From farmworker roots to national acclaim for former Nyssa man

Gustavo Balderas, superintendent of the Eugene School District, gives a speech after he’s awarded the national superintendent of the year award. Balderas grew up in a migrant farmworker family in Nyssa. (Photo courtesy of the American Association of School Superintendents)

NYSSA – Gustavo Balderas, a graduate of Nyssa schools who grew up in a migrant farmworker family, was recognized last week as this year’s national superintendent of the year.

Balderas has led the Eugene School District since 2015.

The award, given by the national School Supertintendents Association, honors school leaders across the country who are influencing students’ lives.

Balderas was one of four finalists. He thought the award was going to someone else.

“It’s humbling and unexpected,” he said. “It’s an honor to be recognized for all the work we’ve done . . .