- Alisal Union School District
Superintendent Jim Koenig announces his Cabinet
Alisal Union School District Superintendent Jim Koenig is pleased to announce his new Cabinet, a group of talented and dedicated administrators with decades of experience and successful track records.
“The Alisal Union School District is fortunate to have professionals of this caliber working for the community,” Mr. Koenig said. “Together, the team will continue the Alisal tradition of high expectations and quality educational services for all students.”
A search was launched to hire new top administrators after Mr. Koenig was selected as new superintendent in March. He took the reins of the District in an official capacity after serving as interim for nine months and less than a week after all Monterey County schools ceased in-person operations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“It was important to select individuals with strong records of achievement, administrators who would be ready to weather a storm of this magnitude. This team is ready for the challenge,” Mr. Koenig said.
The team includes Mrs. Monica Anzo, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, selected on June 10, 2020; Mrs. Nancy Torres Pfeiffer, Associate Superintendent of Business Services, who was named to the post on June 24, 2020. Mr. Ricardo Cabrera, who has served as top administrator of the Human Resources Division since 2015, rounds up the new team with his extensive cabinet experience.
Mr. Koenig and his team have already faced the daunting challenge of continuing instruction in the midst of a pandemic. The preparations include overseeing professional development for educators and staff to meet new challenges, purchasing and installing signage at all sites to control the flow of traffic and limit physical contact, purchasing of thermal scanners for all sites to measure body temperature; procuring masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and other PPE. Most of these items have already been distributed among the more than 700 employees to ensure they can perform their work safely.
Mr. Koenig and his team are preparing for economic challenges expected to be more severe than the 2008 recession that will no doubt affect the District’s finances. As part of the preparations, two surveys were conducted among stakeholders to identify areas of savings. Based on the responses, Mr. Koenig and his team concluded it would be prudent to fold the Whole Child Education Division into the Educational Services Division, a move that will allow for savings and more effective coordination of services for students.
“These are very difficult times for everyone. We must remain focused on the Board of Trustees mission of success of each student,” Mr. Koenig said. “That mission can be accomplished better by having all Directors providing educational services to students work in the same division.These challenging times demand more coordination and better communication; I’m confident that the new Educational Services Division, under the leadership of Mrs. Anzo, will be able to effectively deliver.”
Mrs. Monica Anzo began her educational career as a fourth grade bilingual teacher at Creekside Elementary 21 years ago, and has spent her entire career at Alisal Union School District.
Ms. Anzo received a bachelor’s degree from Cal State University Monterey Bay and an administrator’s credential from San Jose State University. In addition to work as a bilingual teacher, she has also served as a newcomer teacher, bilingual resource teacher, assistant principal and principal. Before taking on her new role as Assistant Superintendent of Education, Ms. Anzo served as Director of Education for five years.
A former migrant student, Ms. Anzo remembers graduating from CSUMB already the mother of three young children, breaking a stereotype.
“I was one of the statistics— female, Mexican, not supposed to make it,” Ms. Anzo said. “Standing in the graduation line … it was so exciting, overwhelming. I made it! When you get that excitement, you want all the kids to experience it. Si se puede! You can do it. With determination and hard work you can beat the odds.”
Mrs. Nancy Torres Pfeiffer returns to the Alisal Union School District as Associate Superintendent of Business Services, where she oversees the Fiscal, Maintenance-Operations-Transportation- Safety (MOTS), Technology, Nutrition Services, and Construction Management departments. Mrs. Torres Pfeiffer began her career at Chualar Elementary School District, where she was the Business Manager, then she came to the Alisal Union School District where she worked for seven years as Director of Fiscal Services. She later served Santa Rita Union School District as Chief Business Official and spent the past four years at Campbell Union High School District in the same capacity.
A 20-year-veteran of education, Mrs. Torres Pfeiffer was born in Tamazula Jalisco. Her early education took place in both the United States and Mexico. She has an associate's degree from Hartnell College, where she graduated magna cum laude, and a bachelor's degree from San José State University. She is also a Certified Chief Business Official, recognized by the California Association of School Business Officials.
A product of the Alisal Union School District, Mr. Ricardo Cabrera began working for the Alisal Union School District when he became the assistant principal of Virginia Rocca Barton in 1998. After three years, Mr. Cabrera was promoted to principal, first of Alisal Community School; then at Frank Paul. In 2011 the District assigned him to the Human Resources Division as Director of Human Resources.
Mr. Cabrera was a migrant student when he attended Fremont Elementary in the fifth and sixth grades. He attended UC Davis, where he earned his bachelor's degree, and received his teaching credential from the University of California Los Angeles. He returned as part of a cohort of Alisal High School alumni who returned to Salinas to help shape the next generation of students.