Meet Adrian Vega: New schools superintendent familiarizes himself with district

SAN BENITO — The first item on Superintendent Adrian Vega’s agenda is to get to know the people within the district and outside it.

That includes teachers, parents, staff, the community and students.

Vega spent yesterday afternoon traveling to different campuses around the district meeting with the many people he hopes to gain insight from.

After all, he said they are the ones who have been here “longer than me.”

“My goal for going to campuses is touching base with people and listening to people and asking them how things are going. How long have they been with the district? What do they feel the district does well?” Vega said. “Give me your thoughts.”

After the quick departure of former superintendent Marc Puig in July, the school board hired Vega as his replacement in November.

Before beginning his new position as head of the district, Vega was deputy superintendent for Teaching & Learning at the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona.

Vega, who is originally from Texas, will be paid an annual salary of $155,000, which is $15,000 more than his predecessor, Puig.

Under the terms of his contract with the San Benito school district, Vega is expected to live within city limits.

Having already relocated his family, Vega is delighted his two middle school-aged children also are part of the district and he can drive them to school on a daily basis.

For the beginning stages of his leadership, Vega said right now it’s about listening, observing and assessing.

There are two important items on Vega’s to-do list.

“I would like to conduct a district-wide efficiency audit, taking a look at operations,” Vega said.

“Does the district operate efficiently? I would also like to conduct a curriculum audit in the spring,”

A curriculum audit would look at the teaching and learning side of things.

“It’s just to get a clear picture,” he said.

For example, Vega said, “If I am a classroom teacher, it would be wise to assess my kids on the first day of school to know where they are at and then go from there.”

“I’m not going to be able to meet the needs of the district if I don’t know what is working or where there are gaps,” Vega said.

After that, he said he can bring an objective perspective and dive into a strategic plan to move the district forward.

It’s too early to tell what that plan will entail.

“If the idea is to truly prepare our kids for their lives and its 2016 and the world keeps changing, we need to make sure we are truly preparing them for that.”

ksommer@vlleystar.com