San Benito schools mourn death of assistant principal

SAN BENITO — As the San Benito school district continues to prepare for the first day of school like they do every year, they were faced with an unpredictable and heartbreaking situation just days before classes begin next week.

The district lost one of their assistant principals who several community members described on Facebook as a hardworking and amazing person.

Dr. Raul Garza Jr. STEAM Academy Assistant Principal Michael Bryan Salinas, 52, died Tuesday.

Salinas was one of the vice principals of the academy this past year. He worked with the San Benito school district as a teacher and later as an administrator. He was with the district for 15 years.

The Academy posted a statement on its Facebook page in regard to their sudden loss.

“It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that we inform you of the unexpected passing of our school’s Assistant Principal Michael Salinas,” Academy Principal Elsa Lambert wrote.

“We extend our deepest condolences and express our most sincere thoughts and prayers to his entire family,” she added. “We will forever remember the contributions, the hard work and dedication that Mr. Salinas leaves behind.”

Lambert also wrote they will have counselors available for students and parents to help them cope with the unexpected loss.

Several members in the community expressed their condolences and wrote about their memories of him on the STEAM Academy’s Facebook post.

Claudia Lozoya Hernandez wrote, “Our condolences to the Salinas family. May his soul Rest In Peace. He was an amazing principal always with a smile on his face.”

“He was such a great person,” Karlita Ochoa wrote. “Always made my girls laugh!!! They’re so devastated!!! My deepest condolences to his family!”

Solbey Mancillas wrote, “My deepest condolences to his family…very sad to lose an awesome person…so many great memories…thanks for everything you did for our kids…May you rest in peace Mr. Salinas!!”

The school district expressed its thoughts and prayers to the Salinas family, friends and co-workers.

“Please keep the Salinas family and the Dr. Garza STEAM staff, students and parents in your thoughts and prayers,” the school district wrote in a Facebook post.