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GUSD Communications

Notice is hereby given that the Gilroy Unified School District intends to submit an application to the California Department of Education for a 21st Century Community Learning Centers program grant.

If granted, funds will be used to maintain and expand Power School before- and after-school and summer camp programs to include more than 1,000 students across eight school sites, and provide equitable access support. Public input about the proposed 21st Century Community Learning Center program must be submitted to Kathleen Biermann, Director of Curriculum and Instruction – Elementary, at or (408) 848-7170 by 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

GUSD Communications

On Sunday, September 9, 2018, at approximately 1:00 pm, Gilroy Police Department responded to a report that a driver had accessed a service road behind the Gilroy High School Football Stadium and was acting erratically. 

Gilroy Police Department dispatched a number of service units to the scene to contact the suspect.  During that time, an officer discharged his service weapon at the suspect’s car.  The suspect then surrendered to authorities and was taken into custody without further incident. 

Gilroy Unified School District leases the Gilroy High School football field to the Gilroy Browns Pop Warner Football organization and while this situation was unfolding, a Jr. Pee Wee Pop Warner game was in process on the field.  Announcers for the football game advised players, coaches and spectators to “shelter in place” after shots were fired to ensure the safety of all in attendance.  The attendees complied with the orders and no one was injured.  During this time, a baseball game was also in progress as was a senior activity in the student parking lot on campus.  No one participating in either of these activities were harmed.

Gilroy Unified School District wishes to commend the officers on duty for the Gilroy Police Department for their swift response to ensure the safety of all in attendance on campus at Gilroy High School.  We would like to thank those parents and coaches in attendance at the football game who did everything possible to keep the players and other attendees safe.  “We are relieved that this situation was resolved quickly and without incident.  Many thanks to Gilroy Police Department and to the parents in attendance at the football game for keeping the attendees safe,” remarked GUSD Superintendent Dr. Deborah A. Flores.

The suspect has no affiliation with any of the activities that were taking place on campus at Gilroy High School.  More information will be released by Gilroy Police Department as it becomes available.

GUSD Communications

Gilroy, CA – The Gilroy Unified School District (GUSD) is pleased to announce that Jean Wells-Southland has been appointed as the new principal for Rucker Elementary School for the 2018-19 school year by the Board of Education on May 17, 2018.

Dr. Deborah A. Flores Ph.D., Superintendent of the Gilroy Unified School District, remarked, “We are excited to welcome Jean Wells-Southland to our administrative team.  She is an established leader in the Rucker community and has a wide array of professional experience as a classroom teacher, private sector consultant, and administrator throughout her career.  I know she will hit the ground running to maintain the high level of academic rigor that is currently in place at Rucker.”

Ms. Wells-Southland returns to the Rucker campus as an administrator after serving as a Literacy Facilitator there from 2015-2018.  Prior to her tenure in Gilroy Unified, she worked for Partners in School Innovation, where she collaborated with District and school leaders, and teachers to develop result-oriented cycles of inquiry and structures to support teacher professional learning.  She was the principal of a secondary charter school (grades 6-12), Silicon Valley Flex Academy, from 2011-2014, and taught primary grades in Morgan Hill Unified School District, at Nordstrom Elementary and the Charter School of Morgan Hill from 2001-2011.

Ms. Wells-Southland and her husband have been Morgan Hill residents for 22 years and have three adult children and a grandchild.

When asked about how she felt about her new role, Ms. Wells-Southland shared, “From my first days at Rucker several years ago I knew that it was a special place to work.  The staff, students and families are what have kept me at Rucker and are what makes taking on the new role of principal so exciting.  I am looking forward to working with the Rucker community to build connections and strengthen our student outcomes for learning and social emotional growth.”

GUSD Communications

The Gilroy Unified School District (GUSD) is pleased to announce that Jeremy Dirks has been selected as the new principal for Christopher High School for the 2018-19 school year.  His official appointment will occur at the next GUSD School Board meeting on August 9, 2018.

Dr. Deborah A. Flores Ph.D., Superintendent of the Gilroy Unified School District, remarked, “Having a leader that has served as a successful high school classroom teacher, activities director, high school assistant principal and coach is a win for everyone at the site. Jeremy’s high school experience is extensive and his track-record is solid. We are thrilled to have him lead the Christopher High School staff and students beginning this school year.”

