The Byron Union School District (BUSD) has had its ups and downs over the last few years, but Dr. Reyes Guana, new superintendent of the district, is determined to focus on the positive and improve the negative.
Guana, who was previously the assistant superintendent in the Stockton Unified School District, is moving forward into the new school year to lead his students and staff to success. He plans to focus on four main areas, pinpointing what needs improvement and celebrating successes.
“We have a continued focus and a deeper dive into some of the areas that we know that Byron and other districts are focusing on,” Guana said. “The attendance, the academics, the climate and culture of our schools and our district, and the bullying across our district.”
Guana added that he has learned a lot from listening to what students, parents and teachers have told him about what goes on at the three school sites. He said one of his biggest concerns is the bullying that many people have told him is prevalent throughout the district.
“It’s a concern to me as a superintendent that we have bullying in our schools,” he said. “That’s a big factor in other districts across the state and across the nation. As a district, we are really going to make sure that we are providing the support to identify bullying and distinguish between bullying and harassment.”
Guana intends to put a plan in place that will not only protect the victims of aggressive behavior, but also address the issue of why kids are bullying. He feels that fostering a positive culture kids want to be a part of will help strong academics and good attendance fall into place.
In addition to partnering with his teachers and staff, Guana wants to get the whole community involved in supporting his students. A new foundation created by some of the district’s parents — Byron Partners in Education (BPiE) — will help bridge the gap between district funding and what the parent teacher associations (PTAs) can raise. Their first event is a casino night on Friday, Sept. 20. Everyone is invited so funds raised can make an impact on the current school year.
BUSD Board President David Turner was part of the decision to hire Guana earlier this year. Turner said Guana impressed him as a capable leader during the interview process, and he hasn’t been disappointed in what he’s seen.
“He is open and inquisitive, listens well and acts with conviction after understanding the situation,” Turner said of Guana. “His first months on the job confirm my faith that my fellow board members made a good selection for Byron superintendent.”
Turner added that, based on reports and observations from staff and parents he’s spoken with, the school year and Guana are off to a good start. As president of the board of trustees, Turner wants the district to be effective in its use of resources to contribute to student’s educational experience. He said he feels encouraged by Guana and the efforts of organizations like BPiE.
As Guana continues familiarizing himself with his new home, he said he looks forward to celebrating the successes he’s finding, and to working in a great district.
“I love it here,” he said with a smile. “I can’t stress this enough: We just have such amazing people here. I have yet to find one person who doesn’t really have the heart and soul to be here for these kids. This is a great place to be.”
The BPiE Casino Night will take place Friday, Sept. 20, from 6 to 11 p.m. at Brentwood Veterans Hall, 757 First St. in Brentwood. Cost is $50. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Dolores Long at 925-584-6712 or visit: www.conta.cc/2Y6sk5N.