Santa Barbara High Principal Resigns for County Position

By the Santa Barbara Unified School District

After a highly successful five-year tenure as principal at Santa Barbara High, Dr. Elise Simmons has informed the Santa Barbara Unified School District that she will be resigning from her position effective August 2, 2023.

Dr. Simmons will be taking on the role of Coordinator of Student and Family Services at the Santa Barbara County Office of Education.

The district will be conducting an immediate search for her successor.

Dr. Simmons has spent 24 years with the district and is a UCSB alum.

During her tenure as the principal at Santa Barbara High, she led the staff, students and families through floods, fires and a global pandemic, yet still serving thousands of students throughout whatever means necessary.

“When I first was hired as the principal of SBHS, I told my husband about how excited I was for the challenge of leading SBHS and that I was well aware of the totality of the job itself, it was a lot of responsibility,” Dr. Simmons said. “The past five years have thrown a lot at us, but through  it all, the SBHS staff continued to lead fearlessly and lovingly. I’m incredibly proud of that.”

As the school’s leader, SBHS has expanded its Career Tech Ed pathways to include an Interpretation and Translation Pathway (the first one in California!) and is moving into its second year of providing a Dual Language Immersion program. The school has also increased its support for social emotional learning and mental wellness by ongoing professional learning and creating a Wellness Center.

“Dr. Simmons has led by example through some of the toughest times that an educator can face,” said Dr. Hilda Maldonado, the district’s superintendent. “I have always admired her commitment to the well-being of her staff and the students they all served. Her quest for professional growth is one I can personally relate to, and wish her nothing but the best as she moves forward. She has left her mark on one of the most important institutions in all of California, and I’m grateful to her for that.”



Written by SBUnified

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD). Learn more at

What do you think?


2 Comments deleted by Administrator

Leave a Review or Comment


  1. Personally, I thought she was so much better than several of the previous principals we’ve experienced in the SBUSD. She wasn’t speaking educational jargon babble all the time. She was easy to talk to and my kid liked her. I predict that Maldonado will replace her with another ladder-climbing politician bot like everyone else at the District.

  2. I wonder what the “Coordinator of Student and Family Services at the Santa Barbara County Office of Education” actually does. The huge bureaucracy in the education system these days is mind boggling. It’s no wonder that no matter how much money we tax payers are charged there never seems enough reaching the teachers.

    • Job Summary
      To provide administrative support and leadership to the Student and Community Services division programs of Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO), under the direction of the Associate Superintendent. Division programs include career technical education, charter schools, early childhood education, foster and homeless youth services, juvenile court and community schools, and two non-profit organizations, which provide behavioral and health education and art programming in schools.

  3. 07:52 I was wondering the same thing, and agree with the ridiculous bureaucracy that the local school districts have became at the expense of students, teachers, and us taxpayers. Spending more and getting less doesn’t cut it.
    And Ohyeah, what’s the lowdown? Curious to know what you’re taking about. Fill us in.

Santa Maria Man Arrested with Firearms and Narcotics

Heat Wave Safety for Furry Friends