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June 21, 2024

Hollister district announces new principals for Ladd Lane, R.O. Hardin

Courtesy of the Hollister School District:

The Hollister School District is excited to announce the appointment of two talented educators to school principal positions.

At the April meeting of the Board of Trustees, Jeanine Ostoja was named principal of Ladd Lane and Lilia Espinoza was named principal of R.O. Hardin. Superintendent Ochoa described the rigorous and competitive process involved in selecting Ostoja and Espinoza.

“HSD received over 20 strong applicants for these two principal vacancies,” he said in the statement. “Lilia and Jeanine were selected after two rounds of interviews with site staff and district administrators. We feel strongly that they will provide great leadership to our schools. I’m excited for the students, parents, and staff at Ladd Lane and R.O Hardin.”

Over the past 13 years, Jeanine Ostoja worked as a teacher and administrator in the Hollister School District. Ostoja said, “I consider my most important job to be that of a child advocate. My goal is to

“I consider my most important job to be that of a child advocate,” Ostoja said in the statement. “My goal is to ensure that all children are healthy, happy and safe. I want students to have the utmost advantage of reaching their full potential. This has been my philosophy since I began my career teaching in 2003.”

Ostoja taught primary grades for three years and then moved on to find her home with the Hollister School District in 2006. Since 2006, Ostoja has taught almost everything from kindergarten to sixth grade. Ostoja has served as an intervention teacher and assistant principal at Ladd Lane and Cerra Vista.

“I am committed to leading a school where teachers want to work and students want to learn,” she said.

Lilia Espinoza is returning home to serve as principal of R.O. Hardin, which she attended as a child.

“I remember joining my father on Friday evenings, while he cleaned the classrooms; my job was to help clean the chalkboards,” she said. “I would play teacher and call upon all of those students that were never called on to participate. The students in my ‘play classroom’ would all answer and I would praise them. I decided then, that what students needed was a voice, an opportunity to speak.”

Lilia would go one to become a teacher, which she describes as a dream come true. As an ELD teacher, she realized the importance of language development. She has spent countless hours researching best instructional practices and effective lesson plan development to target the language needs of her students. After many years in the classroom, Lilia was offered the opportunity to serve as an assistant principal at RO. Hardin School. The leadership opportunity was exciting, as the focus on data, formative assessments, on-site coaching, and collaboration were taking flight.

She currently serves as the district’s Coordinator of English Learners and Migrant programs.

“The opportunity to call on all of the ‘silent’ students district wide was an opportunity she could not pass up,” Espinoza said. “Therefore, I took the opportunity to be their voice.”

Both Ostoja and Espinoza begin their new positions on July 1, 2019.