Diego Ochoa is the first Latino superintendent for the Hollister School District, and local organizations wanted to welcome him with open arms at a reception Thursday.
That reception event was at the Hollister Community Center. It was hosted by the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Mexican American Committee on Education, and the Latino Coalition of San Benito County.
“For some of the parents, it’s a welcoming event,” said Mickie Luna with LULAC, who referenced Ochoa as the first Latino superintendent of the district. “You connect sometimes with a culture. Parents, especially migrant parents, I think seeing somebody of their own there, it gives them more confidence that, you know what, you need to work harder for your children.”
Luna referenced questions that came up during the hiring process over Ochoa’s time in the early part of the decade at the Sweetwater Union School District in Chula Vista, where a scandal occurred involving misuse of funds. Ochoa is coming to Hollister after being superintendent of the Esparto Union School District, where he had been working since 2012.
“I believe that when anybody has done a background check on anybody, some negativity comes out,” Luna said.
She said she had no knowledge of Ochoa before the hiring, but that she and others did participate in community interviews done for the position.
“Nobody really found anything wrong with Mr. Ochoa,” she said the day of the reception. “I think it’s time to welcome him to our community.”