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July 12, 2024

A warm welcome

GREENFIELD — Life came full circle last week for Zandra Jo Galvan, who fulfilled a childhood dream of becoming superintendent of the Greenfield Union School District, where she first started as a kindergartener at the tender age of 5 years old.

“That little girl remembered every single one of her teachers,” Galvan recalled. “Now, how does that happen? That happens because when that little girl went to school in this district, she had the most powerful, passionate, inspirational people that believed that ‘All Means All,’” she added, referring to the belief that every student matters.

Galvan, 46, shared that mentality last Thursday during a districtwide staff welcome celebration, hosted inside the gym at Vista Verde Middle School.

“The message today is all about ‘All Means All,’ and all of our students are going to move, and we’re going to inspire them and we’re going to motivate them,” she said. “We’re going to motivate each other, we’re going to help each other, we’re going to do everything possible so that we have an awesome 2017-18 together.”

Galvan grew up in South County for most of her early life.

She attended K-8 school in Greenfield and graduated from King City High School before going to Hartnell College, where she received an associate’s degree in 1991. She earned her bachelor’s degree at California State University, Fresno, and her teaching credentials in 1993, followed by a master’s degree at CSU, Monterey Bay, in 2002, and her administrative credentials in 2008.

Galvan has been working in the educational field for the past 24 years.

She previously worked as a teacher for Greenfield and was most recently the assistant superintendent of education services for the Gonzales Unified School District.

“I’m just incredibly proud to be here,” she said.

Galvan signed a three-year contract to lead the Greenfield district through the 2019-20 school year, with an annual salary of $210,000. She replaces former superintendent Kim Berman, who left the position after one year to accept a job at another school district.

“I humbly accept this honor to lead you, to support you and to do anything and everything possible to move our district in a positive direction because you deserve it and we deserve it,” Galvan said.

Galvan is not the only new arrival at Greenfield Union School District this year. In total, there are 50 employees who are either new to the district or returning in new positions for the 2017-18 school year.

Principals at all four of the district’s schools are new to their respective positions — Paddy Douglas at Vista Verde Middle School, Sonia Aramburo at Oak Avenue Elementary, Sarah Amezcua at Cesar Chavez Elementary and Rosalinda Silva at Mary Chapa Academy. Their assistant principals are also new — Norma DeSantos and Beth Meyer at Vista Verde, Myra Villagomez at Oak Avenue, Mary Warner at Cesar Chavez and Michelle Farrer at Mary Chapa.

Many of the administrators were introduced at the Aug. 10 staff welcome.

“We’re in the business of investing in people. If you don’t know me already, you’re going to learn that about me,” Galvan told the staff. “I invest in people first, which is why I was so proud to hug and cry and kiss so many people out in that yard and in this room today — because of the relationship that we have developed together, whether I was your child’s teacher or whether I was a colleague with you or whether you were my teacher — all of that happened because of the relationship and investment in people.”

Galvan lives in Soledad with her husband Javier, who is a detective with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, and their three children, 7-year-old Zoe Jo and 5-year-old twins Zia Jo and Zachary.