La Cumbre Junior High School Theatre Named After Late Principal
October 23, 2018 School Board Meeting, Left to Right (Board Member Ismael Paredes Ulloa, Douglas (Doug) Caines, Board Member Kate Parker, Annette Rodriguez (Caines), Tayloh Bolden (eldest grandchild of Jo Ann Caines), Board President Jacqueline Reid, Board Member Laura Capps, Board Vice President Wendy Sims-Moten
Source: Santa Barbara Unified School District
The La Cumbre Junior High School Theatre is officially named the “Jo Ann Caines Theatre” following Santa Barbara Unified School District board action on October 23, 2018. Jo Ann Caines passed away on June 6, 2018, and her more than thirty year career with Santa Barbara Unified School District started and ended at La Cumbre Junior High School. It has been said that Jo Ann Caines’ heart and spirit belong at the school where the halls were her home; and countless staff and students felt as if she raised them as her own.
The naming was proposed by Board Member Kate Parker, who has served on the Board for 12 years and who witnessed the significance of Caines’ legacy of leadership and passion for children and families throughout the Westside community. She stated, “La Cumbre Junior High was really struggling and came close to being shut down before Jo Ann started there as principal. Her leadership and the incredible work of her staff really turned the school around and have made it an educational gem.”
La Cumbre Junior High School was dedicated on April 21, 1927, and opened to students in January 1928 under the leadership of Principal William J. Kircher. The building was named after La Cumbre Peak, which stands as a sentinel in the Santa Ynez mountain range and overlooks the coast and the City of Santa Barbara. The school’s theatre is the third largest in Santa Barbara in capacity and was part of the original construction of the school. In 2013, the theatre underwent a major restoration and modernization that returned it to its original grandeur, and no one was prouder of that than Jo Ann Caines.
She will be remembered as a fierce advocate for students, an incredible educational innovator, and a La Cumbre Lancer through and through.