ONTARIO – Tom Greco, chair of the Ontario School Board, has resigned because he is moving to Idaho. His resignation was effective March 31.
Greco was elected to the board in 2021, defeating incumbent Derrick Draper.
He said in an interview Monday that he will continue for now as pastor of Ontario Community Church.
Greco said he’s moving to Star, Idaho, to be nearer his children and grandchildren.
“We sold the house and bought a house in the same day,” Greco said.
The remaining board members – Craig Geddes, Eric Evans, Bianca Rodriguez and Matt Stringer – can appoint someone to fill the remainder of Greco’s term. The seat is up for election in 2023.
Greco presided over a board that had been mired in controversy, with board members squabbling with each other and the board censuring two of its own members.
That’s changed, Greco said.
“My focus was to bring our dialogue more in line with civility and focus on kids and focus on those issues,” Greco said.
He said board members now are “working together, being able to rationally discuss the changes that need to be made. That’s a testament to the board’s ability to put pettiness aside and figure out what’s best for kids.”
The board is facing what Greco said is its biggest current issue – whether to go with a four-day school schedule.
“It’s a hard decision,” he said, with impacts on students and teachers.
He said the board recently finished evaluating Superintendent Nikki Albisu, rating her the top score of 4 in eight categories and 3 in two others.
“That tells me that the district, or at least the board, respects her vision, decision-making and potential to continue to lead the district,” he said.
The board is still considering a renewal of Albisu’s contract.
Greco said two other key personnel changes will serve the district well, including a new principal at Ontario High School.
“The move of Ken Martinez to the high school is an excellent move and an excellent decision,” he said.
He said shifting the current principal, Jodi Elizondo, to a district administrative job to work on curriculum and pursue grants “really allows her to use her strengths.”
Greco said he thinks the community backs the school district.
“I think the majority of the people in the district like the schools,” he said. “I think they’re happy with what has been going on.”
He said he will commute from his new home to continue serving the church. But change is planned there too.
“I talked to our board about in the next year plus finding a younger pastor with a young family” to lead the church. “It’s a strong church. Our intention is to help mentor the next pastor.”
Then, he has his own plan.
“When appropriate, I’ll kind of step from the pulpit and go sit in one of the pews,” Greco said.
CORRECTION: The Ontario School Board censured two of its board members. An earlier version mistakenly said they censored. The Enterprise apologizes for the error.
News tip? Contact Editor Les Zaitz by email: [email protected]
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