While I do not personally know the Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools, I am well acquainted with several programs administered by the Santa Barbara County Education Office under Susan Salcido’s leadership. Since 2013, I have volunteered with Partners in Education, presenting on my career as a sociologist and conducting mock interviews at public schools throughout the county, including Santa Maria’s Peter B. FitzGerald Community School, Dos Puertas School at Santa Maria Juvenile Hall, and Los Robles High School at Los Prietos Boys’ Camp in Santa Barbara.

At these schools, I have been impressed with educators’ dedication. There is an atmosphere of caring. It is obvious that the employees want to be there, and that they are receiving the support and resources they need. This must be because of Salcido’s leadership and commitment to county schools, which many of the area’s most vulnerable students attend.

So impressed was I with the educators at FitzGerald, Dos Puertas, and Los Robles, I interviewed some of them for my research on non-traditional schools. These interviews confirmed that Santa Barbara County Education Office’s juvenile court and county schools not only advance students’ academic progress but also their social-emotional learning. These schools understand that students’ lives extend beyond the classroom, reflecting both Superintendent Salcido’s whole-child philosophy and her investment in connections between schools and communities — Partners in Education’s mission.

For these reasons, Susan Salcido has my vote, on June 7, to continue as Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools. I hope she has your vote too.


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