Laura Capps and her son, Oscar. Oscar is swearing Capps into office over Zoom on Friday, Dec. 11.

Only during a pandemic does a 4th grader get to administer the official oath of office to swear in his mother.

Previous Santa Barbara School Board President Laura Capps was re-sworn into office over Zoom Friday night by her 4th-grader son, Oscar. She was sworn in along with incumbent Wendy Sims-Moten, her adult son RJ, and newcomer Virginia Alvarez, who was sworn in twice both in Spanish by her daughter, Monica, and in English by her 4th-grader niece, Victoria.

Wendy Sims-Moten’s son, RJ, administering the oath of office to his mother.

“To get to come and do this again is such an honor and a responsibility,” Sims-Moten said after taking her oath. “We are in very challenging times, but we’re up for that. I’m ready, willing, and able to do that along with my sister boardmembers.”

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Virginia Alvarez and her niece, Victoria, who is swearing Alvarez into office.

The group also welcomed Alvarez over Zoom, the only new member to the board. 

“I started my relationship with Santa Barbara Unified many years ago at McKinley school so this is full circle for me,” she said. “I take this responsibility really seriously and I am deeply grateful for everyone who voted for me as well as those who didn’t because this is such an opportunity and I promise to work extremely hard.”

When the ceremony ended, President Capps officially handed over her gavel — virtually — to Kate Ford. Ford took over the meeting and from there Rose Muñoz was nominated vice president and Sims-Moten was nominated as board clerk.


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