Friday, October 19 , 2018, 10:47 pm | Fair 60º


Santa Barbara Community Academy Principal Alicia Saballa-Santana to Retire

Santa Barbara Community Academy Principal Alicia Saballa-Santana announced she will retire on Oct. 6 after six years of service with Santa Barbara Unified School District and 32 years in education.

Saballa-Santana began her service with Santa Barbara Unified School District on September 2011 as principal of Santa Barbara Community Academy.

“Santa Barbara Unified School District is fortunate to have had the leadership of Alicia Saballa-Santana over the last six years,” said Superintendent Cary Matsuoka.

“Saballa-Santana’s compassionate and steady voice for student and parent achievement has benefited those she served — families, educators and staff. We are appreciative of Alicia Saballa-Santana’s contributions throughout our district and wish her well in her retirement,” Matsuoka said.

Saballa-Santana, a daughter of migrant farmworkers, began her educational career as an instructional aide, advancing to become a teacher, multilingual programs coordinator, director of a migrant program, and school administrator.

Her education career spans 32 years, where she served 17 years as a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade teacher, and most recently, 15 years as a school administrator.

At Santa Barbara Community Academy, Saballa-Santana is recognized for her work to strengthen parent engagement, oversee facility improvements, and help SBCA become one of the first schools to implement Guided Language Acquisition Design.

The guided language program is an instructional model to support teachers by providing strategies to integrate instruction in English and grade-level content for a diverse, mainstream classroom.

Santa Barbara Unified School District will begin to recruit and hire for a permanent leader for Santa Barbara Community Academy.

Michael Gonzalez will begin serving as an interim principal in early October. Gonzalez is a former assistant superintendent, principal and assistant principal of Santa Barbara Unified School District.

Since his retirement, in 2010, Gonzalez has assisted the district as a consultant and, most recently, as interim principal at McKinley Elementary School.

Santa Barbara Community Academy, which opened in 1999, is on La Cumbre Junior High School's campus. This transition provides an opportunity to explore the synergy between these two schools.

To ensure an effective transition, Matsuoka and Raul Ramirez, assistant superintendent of elementary educational services, will work with staff and families to review the academy’s year-round schedule, curriculum and structure to support selecting the academy's next principal.

— Lauren Bianchi Klemann for Santa Barbara Unified School District.


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