SAN BENITO — The Riverside Middle School cafeteria filled with parents and administrators ready to enter into an open and honest dialogue with the district’s board of trustees.
The first of two town halls to be held in November, the meeting this past week served as a way for the board to receive input from the community on ongoing projects.
It was the first town hall meeting in the district’s history, something board president Michael Vargas has wanted to do for some time.
“When I first ran in 2015, this was something that I always dreamed up and making sure that it would become a reality,” Vargas said. “It’s a long time coming.”
The meeting began with a preliminary presentation given by Superintendent Dr. Nate Carman that was translated to Spanish for the non-English speaking community.
Carman reiterated the Re-Imagine Strategic Plan Priority Goals and highlighted facility concerns and possible solutions the district is looking into.
Three main topics were discussed, including efficient use of existing buildings, student populations and crowd issues in the high school.
The board discussed current problems and possible solutions before opening up the floor to the public.
“I thought it was a huge success,” Vargas said.
Those in attendance were given surveys that allowed participants to voice their opinions and concerns without having to step up to the microphone in front of the crowd.
Vargas said the board received a lot of feedback, not only during the meeting but also in the surveys.
“The community is hungry for good leadership,” Vargas said. “They want to be a part of the discussion and the solution.”
Vargas said the most surprising and exciting thing for him was hearing from the students.
Their perspective is the most important perspective, Vargas said.
The second town hall will be hosted Monday, Nov. 13, at San Benito High School.
Vargas said he expects the crowds at the second meeting to double due to its location.