Simon Vaillancourt


With less than three months of school left, Bonita Vista High School’s principal, Bettina Batista, has been assigned a new position as a principal mentor by the Sweetwater Union High School District and will be working for the district’s Administration Center effective July 1, 2017. Sweetwater Union High School District Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Roman Del Rosario, P.h.D., will be replacing Batista as principal of BVH starting the 2017-2018 school year.

“The superintendent decided that there was a need to have principals mentored around the district, so that’s my new position. They had been wanting to create that position for a while, asked if I was interested, and I took it up,” Batista said.

Batista has served as principal of BVH for nearly 11 years, beginning in 2005. Her movement to a new position is part of the board’s plan to distribute principals around the district to give school’s a new outlook. A memorandum was sent out to all SUHSD employees on March 14, 2017 announcing and outlining the new changes in positions.

“I know she is super sad to leave but she’s also excited to do something new. It’s always nice to know that people appreciate and look to you as a leader who can mentor other principals in our district. That is a big job and the fact the superintendent thinks that she is the woman for the job is big. It shows a lot of respect for her,” Assistant Principal Ronne Pietila said.

As Batista prepares to leave BVH, staff and students are looking to her replacement and what he will bring to the table. Del Rosario was a principal previously at Sweetwater High School before working directly for the district. Del Rosario did not immediately respond to an email request for comment on his plans as principal.

“With a new principal coming in, there are so many things that could happen. The new principal could completely shift some of the ways things work or adapt to the school’s climate. The changes that will occur are hard to predict,” English 10 Accelerated, IB English HL2 and Theory of Knowledge teacher Jason Good said.

Good cites Batista as a primary factor in his success. Numerous teachers around campus will be affected by the transition and will have to adapt to the new changes that always follows a new shift in leadership.

“Principals need to be able to make difficult decisions no matter what. When you are working with this many people and this many stakeholders, no one is ever going to be happy with every decision you make and I think the principal needs to not try to make everyone happy. It is important to make the best decision for students,” Good said.

Staff members like Good often regard the principal as the key to the success of a school. Despite the sudden change of position, Batista remains positive on the outlook of the school.

“I have mixed feelings about this whole ordeal, but if I could say one thing about the change, it is to embrace it. The principal is going to have a new vision for this school and we should all be excited about it,” Batista said.