David Dominguez will become the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District superintendent Aug 1. Dominguez is replacing Jeffery Jennings, who has been with the district for 35 years, and comes to Galt from the K-8 Placer Hills Union School District in Meadow Hills, where he has worked as superintendent since 2003.
Dominguez recently spoke with News-Sentinel staff writer Kendyce Manguchei about coming to a district facing population growth, increased student enrollment and future school construction.
Dominguez grew up in Santa Clara and taught first grade, fourth grade and middle school at San Jose area schools. From 1985 to 2001 he was principal at three schools and entered his first job as superintendent in 2001 in Newcastle.
In 1976, he received a bachelor's degree in liberal studies from San Diego State University and a multiple subjects credential from SDSU in 1977, the same year he took his first teaching position. In 1984, he received an administrative services credential from San Jose State. In 1988, he earned a master's degree in educational administration from the University of San Francisco.
His wife, Laurie, is a kindergarten teacher in Rocklin; they live in the Folsom Lake area. The couple has two children, Mike, 25, and Kacey, 23.
In light of Galt having just two superintendents in the past 50 years, how will you get caught up to speed?
I would hope I'd be able to establish a working relationship with Dr. Jennings in the future.
There's definitely some big shoes to fill and I understand that. I would be foolish not to take advantage of the knowledge that Dr. Jennings has.
Why do you want to work in Galt, considering most of your administrative experience has been in Placer County?
First of all, in doing my homework, Galt is a nice school district. It has supportive parents and teachers, it's a nice size in terms of growth. It's not going crazy like Elk Grove is, and the schools and parks have been involved in expansion. The size of the district appealed to me. I wouldn't want to work in a district any larger than that. In a school district this size you get to know people and how things work.
Why did you choose to get into administration?
I had hoped I could make a difference in a position as superintendent or principal as I did with teaching, just at a different level. As a principal, I hoped to make a difference for teachers and keep the focus on kids.
That's my motivation at every level: not taking your eye off the ball and remembering that we're in this for the kids.
An issue for Galt schools are students learning English. What are your comments about this?
I have done my homework in looking at the district and they have three different programs running to help meet the needs of those particular students. One of the first things I would like to do is take a look at those programs and see how they're working and how we can continue to improve on those programs to meet the needs.
Are there any specific programs you're thinking of bringing to Galt that have worked in your previous schools?
If need be, (I would) look to other counties and other areas to use those other resources. I think if you're in a district where there needed to be a lot of help and a change of course that might be necessary. In this district, that's not the case. I look at myself as a learner. You owe it to them, in due respect, to figure out yourself what's going on.
First published: Thursday, July 13, 2006