Juan R. Sandoval considers himself the most qualified person to hold the seat of Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. Sandoval will be running for the position in the upcoming primary election, to be held June 3, 2014. "I have been in education for over 30 years. From nine years of teaching at every level to 21 years of administrative service, from director, to human resources, to curriculum and instruction and then becoming a superintendent. I am truly prepared to be the next Superintendent for Fresno County." Sandoval will be running against incumbent Jim Yovino who has held the position since July 2013.
Sandoval's family emigrated from Mexico in 1965. "We grew up in the area of Delano. McFarland, Richgrove, Mexico and settled in Wasco. I attended Bakersfield College, then on to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1983. I went on to student teaching at Fresno State and by 1985 was hired in Delano and taught school there until 1991. Meanwhile, I started working on my administrative credential at Cal State Bakersfield and thereafter, in 1991 was hired as Assistant Principal at Delano High School." In 1995, he became the Principal at Parlier High School. While at Parlier High, in 1998 he received a $2.3 million grant for a systematic-wide dual imersion program. "It consisted of teaching children in their primary language, traditionally Spanish, at 90% and teaching them English at 10%, initially. Then, Spanish teaching decreased and English increased until the 5th grade where students are able to comprehend both languages 50/50," he stated. In 2003, he became the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources of the Parlier School District. As of 2006, he then went on to become the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum. By 2010, he transitioned to Raisin City where he became Superintendent of the district. Earlier this year, he returned to Parlier to supervise the curriculum instruction for federal and state educational projects.
Sandoval's main platform is to fight for students and parents. "I fight for all minorities, not just Latinos. Bullying is one of our biggest issues. We need resources to counsel the victim and the person that is doing the bullying. Having a zero tolerance policy does not allow anyone to find out why it happens and how to not make it happen again.
We also need to put more emphasis in our school districts to retain our good minority teachers. These teachers are making a difference and an impact and are great role models for our kids," Sandoval stated.
Sandoval is an avid supporter of the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA). 'MAPA is a grass roots based coalition with an organizational structure that functions as a collective of communal circles working together, at different levels, towards political empowerment, self-determination and sustain-ability of the Latino community's future.'
Sandoval has worked alongside former President of MAPA Ben Benavidez advocating for justice and equal rights for over 22 years. "I have been fortunate to have worked with Ben from Lamont to Dos Palos to Delhi and we have fought upfront defending parents and student for equal rights and equal opportunities," stated Sandoval.
Sandoval is also the President of the Joaquin Murrieta Memorial Calbagata Ride, where every year at the end of July, a group of men and women make a three-day pilgrimage, on horseback, from the Madera, California area to Arroyo Cantúa Creek in honor of Joaquin Murrieta. "This legendary, historical ride is a movement that started 30 years ago in Cantua Creek, where it started with 30 riders to now over 300," Sandoval boasted.
Additionally, Sandoval is currently the President of the Cinco de Mayo Festival in Delano that is one of the biggest events held in that area yearly.Sandoval is married to Gudelia Sandoval who is currently a Principal at Caesar Chavez Elementary in Parlier and has 4 children: Antonio, Juan Octavio, Yureli and Adaniza.