Gonzalez sees the big picture for students

July 13, 2020
Hector Gonzalez prioritizes student achievement. In his role as director of facilities for a high school district, he understands that the work of his department directly impacts students and instruction. Candace Reines, deputy superintendent of business services at Perris Union High School District, said Gonzalez’s greatest achievement so far at the district was to help pass two general bond measures for school facilities. “Despite the challenges, he devoted countless hours to the campaigns, and without him, the students and communities served by the district would not be benefiting from the new and modernized schools he is responsible for building,” Reines said. “Hector’s understanding of school district operations and the ability to see the ‘big picture’ is outstanding.” What’s your favorite book on leadership?  “The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever” by Michael Bungay Stanier. What’s your favorite quote about leadership? “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliote What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?  The best advice I have ever been given is to always listen, observe, learn and keep moving forward. You have to always keep moving. What are some of your favorite apps? I am a big fan of Google Apps. We use them in our job functions daily and I have found them to be comprehensive and easy to use. Another one I use for personal use (not work) is Picture This. I love plants and gardening. Picture This is an app that you can upload a picture to and will identify a plant and lists everything you would ever want to know about the plant you are looking at. What’s your best strategy for work/life balance?  This is something that I have struggled with during the years since I became a manager. It is easy to fall into the “always working” routine. In the last couple of years, I have become more conscious of needing to balance work and home. I try to make sure that the time I spend with my wife and three sons is quality time and that I dedicate my attention to them when we are together.  What made you want to become a school administrator? I started my career in education as a school custodian then moved into my first leadership role as a head custodian, then through various leadership roles in Maintenance and Operation to my current position as Director of Facilities.  From my first leadership role, I realized that my work and the work of the people that I was managing had a direct effect on students, staff and the learning environment in our schools. One thing that I strive to instill in my departments is the impact we have on education. That is a realization that drove my becoming a school administrator.  What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to get where you are?  The biggest challenge I overcame to get where I am is going back to school and graduating with my degree. As a young person, my situation necessitated that I work straight out of high school, and higher education was not an option. Having worked hard to finish my degree later in my career and having my sons watch me put the work into my goal was a blessing. They witnessed the hard work and know that it can be done. What is your proudest accomplishment?  This is an interesting question for me. I came to the U.S. with my parents as a child. I am proud to be an American and am proud to do what I do every day, because I never imagined that I would be where I am and do the things I do to positively impact students and education.  Who is someone who inspires you? My mother inspires me. She taught me the value of hard work, ethics, the value of a dollar and the importance of having a good attitude. My mother also instilled in me the value of humor and positivity.  What’s your pre-game ritual to get ready for a big meeting or presentation? Before a big meeting or presentation, I try to relax and mentally work through what I will be presenting. I am a bullet note person, so I make sure I have my key thoughts written out to be ready to go.  What was the best ACSA event you’ve attended? I like going to the superintendent’s “Take the Mic” events that happen in our local ACSA chapter. It is interesting to hear the thoughts and perspectives of these leaders.  How has ACSA supported you in your career/current position?  ACSA has supported my career through professional development. I have attended ACSA conferences and workshops. I always find myself learning and gathering experience through these events.
Hector Gonzalez started his career in education as a school custodian before pursuing leadership.
Name: Hector Gonzalez Award: Classified Leader of the Year  Title: Director of Facilities, Perris Union HSD ACSA highlights: member since 2016

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