County Education Welcomes New Administrators –

For the 2022-23 school year, the San Benito County Office of Education welcomes four new administrators to the team, including two principals, an alternative education director, and a coordinator.

The addition of new staff members will allow SBCOE to expand services and support students throughout the county, a news release from the county’s office of education said.

Gwen Baquiran will serve as director of student services, leading a number of programs including Foster Youth, Homeless and Positive Behavior Support and Intervention (PBIS), the press release said. Baquiran taught general education and special education classrooms before becoming a program specialist and providing coaching support to teachers.

She was a member of the San Benito County SELPA team before leading the Hollister School District’s Special Education Department for the past two years.

“As a student champion and a believer that every student deserves a level playing field, Ms. Baquiran Gwen is committed to advancing fair practices for all students,” the press release reads.

As SBCOE’s new Director of Intervention and Equity, Melissa Casas will oversee migrant education, social-emotional learning and mental health support, among other programs, the press release said.

Casas began her educational career as a school counselor before becoming a Special Education Program Specialist and Special Education Coordinator at San Benito High School. Most recently, she worked at the Morgan Hill Unified School District as the Equity Programs Coordinator.

“Casas’ work reflects his firm belief that all students deserve the opportunity to receive a high-quality education, regardless of background,” the county office said.

Scott Ervin, SBCOE’s new director of alternative education, will oversee all four alternative education programs, including Pinnacles Community School, San Benito Juvenile Court School, San Andreas Continuation School, and Santa Ana Opportunity.

Ervin’s career began as an English teacher before moving into academic administration as deputy principal and principal, the press release said. Most recently, he served as Director of Alternative Education at Coalinga. As an alternative school graduate himself, Ervin “understands the unique needs of students and strives to provide a supportive environment where all students succeed,” the statement said.

Shawna Picha-Freitas joined SBCOE in May as Human Resources Qualifications Coordinator, the press release said. Picha-Freitas was a teacher’s aide before working as an educational support coordinator at Hollister Prep School, where she performed various human resources duties, developed after-school intervention programs, and provided program support. studies for staff. “Ms. Picha-Freitas’ experience in the classroom and in human resources allows her to work collaboratively with San Benito County districts to ensure classrooms are staffed with top-notch teachers,” adds the press release.