Boardmember Laura Capps | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

Two years after the Santa Barbara Unified School District decided it would create a new manager position that would oversee district sustainability and environmental impact issues, the school board unanimously voted to fill it on Tuesday.

The idea originally came in 2019 from the district sustainability committee, which Boardmember Laura Capps represents. Capps was sold on the position after studying nearby districts with sustainability coordinators of their own. She spoke with Oxnard School District, for example, which adopted a similar type of position and saw a cost savings to the budget of $400,000 per year by implementing energy-use practices. 

In addition to the cost-saving measures, Dr. John Becchio, assistant superintendent of human resources, said that filling this position will help the district reach its goal of being on the leading edge of environmental and sustainable practices.

“I just want to remind the public that idea originally came from our sustainability committee, which is made up of teachers, students, community members, and parents,” Capps said. “I am excited and I’m grateful to [Superintendent] Dr. [Hilda] Maldonado and Dr. Becchio for bringing this forward again so we can actually make it into a reality. It’s about time and I’m glad we’re moving forward.”

The salary for the new position is $130,724, though the district expects this will be offset by energy-efficient savings. To read the full job description for the new position, click here. 

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