School Board Appoints New Superintendent

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School Board Appoints New Superintendent
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Source: Santa Barbara Unified School District

Today the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint a new Superintendent, Hilda Maldonado.  Maldonado was chosen for her extensive background in academic achievement, her strong focus on partnerships and her current leadership in responding to the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic.  She is currently the Associate Superintendent of Leadership and Partnerships in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) overseeing the development of system capacity to train and retain high caliber employees as well as develop partnership and grants efforts across the second largest district in the country.  She will take the helm of Santa Barbara Unified on July 1, 2020.

Maldonado’s leadership career in LAUSD includes roles as Senior Executive Director of Diversity, Learning, and Instruction, Executive Director of the Multilingual and Multicultural Education Department, and Director of Schools. She has worked as a bilingual teacher, a bilingual coordinator, an assistant principal and a principal at two schools – both of which experienced growth in academics, safety and school culture under her leadership.  Maldonado came to the U.S. from Mexico as an 11-year-old and credits her positive experience as an English learner as her motivation to become a bilingual teacher.  Her bio and photo are attached.

“This pandemic is ushering in a new era of education while shining a spotlight on the inequities of the old education system. We need a tested leader who has the expertise to harness new opportunities, engage the community and propel our schools forward for the future. Hilda Maldonado is the leader for this transformational time,” said Laura Capps, President of the Board, who with her colleagues led the competitive search that involved nearly 50 candidates from across the country. 

“It is an honor to be selected to serve the Santa Barbara Unified School District students, staff and community during these extraordinary times. I am committed to building on the greatness of this district as we collectively navigate a new education system that ensures ALL students are prepared for life, college and career. I believe a quality education is the key to success for families, communities and our country. It certainly made a difference in my life journey and I wish the same for all our students.”

“The Santa Barbara Unified School District will be well served by Hilda’s commitment to equity and excellence for all students” said LA Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner. “She has served students and families in LA Unified for more than 30 years as an open and innovative bilingual teacher, administrator and senior leader. We thank her for her tireless advocacy and leadership and wish her the best in her new role.”

“During this unprecedented time, I see Hilda Maldonado as a beacon for moving the district forward,” said Dr. Jackie Reid, Vice President of the Board.  “I know she will provide equitable access to all students to ensure academic success and career readiness. I am proud of the process and rigor we participated in as a Board to find our new leadership for this district.”

“I invite the community to celebrate with us the selection of the new Superintendent and to engage with our school district as we ensure that the voices of all students are heard,” said Rose Munoz, Clerk of the Board.

“Hiring a superintendent on Zoom was a daunting challenge, but Ms. Maldonado’s brilliance and insight were evident throughout the entire process! She is clearly a courageous, inspiring, tireless leader whom we can lift up, look up to, and learn from. We set out to hire the best, and Hilda Maldonado IS the best. I am thrilled to welcome her to the SB Unified team,” said School Board Member Kate Ford.

“Our appointment of Ms. Hilda Maldonado gets a Triple "R" rating: Right Person, Right Place, Right Time,” said Board Member and past president Wendy Sims-Moten. 

Maldonado and her husband Kamran look forward to relocating to Santa Barbara, which she has enjoyed getting to know through the Courage to Lead program.  They have two sons in college.

Maldonado will earn a $250,000 annual salary.

In the coming days, our community will become further acquainted with Maldonado, who plans to make herself available for a Q & A with students. 

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a-1590710317 May 28, 2020 04:58 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

Not so subtle sexism/racism here? Its "Masuoka" for the male superintendent, but "Hilda" for a female?Lots of issues with this school district, which reflects the local have/have not community : those that can afford it escape to one of the 35 private schools, while the struggling majority head for the public schools, particularly in elementary years. Dr. Maldonaldo appears to be well qualified, experienced and a breath of fresh thinking. We wish her many years of successful leadership.

a-1590720070 May 28, 2020 07:41 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

7:16 - Newsflash: There are no schoolchildren reading this website. It is perfectly proper and acceptable for adults to address other adults by their first name.

a-1590718567 May 28, 2020 07:16 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

School children are taught to address their teachers and administrators by their proper prefix and last night. It is a sign of respect. Sad to see so many adults without the courtesy to respect others in education similarly.

a-1590710866 May 28, 2020 05:07 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

4:58 - Do tell? Where do you see any sexism/racism here? Referring to someone by their first name is hardly a racist remark. Don't try so hard.

a-1590692688 May 28, 2020 12:04 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

Now is the time to completely rethink public education. for starters, the concept that all students must be integrated into a single school environment is a farce. Give the ESL/special needs/advanced learners/health compromised/other groups their own dedicated facility and educators. Or just be done with it and give parents a voucher so we can make our own choice based on the needs of our kids. My concern is that the pendulum is swinging the other way with tech companies clamoring to create a national education system. We only get one chance to educate our kids, and all of us are watching this closely in order to make a good decision.

