Don Callejon - A Pioneer in the Santa Clara Unified School District
The Santa Clara Unified School District is honored to name its newest school, a campus that will serve students from kindergarten through eighth grade, after Don Callejon who has served as a teacher, principal, district administrator, superintendent, and board member in the district for over forty years.
Mr. Callejon has lived through the transition of the Santa Clara Valley from being the “Valley of the Heart’s Delight” filled with lush orchards, bountiful farms, and natural beauty to its current status as Silicon Valley—the center of all things high tech and cutting edge.
Growing up on his family’s farm in the Berryessa area of San Jose, Mr. Callejon received his bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University and his M.A. from San Jose State University. Mr. Callejon was originally hired by Emil R. Buchser, Sr. to teach English at Wilson Intermediate School in 1955. This was the start of a long and successful career. Due to his dedication and professionalism, Mr. Callejon was promoted to the Vice Principal position at Wilson in 1957. Within the next three years he was first named Vice Principal at Santa Clara High, then at Buchser High. In 1961 he was appointed principal at Buchser High School, and served in that position until 1973.
Don Callejon’s administrative prowess and excellent people skills, and loyalty were noticed during his years as principal. When SCUSD suddenly needed an interim superintendent in the summer of 1973, the school board selected Mr. Callejon for the position. Although the superintendency was filled just one year later by Rudy Gatti, Mr. Callejon was asked to stay on at the district level to work with teachers, students, and staff as the Area Superintendent for those schools on the south side of SCUSD. In 1976, he became the Deputy Superintendent with duties encompassing all aspects of the district. Mr. Callejon remained in this position, successfully seeing the SCUSD through the difficulties of school closures, reduced enrollments, and more regulations from the State Department of Education. He subsequently served SCUSD as its Superintendent until he retired in June of 1990.
Even after his official employment with SCUSD was finished, Don Callejon continued his commitment to the district by serving on the Board of Education for six years, as well as on the District Bond Oversight Committee and the District Facilities Task Force.
Mr. Callejon and his wife, Clare, have lived in Santa Clara since he began teaching in SCUSD. They raised three children in the community - Rick, Chuck, and Donna.
It is with a focus on his example of commitment, dedication, and a sincere love of students and learning, that Santa Clara Unified School District commemorates Don Callejon’s pioneering spirit by naming its first new school in 41 years: “Don Callejon School.”