Thursday, November 26 , 2015, 12:16 pm | A Few Clouds 60º

Special Education Director Kerri Mills Leaving Santa Barbara District

She accepts an assistant superintendent position with a school district in Northern California

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @magnoli |

Assistant Superintendent of Special Education Kerri Mills’ last day with the Santa Barbara Unified School District will be in a few weeks, leaving the program without a leader.

Kerri Mills
Kerri Mills

Mills is leaving to become the assistant superintendent of special education for the Mount Diablo Unified School District in the Concord area. The district approved a three-year contract for Mills on Monday, according to SBUSD communications director Barbara Keyani.

Mills came to the district in 2009 and worked under then-Director Tom Guajardo, whose job was to implement the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team action plan for an overhaul of the program. Guajardo quit after seven months, joining the department’s revolving door of leadership that saw at least 11 directors or interim directors come and go since 2002.

Mills has decades of experience as an administrator of special education programs and became SBUSD’s assistant superintendent of special education in 2011-12, a position created for her.

She and her staff have worked hard on communication within the district and with parents, which was one of the biggest deficiencies FCMAT pointed out in its blistering report.

Mills has helped create advisory groups, ongoing professional development and had the special education department fully staffed for the first time in 2011-12.

She said she has thoroughly enjoyed her experience in Santa Barbara and will miss everyone when she leaves. She’s originally from Northern California and looks forward to moving closer to home.

“It has been such an honor to work with a dedicated and talented team of educators and support staff in the Special Education Department,” she said in a statement Wednesday. “Each day, I watch them give their heart and soul to the students we serve. The person who fills my position will be very fortunate to have these professionals on their team.”

Superintendent Dave Cash said the district is sad to see her go.

“During her time with our district she worked tirelessly on the needs of our special education students,” he said. “Implementation of the FCMAT report’s recommendations was no small feat. She is to be commended for leading a project that required nothing less than a Herculean team effort.”

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

comments powered by Disqus

» on 08.30.12 @ 01:19 PM

Argggh, it’s so frustrating as the parent of a special needs kid, to see the turnover rate here in S.B. We are doing something wrong and it needs to be corrected.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.