Courtesy of San Benito High School:
San Benito High School welcomes two new assistant principals for the 2019-20 school year, both of whom bring many years of educational experience and a passion for helping students succeed.
Baler alumna and 14-year SBHS teaching veteran Laurie Chavez moves into the role of assistant principal for safety and discipline, while Deborah Armstrong, who has taught math at SBHS and was a teacher of the year in the Hollister School District, assumes the new role of assistant principal for multi-tiered support system (MTSS).
Chavez, who will lead the team in charge of safety and discipline on campus, said she is “looking forward to working with students in making the right choices on an off campus.” Chavez has served in many roles at SBHS during her tenure, including teaching special education, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and physical education classes, coordinating the AVID program, being a support provider and mentor for new teachers, coordinating Senior Parents Night and graduation, being a club advisor, and serving as head coach for the Baler track and field program.
“One of my most favorite roles and the one I will really miss is graduation coordinator,” Chavez said. “I love working with the parents to create the culminating celebration for their students.”
“I am a Baler!” said Chavez, who graduated from Chico State University and earned a masters’ degree in education and another in administration and supervision. “I have always been excited to give back to my community and the school that has helped guide me to where I am today. I love working with the staff and creating relationships where we all take pride in what we do on campus.”
Chavez and her husband, Cuco, also a Baler alumnus, have four children. “They will soon be Balers and I want to ensure them that this is the school that will give them a head start to a successful future.”
Armstrong, who is assuming the new role of assistant principal (MTSS), earned bachelor’s degrees in industrial psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s in business administration from Santa Clara University, and a teaching credential from California State University, Monterey Bay.
Her previous experience includes five years with the Hollister School District and two years as assistant director of admission for Santa Clara University. Three of her four children are Balers, which she said “drew me to wanting to be a part of this amazing institution. I knew of the initiatives on campus and had heard about the excellent leadership team here.”
In her role overseeing the implementation of MTSS, Armstrong says she will “actively support the entire student body through a variety of programs and interventions.” She is also the administrator for the school’s rollout of PBIS (positive behavioral interventions and supports), “a school-wide program that explicitly teaches our students how to behave appropriately in specific situations and rewards them for doing so.”
Armstrong said the high school is using the “evolving and improving” Homeroom and Academic Focus Time period “to reach students on many levels and provide the opportunities for growth that they deserve.”
“Taken in total, I hope to be a force for supporting an even more positive school climate that increases post-secondary success and the well being of all our students.”