Jeremy comes to Christopher High School after serving as the Vice Principal at South Valley Middle School during the 2017-18 school year.  Prior to the assignment at South Valley, Jeremy was the Assistant Principal at San Benito High School, in Hollister, for three years.  During his time at San Benito High, Dirks was responsible for a wide range of duties at the 3,000 student campus with a broad range of programs. Before serving in administrative roles, he was a social studies teacher at Gilroy High School for ten years, also serving as varsity basketball coach and Activities Director on campus.

Dirks earned his Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from San Jose State University in 2002.  He earned a teaching credential from Chapman University and a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration from Brandman University in 2013.  He lives in Hollister with his wife, Elizabeth, and son and daughter.  Jeremy attended Gilroy schools as a student and graduated from Gilroy High School in 1993.

When asked about how he felt about his new role, Mr. Dirks stated, “I am extremely excited to be joining the Christopher High School staff and community! I believe that the CHS staff are dedicated to doing what is best for all students and I am honored to be a part of the CHS team!”

GUSD Communications

The Gilroy Unified School District (GUSD) is pleased to share some of the amazing accomplishments achieved at school sites and by staff members throughout the 2017-18 school year.

Rod Kelley Elementary School was recognized as a California Distinguished School by State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, and a top Bay Area public school for underserved students by Innovate Public Schools in April 2018.  Rod Kelley was celebrated at the California Distinguished Schools event on May 3 in Anaheim, with Principal Maritza Salcido, Superintendent Dr. Deborah A. Flores, GUSD Board Members BC Doyle and Heather Bass, as well as other Rod Kelley staff members in attendance.  

In May 2018, Dr. TJ Owens Early College Academy received a Gold ranking as the 23rd ranked high school in California (172 nationally) by US News and World ReportGilroy High School received a Silver ranking as the 480th ranked high school in California (2451 nationally) by the same publication.  The magazine evaluated over 20,500 public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college. 

Also in May 2018, Educational Results Partnership and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence recognized four Gilroy Unified School District schools as 2017-18 California Honor Roll schools.  The 2017-2018 Honor Roll recognizes public elementary, middle, and high schools that demonstrate high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time, and reduction in achievement gaps. For high schools, Honor Roll recognition includes measures of college readiness in students. This year, the California Honor Roll recognized 1,798 higher performing schools that are distinguished for their academic achievement and closing achievement gaps.  Dr. TJ Owens Early College Academy, Christopher High School, Rod Kelley Elementary and Las Animas Elementary were all recognized with this award. 

South Valley Middle School seventh grade math teacher, Rachael Cornaggia, has recently been named the Gilroy Unified School District Teacher of the Year by the Santa Clara Office of Education.  The Office of Education recognizes a teacher from each of the 31 Districts in the County on an annual basis.  Rachael will be honored on Monday, October 22, 2018 along with her colleagues from throughout the County. 

Glen View Elementary School Principal, Christine Vasquez-Pereira, was recently named a Superstar First-Year Administrator by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).  Christine was honored at the annual ACSA Region 8 Awards Night on May 11.

Gilroy High School’s Athletic Director, Jami Reynolds, received the Norm MacKenzie “Rookie of the Year” award from the California State Athletic Directors Association on April 19.  Jami was nominated by Gilroy High School Principal Dr. Marco Sanchez, who says that, “Jami is one of the best Athletic Directors in the Central Coast Section, if not the State, and deserves this recognition and more.”

Finally, the Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education recently named Jean Wells-Southard as the new principal of Rucker Elementary School.  Well-Southland takes over for Christine Anderson, a long-time GUSD Administrator, who is retiring June 8, 2018.

“We are so proud of our school sites, staff members, students and families that make Gilroy Unified School District the best it can be.  I am especially grateful to the staff members at these school sites, and throughout the District, who do the work day-in and day-out to ensure that our students have the best educational experience possible.  It is true that our people are the best thing about Gilroy Unified and these awards are evidence of this,” said Superintendent Dr. Deborah A. Flores.