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Ex-PUSD official Ochoa appointed to cabinet position at Contra Costa college district

One-time interim PUSD superintendent hired as executive vice chancellor of admin services
Micaela Ochoa
Micaela Ochoa.

Officials at the Contra Costa Community College District have announced Micaela Ochoa as the district's new executive vice chancellor of administrative services, following the resignation of predecessor Eugene Huff as part of a settlement agreement earlier this year.

Ochoa most recently worked at the San Mateo County Community College District, as vice president of administrative services and student services at the College of San Mateo, and has prior career ties in the Tri-Valley at the Pleasanton Unified School District.

"Dr. Ochoa's extensive background in finance and human resources provides her with the right background we were seeking to step right in and immediately make an impact as our Executive Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services," said Interim Chancellor Mojdeh Mehdizadeh. "In addition to her many years of educational administration experience, she believes our students must be at the forefront of our decision-making, and we look forward to her leadership."

The district's Governing Board approved Ochoa's employment agreement at its most recent meeting last Wednesday. She will begin in the new role on July 6, and her initial contract term continues through June 30, 2024. Her base salary is set at $262,000 annually.

"I am honored to join one of the top community college districts in the state," Ochoa said in a statement. "Achieving greater student success is a team effort, and I look forward to helping our colleges equitably serve our students and our communities."

CCCCD announced Ochoa as a finalist last month, alongside Allan Garde, who works as assistant superintendent of business services at the Hayward Unified School District.

They then hosted forums with the two finalists, as the culmination of a nationwide search that kicked off in March to fill the position that was being vacated by Huff -- who had been on administrative leave previously -- as part of a settlement agreement that also saw the district pay out $570,000 to Huff in exchange for waiving claims against the district and agreeing to drop a joint civil rights lawsuit he'd filed alongside Dio Shipp and Jonah Huff, two other former high-level administrators in the district.

Ochoa earned her bachelor's and doctoral degrees at University of California at Berkeley, and a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon. In addition to a background in educational administration, she has experience teaching at Notre Dame de Namur.

Before starting at the College of San Mateo in July 2019, Ochoa worked for four years at Pleasanton Unified, primarily as deputy superintendent of business services but also including a stint as interim superintendent during PUSD's leadership transition in 2017.