Thursday, August 16 , 2018, 12:26 am | Fair 70º


Santa Maria-Bonita School Board Seeks Public Input On New Leader

Public input is wanted as the Santa Maria-Bonita School District begins its second search for its next superintendent. 

The board of education is hosting a community forum at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the boardroom at the district office, 708 S. Miller St., to gather comments about the selection of the next superintendent.

Community members will have the opportunity to speak to the board members about the qualities, experience, abilities and skills the next superintendent of the district should have. 

To allow all interested people to speak, comments will be limited to approximately three minutes per person. 

The board is relaunching the search after the first finalist drew concerned comments from district employees about John Ramirez Jr.’s “baggage from past indiscretions or poor decision-making.” 

Ramirez, superintendent of the Alisal School District during a tumultuous time, reportedly had been accused of sexual harassment by an employee, been the focus of a no confidence vote by certificated and classified employee unions, and investigated for misuse of district credit cards, speakers said

A couple of weeks later, the Santa Maria-Bonita district board named an interim superintendent — Matt Beecher, the district assistant superintendent for business services — and extended the search for a new leader.

Former superintendent Phil Alvarado retired in June after 38 years with the district, and as superintendent for the last six years. He also was a student who attended local schools.

The Santa Maria-Bonita district has 20 schools, 16,500 preschool-through-eighth-grade students and more than 1,650 employees, spokeswoman Maggie White said.

For individuals or groups unable to attend the evening meeting, the board’s consultants, Gerrie Fausett and Juan Lopez, will be available at the district office from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m Wednesday to meet with community members to hear their thoughts on selecting the next superintendent. 

Lopez is bilingual and can meet with Spanish speaking community members. Call 805.361.8111 to make an appointment.  

E-mail comments may be sent directly to Gerrie Fausett at [email protected] or in Spanish to Juan Lopez at [email protected]  

Written comments may be submitted to: Gerrie Fausett and Juan Lopez, Consultants, c/o Paula Elkins, Santa Maria-Bonita School District, 708 S. Miller Street, Santa Maria, CA 93454

A comment form will also soon be available on the district's website at

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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.

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