Santa Barbara Unified School District Hires Three New Administrators

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The Santa Barbara Unified Board of Trustees unanimously approved the hire of three key administrators after an exhaustive recruitment and selection process.

Two are promotions from within the district, while a key position at the District Office will be filled by a veteran educational leader. 

Dr. Lynne Sheffield will join the district as the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary, while Dare Holdren has been named Principal at San Marcos High School and Daniel Dupont will take over as Principal at Santa Barbara Junior High.

“I am ecstatic that we have been able to identify three incredible candidates for these positions,” said Dr. Hilda Maldonado, the district’s superintendent. “Lynne will bring new ideas and a commitment to work with teachers and leaders so that every child thrives, while Dare and Daniel are both moving from assistant principal positions here at Santa Barbara Unified and take over schools that will succeed under their leadership. I’m thankful to all three for their commitment to step up and continue to serve our students and our teachers.

“I believe these three leaders — with their hearts — will help us embody the #WeAreUnified spirit that we are dedicated to moving forward.”

Here’s a closer look at the background of each:

Dr. Lynne Sheffield, Assistant Superintendent, Secondary

Credit: Courtesy

Dr. Sheffield will come to Santa Barbara from the Moreno Valley Unified School District, where she was the Director of Student Services.

Before that, she was the Director of Student Services in the Alhambra Unified School District, as well as the Principal at JW North High School in the Riverside Unified School District for three years and Perris High School in Perris Union High School District for five years. 

She has also spent time as an assistant principal, a teacher and an adjunct professor at three different universities.

Dr. Sheffield has an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne, a Master of Science in Administration from Pepperdine University, a Master of Arts in Education: Teaching/Curriculum from Cal State Dominguez Hills and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern California.

“I was intrigued by the district’s Vision and Mission Statements. I saw evidence of the commitment to equity and inclusion through observing board meetings and the State of Our Schools address. It was very inspiring to see student involvement in the process and see the ‘student voice’ at work,” Dr. Sheffield said. 

“My personal educational philosophy is ‘all students deserve equitable opportunities to be a part of a positive learning community, learn, and achieve success.’”

Dare Holdren, Principal, San Marcos High

Credit: Courtesy

Mr. Holdren, a San Marcos High graduate and member of its Athletics Hall of Fame, is no stranger to Santa Barbara Unified, having spent more than 20 years in different capacities within the district.

Most recently, Mr. Holdren was the assistant principal at Dos Pueblos High, where he oversaw athletics, activities, ASB accounts and the School Leadership Team.

This is also a return to campus for Mr. Holdren, who has previously been a teacher at San Marcos for 16 years, including as the school’s Dean of Student Engagement from 2018-19.

He was also the school’s football coach from 2005-08, where he was named Channel League Coach of the Year in his final season at the helm.

Mr. Holdren was also the Principal at Solvang School for two years.

Mr. Holdren holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Chapman University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brown University.

“To have the opportunity to lead the school where I not only graduated from and taught for many years, and that both of my parents graduated from, at a time when I’m feeling professionally and personally ready to take on such a revered and important position, is an absolute honor and privilege,” Mr. Holdren said.

Daniel Dupont, Principal, Santa Barbara Junior High

Credit: Courtesy

Mr. Dupont comes to Santa Barbara Junior High after serving as an Assistant Principal at Santa Barbara Senior High since 2019.

Mr. Dupont has eight years of experience as the Assistant Principal of Curriculum between his stint at Santa Barbara and El Dorado High School in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District. 

His experience includes overseeing standardized testing; instituting the Seal of Biliteracy district-wide; coordinating the 504 process; overseeing Dual Enrollment; developing the master schedule; coordinating professional development time; evaluating both certificated and classified staff; and producing detailed reports.

Mr. Dupont has a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Cal State Fullerton; and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from UC Santa Barbara.

“With 22 years experience in public education, as a Spanish teacher for 14 years and the last 8 years as an administrator, I am excited to join the SBJH Condor family to carry on the long tradition of amazing educational experiences that happen on campus every day. I look forward to getting to know the entire SBJH community well and to ensure that each student, staff member, and community member who comes to campus feels welcomed, seen, safe, and supported to help our students succeed wherever post-SBJH life takes them,” said Mr. Dupont.

“Junior High goes by in the blink of an eye. But the two years that our students spend with us are crucially important years at a critical time in their development. Being a principal to a school that serves at the hub for the community has long been a dream of mine and I am excited to see that come to fruition with SBJH. Go, Condors!”


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