.

Just two weeks ago, discontent within the district had reached a fever pitch. Long-building concern about the district's leadership perceived top-down management style exploded in a controversy over Acting Superintendent Adolfo Melara's .

All eyes were on the board as it headed into the final phase of its superintendent search. Earlier in the year, after the board interviewed only Acting Superintendent Melara and a former superintendent without a search process in an early round.

Hogan's communication skills and strong recommendations from colleagues impressed board members and the committee assembled to visit the Salinas Union High School District. have largely drawn favorable reactions from the wider community.

Hogan signed his employment contract before the audience and the board. He will begin work on July 1 for a three-year term at a salary of $175,000 per year.

“I am honored and privileged that you have given me this opportunity to lead the South San Francisco school district,” said Hogan, . “My mission is to give the students of the district the opportunity to become excellent citizens of their community, and I will be able to do that with the help of everybody here.”

“As a district, we’ve been through a lot,” said Board President Maurice Goodman, who praised Acting Superintendent Adolfo Melara’s service over the last six months since former . “As a team we’ve come together, we’ve taken our lumps. I think we’ve done it as a group and as professionals.”

Hogan spent Thursday meeting with people in the school district, and on Friday, he and his wife, Vickie, plan to look at apartments in South San Francisco.

hope June 25, 2011 at 02:19 AM
hope, I too am excited and hopeful about the future of our district. I am bothered though about the constant praise from the board for Mr. Malera. He has been a big part of the problems we've been dealing with. I guess it's politics as usual. They obviously have a relationship that we aren't privy to. It would be helpful for the healing process to be validated. As it was stated in the article and has been many times, It's a top down style of leadership that has caused most of the problems within our district. Would someone please make him accountable for his part in this mess.

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