Bravo leaves GUSD

After three years as Gilroy High principal and 14 in the
district, Bravo heads north
Gilroy – After serving more than 14 years in the Gilroy Unified School District, including the past three as principal at the high school, Bob Bravo is heading to the East Bay next year.

The move includes a new job, as well as a new location.

“I have mixed feelings about it,” Bravo said. “For me, this is like leaving home … This was my first job out of college.”

Beginning as a Gilroy High School history teacher, Bravo later served as a principal at Mt. Madonna Continuation High School, vice–principal of GHS and later the school’s principal.

The decision to move north is more personal for Bravo – his girlfriend attends school at University of California, Berkeley.

He will be working neither as a teacher nor an administrator. The new position has him headquartered in the district’s office as a director of educational services.

Leaving Gilroy has Bravo feeling emotionally confused.

“It’s exciting and sad at the same time,” he said. “I’ve spent really my professional life here. The people (here) I think of as my role models and friends … I’m leaving a school that I like and think is great.”

When Bravo arrived at GHS the school three years ago, the high school was in a period of flux, said GHS office coordinator Janie Gillespie.

“When he was vice–principal everybody always went to Bob with problems,” she said. “I was kind of devastated when he told me (he was leaving) … He has impeccable integrity and I appreciate that. I just like the way he worked with kids – they came first.”

Under his leadership, the high school’s Academic Performance Index improved, as did the school’s attendance.

Assistant Principal Greg Camacho–Light attributes much of that to Bravo’s tenure.

During his three-year stint at GHS, Bravo experienced numerous highs including the institution of honors classes, the development of the GHS Parent Club and the school’s first–ever career fair, said GHS parent and former Parent Club co–president Denise Apuzzo.

Some lows Bravo endured were criticisms from several parents regarding his oversight of the GHS staff and allowance of GHS’ Day of Silence demonstration this past April.

“I personally didn’t have anything against him,” Apuzzo said. “For a new principal, I think GHS being of the size it is, requires someone with more experience … I’m sure he’ll do well. I wish him luck.”

While GUSD looks for a candidate to replace Bravo, Camacho–Light has one request: “(Hire) someone like Bob … Someone who rolls up their sleeves and works with us.”

Bravo begins his new position next week.

“Janie Gillespie is available if there is something people need, as well as Assistant Principal Greg Camacho–Light … so there will be people to help (this summer),” Bravo said.

GUSD expects to hire a new principal by the first week of August. The position has been posted online at Ed–join.org. The process will involve staff, parents, community members and students.

For more information about the process or to apply for the position of GHS principal, contact Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Linda Piceno at 848–7131.

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