Tom Hanks and Jack Del Rio put Hayward
in the naitonal news Wednesday.

HAYWARD | When it comes to positive news, Hayward’s struggling school district rarely has its day in spotlight. That changed sometime after midnight Wednesday when The New York Times posted an opinion piece by Hollywood actor Tom Hanks writing glowingly of his alma mater, Chabot College.

In the piece meant to highlight the need for making secondary education affordable to many, Hanks said of Chabot College, “That place made me what I am today.”

The national spotlight on Hayward schools continued later in the day. Numerous sources reported that Jack Del Rio, one of Hayward High School’s greatest athletes, is slated to become the next head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

“We’re honored to welcome Coach Del Rio back to the Bay Area, and we’re immensely proud that he’s ‘Made in Hayward.’ He’s a true role model for all of our students,” said Stan “Data” Dobbs, Hayward’s superintendent.

Since becoming superintendent of the beleaguered school district, it has been Dobbs’ intention to focus on the positive aspects of its students and their potential. The school district’s Made in Hayward Twitter feed, for instance, posted numerous photos of Del Rio from his high school days and his achievements as a multi-sport star who later attended U.S.C and starred as linebacker in the NFL and later as head coach.

Aside from Wednesday’s news, the Hayward school district’s good fortune can be traced back to last December with the high-profile hiring of former State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett. After being termed out of the Legislature last December, Corbett joined the school district as its executive director of advanced achievement.