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San Benito
February 27, 2024

Trustees agree to release superintendent in 3-2 vote

Hollister School District trustees Tuesday agreed to release Superintendent Lisa Andrew from her contract effective July 13.

Trustees voted 3-2, with President Pat Moore, Elsa Rodriguez and Elizabeth Martinez in support, and Robert Bernosky and Peter Hernandez against it.

“I don’t feel that we should accept Lisa’s resignation until we have an interim or permanent in place,” said Bernosky, who’s concerned about releasing Andrew with “big issues” to address such as litigation with San Benito County.

“Until we have that body in place,” he added, “I just want to make sure we have the smoothest transition possible.”

Andrew spoke during the discussion and mentioned her accrual of 189 sick days.

“The July 13 date is, I think I put it on my resignation as my last physical day here,” she said. “So then you would have no buyout.”

Andrew went on: “I also need to, as you want to make sure there’s someone here, I need to also go. Right? We need to find an interim. We need to make sure that happens together.”

As trustees shared their views, though, things got a bit testy among board members. Rodriguez commented that trustees against releasing Andrew had been critical of her at times.

“This is about the district, Elsa,” Hernandez replied. “This is not about criticizing.”

Moore interjected.

“You know, we need to get back on topic now,” the board president said.

Hernandez had a quick reply.

“You can’t cut me off in the middle of a statement, Pat,” he said. “You can’t cut me off in the middle of a statement. If you want to be board president, you can’t cut me off in the middle of a statement.”

Moore then said the board needs to stay on topic, and Hernandez said his support for a smooth transition is on topic.

An administration official spoke during the meeting and said the district routinely releases employees from contracts upon request.

“The message we send is, even though we put you under contract,” Bernosky said. “it’s not really a contract.”

Bernosky also noted after the meeting how the board approved a new policy stating that just the board president and board clerk will do evaluations of superintendents going forward.

“It’s just not right,” he said.

Andrew told school officials of her decision last week. It came just over two years after the district named her to succeed former Superintendent Gary McIntire.

She is departing the role to take a job at a Silicon Valley nonprofit foundation. Andrew came to the Hollister School District two summers ago from her role as executive director of Partners in School Innovation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit.