Vedamarie Ruiz Alvarez Flores Appointed to Santa Barbara County Board of Education

Santa Barbara County Education Office (courtesy)

The Santa Barbara County Board of Education has provisionally appointed longtime Santa Maria resident and education stalwart, Vedamarie Ruiz Alvarez Flores, to fill the Trustee Area 7 board member seat. Vacant since the passing of former trustee Maggi Daane in November, Trustee Area 7 contains significant portions of the City of Santa Maria.

Flores is a retired elementary school teacher and longtime teacher trainer who recently served a four-year term on the board of Santa Maria-Bonita Elementary School District. As a provisional appointee, she will serve until November 2024, at which time a special election will be held, with the winner serving the last two years of Trustee Area 7’s term, until 2026.

Flores’ first meeting with the County Board of Education will be on February 8, 2024. She was selected by the Board following an interview held on Thursday, January 11 at the Santa Barbara County Education Office in Santa Maria.

Vedamarie Ruiz Alvarez Flores (courtesy)

Flores said she was thrilled with the appointment, and the opportunity to continue “the meaningful journey” of helping students grow and schools thrive. “Advocating for student achievement is a priority. My skills as a collaborator and relationship-builder will help foster this future work. I know preparation, time, and participation are key in coming aboard and am ready for that role,” Flores shared. “I believe the experience of growing up, going to local schools, working in the SMBSD, and raising our family in Santa Maria brings a benefit to Area 7 representation.”

Flores brings a wealth of experience and breadth of education knowledge to the role. She attended Santa Maria High School, Allan Hancock College, and earned her BA in Spanish with minors in Physical Education and English from UCSB. She possesses a teaching credential, a bilingual credential, and received her Master of Arts from Pepperdine University with an emphasis on Multicultural Education and Leadership Administration. Flores said that while she is “technically” retired, she currently serves as a teacher supervisor for Cal Lutheran University’s resident teacher program, based in Santa Maria.

County Board of Education President Judy Frost, whose trustee area covers parts of the Santa Maria Valley, including Orcutt, praised Flores’ leadership in the Santa Maria-Bonita District, particularly as the district has tackled important issues such as enrollment growth and teacher training and recruitment. “Her connections, roots, and experiences in the Santa Maria Valley make her an ideal addition to the Board. She will serve as an excellent representative of the Santa Maria Valley, both within the realm of education and the community at large.”

County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido added: “Her extensive experience and perspectives as a parent, grandparent, educator, teacher supervisor, and former trustee in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District add value to the work of the County Board of Education. Her extensive experience in education amplifies her understanding of the County Board of Education and the Santa Barbara County Education Office and the work we do together to serve and support students, families, and schools across the county.”

The Santa Barbara County Board of Education sets SBCEO and County Board policies, approves the SBCEO budget, approves the SBCEO Local Control and Accountability Plan, and serves as an appellant board for inter-district transfer requests, student expulsions, and charter school applications. More information from the California County Superintendents on the roles of County Superintendents of Schools and County Boards can be found HERE or on the Santa Barbara County Board of Education webpage.


Written by SBCEO

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara County Office of Education. Learn more at

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