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San Benito
April 18, 2024

Interim superintendent: ‘I have a passion for education’

Interim Hollister School District Superintendent had his first meeting with the board of trustees and introduced himself to the community.

Barr takes over for Dr. Lisa Andrew, who resigned after two years on the job to take the executive director position with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Barr called Andrew’s new job a prestigious position with a multimillion-dollar organization.

“I know she will do well but she needed to resign from the district here,” Barr said at the July 24 board meeting.

He told trustees he’s honored they would ask him to take the role. Barr is a retired educator who spent 16 years as the Monterey County superintendent, an elected position. He’s now retired, but has been interim superintendent with the San Benito High School District and Gilroy Unified School District in recent years along with various college roles.

“So my friends asked me, why in the world would I choose to come back into retirement into something that everybody sees as work,” he said. “I just tell them, ‘It’s just ingrained in me.’ I have a passion for education. I like to try to contribute where I can.”

He said he got to know the community well as interim superintendent at SBHS about four years ago.

“I got to know Hollister and I know it’s a wonderful community,” he said. “It has great school districts, and this is certainly one of them. It’s a very large operation, and I’m just privileged and honored the board asked me to come in.”

Barr did say it’s important that he’s not a candidate for the permanent role. Barr’s contract commenced July 18. He makes $935 per day for 46 days of work, the maximum he can work before his retirement pay is cut off. He would not receive health or vacation benefits.

“The last piece I would say is that I think it’s very important that an interim not be a candidate for a full-time position,” said Barr, noting how the board must decide on a direction moving forward for a new person.

The first day of school in the district is Aug. 13.