The Santa Barbara Unified School District will most likely get a new superintendent in less than two years. According to a statement by District Board President Wendy Sims-Moten, the current superintendent Cary Matsuoka’s contract is slated to end Jul. 1, 2021.
“He has not asked for an extension to his contract, and he has informed us that he will not seek one…” said Ms. Sims-Moten.
Because Mr. Matsuoka has not asked for an extension, the board will not vote on his contract.
“With regards to the superintendent’s evaluation process: at the October 22,2019 board meeting, the Board will complete the evaluation process in closed session. There is no voting involved with an evaluation process, nor reporting out of about the evaluation outcome, as it is a personnel matter,” said Ms. Sims-Moten.
Mr. Matsuoka took over the reins from Dr. Dave Cash (who was superintendent for five years) in Jul. 2016. Mr. Matsuoka was chosen from a pool of almost 40 applicants from across the country. And while Mr. Matsuoka gathered his experience in the education industry outside of Santa Barbara, he has strong ties to the local community through his wife and in-laws.
Polly, Mr. Matsuoka’s wife, is a Dos Pueblos High School alumna Class of 1975, and she is one of five Millikans to go through the school district. Mrs. Matsuoka’s father, Dr. Roger Millikan, was a chemistry professor at UCSB from 1967 to 1992.
With family links to the area, 17 years of experience as a teacher, and 19 years of experience in administrative leadership roles, Mr. Matsuoka came on with a goal to support English learners and the immigrant community.
One of the ways for Mr. Matsuoka to achieve this goal is the Comprehensive Plan for Multilingual Pathways, which is in the works. The plan aims to promote multilingualism among the District’s students. The most-recent update on the plan was given during the board meeting on Oct. 8, and the District board is slated to vote on the plan Mar. 2020.
As of press time, Mr. Matsuoka has not responded to the News-Press’s attempts for comment.