letmego May 28, 2020 05:45 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

There have been multiple studies to show that separating special needs students is by far the wrong way to go. It can work, in some instances, for some students. For the most part, integration into mainstream classrooms with proper additional support is what best serves those students. (And it also happens to be the law.)

a-1590695481 May 28, 2020 12:51 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

We're ready for a voucher and home school. Also want a property tax refund for the $hit education provided via Zoom to date.

a-1590689828 May 28, 2020 11:17 AM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

One question: Will we still be paying teachers to coordinate zoom meetings or will there be some improvement in the "virtual learning" system that is so desperately lacking now?

a-1590688607 May 28, 2020 10:56 AM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

Welcome to Santa Barbara Hilda. Kind of a crazy time to step in and hit the ground running. Best of luck. The main concern of parents right now is to get our schools open August 18th for all students five days a week. Parents have not seen the plan yet for how schools will open. As for myself, I would love to see the budget for ESL students actually go to ESL students and their families. Tutors, counselors and direct one-on-one staff who work directly with the ESL student is what is needed IMO. Hispanics helping Hispanics is a win educationally and economically. Currently, much of the ESL money gets sent to administrators, businesses, and non-profits who do studies and teacher trainings. Last but not least, special education needs serious reform and better administration. Teachers lack trust in the current administration.

lovesbalot May 28, 2020 09:27 AM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

Give her a break about the mask guys .. she is outside and a solid 6ft . I hope her work around literacy will help turn around our district where students at high risk, english language learners and those with differences are not learning to read proficiently by end of 3rd grade , a key milestone for future success. Our current leadership cuts special ed budget, and routinely denies and delay services that are entitled by law. We need intensive one on one interventions, early assessments and someone with the will to do what needs to be done. Literacy is a human right. But in SB most people with differences and means leave public for private. It should not matter how much money your parents have to get a free and appropriate education but in Santa Barbara it does. Help us Hilda!! And welcome ! We need change.

Basicinfo805 May 27, 2020 05:26 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

Here's your first and only hoop to jump through Hilda (to earn your giant salary): get our kids back in school. Any other ideas, agendas, concepts, ideas, and philosophies don't matter at this point. This is very simple now. Our children need to be back in their schools, with their friends, this fall. If you can't get that done, you,will fail.

PitMix May 28, 2020 12:44 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

Yeah, your first task is to overturn the laws of nature and make it so the virus no longer spreads by talking and close contact among kids. Maybe alter the structure of the virus so it resembles a structure that our body recognizes and can fight, or only causes a minor illness. As a school administrator, I'm sure you know how to do that, right?

a-1590599699 May 27, 2020 10:14 AM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

Equity? How about being a leader and firing incompetent tenured educators! How about more reviews of current wasted money to non profits that are unregulated and rogue? How about focusing on what really matters, smaller class sizes, better teachers and no BS schools within schools such as Apple etc.

salsa guy May 27, 2020 08:13 AM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

I would be suspicious of hiring anyone from the troubled and failing LAUSD. Why do we think we need to go outside to recruit? God knows we have enough administrators in SBUSD, none them are qualified? Did we have give her a signing or housing bonus?

PitMix May 28, 2020 12:46 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

After the way they treated Matsuoka, probably had a hard time convincing someone to take the job given the relatively low pay compared to the housing expenses here. If we keep running them out of town and into retirement, we will not be able to attract good people.

a-1590592343 May 27, 2020 08:12 AM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

I hope she cleans house. It will be tough having minions making more money than superintendent. The district can no longer afford these grossly overpaid deputies.

a-1590588228 May 27, 2020 07:03 AM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

She brings equity. You know, like in the photo as she's shown without a mask while surrounded by lesser peasants forced to wear them.

CoastWatch May 26, 2020 09:19 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

"Senior Executive Director of Diversity, Learning, and Instruction, Executive Director of the Multilingual and Multicultural Education Department, and Director of Schools..." That's one hell of a "title" . Public School Bureaucracy at its FINEST.

sacjon May 28, 2020 01:05 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

COAST - hahaha, are you serious?? Did you not see the words before your misplaced quote? Pretty clear - "includes roles as....." - The word "roles" indicates more than one role, while the use of the commas indicate the DIFFERENT roles (with an "s") that she has had. It must be exhausting trying to find fault with everything, even when you are so clearly, unequivocally, without a doubt WRONG. Dude...... you don't have to be mad at everything all the time. Cheer up buttercup!

a-1590549798 May 26, 2020 08:23 PM
School Board Appoints New Superintendent

I hope she works out better than Matsuoka did, When Matusoka was first hired, staff were excited that he seemed well qualified and effective. They soon realized they were mistaken.

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