Former Southwestern College governing board member Dr. Jorge Dominguez died December 28 from cancer. He was 67.
Dominguez was the director of educational technology at Sweetwater Union High School District where he worked with William Virchis, a former SWC professor of theater. Virchis said their friendship started when Dominguez was elected to the SWC governing board in 2006.
“He was a loyal friend and he was truthful friend,” he said. “(Dominguez) told it like it is.”
Otay Ranch High School Principal Jose Brosz agreed. He said he felt a significant loss.
“It was unfortunate he was taken so young,” he said.
SWC Public Information Officer Lillian Leopold worked with Dominguez at Sweetwater. She said he was a caring man who enjoyed his work with colleagues and students.
“It was a shock to a lot of us,” she said.
Although he opposed many decisions Dominguez made as a governing board member, former Sun staff writer Nickolas Furr said he respected him.
“I think he was a hell of a good guy and I like to think we were friends,”
said Furr. “I opposed him, but I respected him at the same time. He believed in what he was doing.”
Virchis said Dominguez died with dignity. He described him as a private man who did not let on that he was gravely ill.
“He didn’t want the information out,” said Virchis. “The last time I talked to him was six months before his passing and he didn’t mention anything.”
Virchis said Dominguez was a Renaissance man.
“He was a genius,” said Virchis. “He incorporated a lot of new (educational technology) for students. He was a pilot, he was an inventor. He was like the Benjamin Franklin of Chula Vista and nobody knew that.”
Leopold said he built and flew his own plane.
Virchis said Dominguez was really interested in creating a media technology pathway for all students to improve their lives.
“At Sweetwater, (Dominguez) actually designed programs for student evaluation and faculty evaluation,” Virchis said.
Brosz agreed that Dominguez had a tremendous impact on students and was an innovative educational leader.
Dominguez spoke enthusiastically about the future of SWC, said Virchis.
“Not building buildings, but building the infrastructure technology (such as) how to better communicate with people, how to use resources,” Virchis said.
Dominguez was voted off the SWC board in 2010 and later pleaded guilty in the South Bay Corruption Case. Furr said he and Dominguez agreed to go out for drinks when the trials were over.
“It was to be my treat,” said Furr.
Furr said he was not able to reach Dominguez after the trial.
“We never got that drink,” said Furr. “I’m sorry we didn’t. I genuinely liked the man. It was hard not to.