In June, Santa Barbara County voters will vote for the county superintendent of schools — a position many people aren’t even aware of. What is it, and why does it matter who we elect?
The superintendent oversees the Santa Barbara County Education Office, which serves 20 school districts with nearly 70,000 students and supervises more than 200 programs, providing student services, professional development for educators and fiscal services for districts.
The superintendent also manages local partnerships with nonprofits, an important component of our county’s school-based services. The SBCEO supports school districts by implementing new standards; providing staff development and training programs; developing instructional procedures; and supporting instructional programs for special education, career and technical education, youth at risk, and students in juvenile detention facilities.
Such a broad-ranging charge requires expertise and experience
That is why I — a former classroom instructor — am supporting Susan Salcido for re-election as superintendent.
Dr. Salcido grew up in Santa Maria, received her bachelor’s of arts from UCSB, and earned a Ph.D from USC’s Rossier School of Education, focusing on organizational change, leadership and student equity.
She taught high school English, coached athletics and served as a junior high principal, director of instruction, assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent in Santa Barbara public schools prior to being elected the county superintendent of schools in 2017.
She has lifelong local knowledge of our county, diverse experience, and impressive expertise and training. This is what we need to oversee and support our entire county’s schools to ensure the best education for our children.
Lee E. Heller, Ph.D.