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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 8:47 am | Fair 48º


Santa Barbara District Hires Special-Ed Executive Director

The school board approves the selection of Tom Guajardo, whose career spans 30 years

The Santa Barbara School Board on Tuesday voted to appoint Tom Guajardo as the district’s new executive director of special education.

Tom Guajardo
Tom Guajardo

Guajardo, who received the support of all four board members present at Tuesday’s special meeting — Ed Heron was absent — has worked in education since 1979, most recently as director of equity/magnets in Santa Clara County.

He also has served as a superintendent of small schools districts in Greenfield and Hollister, where he was directly responsible for special education. He was director of special education in Monterey County and superintendent of an American School in Mexico. Earlier in his career, he worked as a principal, assistant principal and teacher/coach.

“Despite the issues that may be surrounding us at this point, our standardized test scores show that students are learning and staff is to be congratulated for that as well,” Guajardo said. “I was pleased to see the thorough FCMAT report and suggestions that were made. I look forward to working with staff, parents and community to implement those strategies.”

Superintendent Brian Sarvis praised the hiring of Guajardo.

“I believe we have found the right person for the job,” he said. “Tom is recognized for his strong leadership skills, interpersonal skills, child-centered focus on learning, the delivery of instruction and differentiated instruction, strong working relationships with parents and staff, a keen understanding of parent needs, and effective communication in English and Spanish.”

Sarvis added, “Tom has a broad grasp of the educational issues we are dealing with, experience in working on closing the achievement gap for all groups of students, and working with budgets.”

Guajardo will begin work on Monday. His salary will be $133,398 with a three-year contract, subject to a positive annual evaluation.

Noozhawk staff writer Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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