Village News Reporter
Ramon Leyba has taken over as the interim Vallecitos School District superintendent and Vallecitos Elementary School principal.
A 5-0 Vallecitos School District board vote Oct. 11 approved a contract with Leyba for interim superintendent services. He began his term as interim superintendent and principal that day, and he will continue in that role until Dec. 2.
“I’m pleased to be here and be able to provide some leadership,” Leyba said.
Maritza Koeppen was the Vallecitos School District superintendent and Vallecitos Elementary School principal from January 2018 until Aug. 5, the effective date of when she resigned her Vallecitos position to become the assistant superintendent of human resources for the National School District which educates elementary school students in National City and Lincoln Acres.
David Jones was the Vallecitos superintendent and school principal from 2011 until August 2017, when he was hired as the superintendent of the Bonsall Unified School District. Gary Wilson, who with the San Pasqual Union School District had been the superintendent and principal in a one-school district, was the interim superintendent and principal with the Vallecitos district until Koeppen was hired and took the position. Wilson was also the Vallecitos interim superintendent and principal between Koeppen’s departure and Leyba’s hiring.
“I was contacted by Vallecitos,” Leyba said. “We agreed on the position.”
Leyba had retired from his education career. He had previously come out of retirement to be the interim Julian Union High School District superintendent and Julian High School principal. He held that interim position from July 20 to Sept. 30.
“It’s given me a good insight into working with a small district,” Leyba said.
Much of Leyba’s education career was with the Sweetwater Union High School District, which includes middle schools as well as high schools, and he was also with the Grossmont Union High School District. Leyba has also taught teacher interns at National University.
Leyba is originally from Arizona and lived in a farm laborers camp before his family moved to the Shelltown area of the City of San Diego. He attended Balboa Elementary School in Shelltown for a year before his parents transferred him to the Catholic school system. Leyba graduated from St. Augustine High School in 1969. He then attended the University of San Diego and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, and Leyba followed that with a Master of Arts degree in Cross Cultural Education from San Diego State University.
Koeppen, who is a Bonita Vista High School graduate, maintained her Bonita residence after taking the Vallecitos position and commuted from Bonita to Rainbow. Leyba also lives in Bonita and will be making that commute.
He was the principal of Bonita Vista High School from 1998 to 2005 (after Koeppen graduated) and he has also been a middle school principal, an assistant superintendent, and an assistant principal as well as a teacher. As a Sweetwater Union High School District assistant superintendent, he was responsible not only for teaching and learning but also for facilities and operations including construction.