Courtesy of San Benito High School:
San Benito High School Principal Adrian Ramirez was selected as the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 10 Secondary Principal of the Year and Melissa Casas, San Benito High School District’s coordinator of special education, was named the ACSA Region 10 Special Education Administrator of the Year.
They were both presented with plaques at the Feb. 26 SBHS District Board of Trustees meeting. SBHS Superintendent Dr. Shawn Tennenbaum said at the meeting that it was a privilege to work closely with Ramirez, whom he said “strives each day to create a learning and working environment that fosters growth, supports innovation, and pursues the highest of standards for students and staff.”
Tennenbaum cited Ramirez’s embrace of “collaborative professionalism” and the example the principal sets for his assistant principals, faculty, support staff and students. Ramirez has been principal at his alma mater since 2015, having also served as an assistant principal, student support manager, summer school principal, and migrant education teacher during summer school. He was the ACSA Region 10 Co-Administrator of the Year in 2015. Tennenbaum noted that Ramirez’s leadership abilities are reflected through the high school’s student achievement, equity and school culture.
“Through Mr. Ramirez’s student-centered approach, San Benito High School students have demonstrated significant academic growth in three critical areas: Advanced Placement enrollment and performance, overall and student subgroup results on the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) exam and fulfilling a-g (University of California and California State University admission) requirements,” Tennenbaum said.
Director of Special Education Dr. Paulette Cobb complimented Casas on her “deep commitment to students,” particularly within her expertise of social emotional supports.
“Her work in programs for students with emotional disabilities has been remarkable,” Cobb said. “She has utilized her counseling background, as well as her experience in education, to build a therapeutic learning environment which is safe and productive for the students at San Benito High School.”
Casas’ community connections in organizations such as Behavioral Health, probation, and Youth Alliance supplement the student success, Cobb said, pointing out that Casas is humble, a “tireless worker,” and “the shoulder you want to lean on.”
Casas was lauded for an 80 percent reduction in the non-public school placement of students in the past two years.
“Most importantly, these students are in public school successfully,” Cobb said, adding that Casas “has taken a leadership role in aligning and organizing supports so students are served in the least restrictive environment for as long as possible.”
“There is no project she leaves unfinished as she works and advocates for all students at San Benito High School,” Cobb said. “We are all so lucky to have her in our district.”