Gov. Jerry Brown has reappointed Nicolasa “Niki” Sandoval, Ph.D., the education director for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, to the State Board of Education.
Sandoval, who has been director of the tribe’s education department since 2009 and a lecturer at UC Santa Barbara since 2007, was first appointed to the state board in 2013.
“We are living in a time of great promise and rapid change in education. It is a great honor and responsibility to be involved in the work,” Sandoval said. “I have profound respect for each member of the State Board. Each person works to ensure inclusion and transparency throughout the reforms taking place.”
The State Board of Education is the K-12 policy-making body for academic standards, curriculum, instructional materials, assessments and accountability.
It adopts instructional materials for use in kindergarten through eighth grade, and it also adopts regulations to implement a wide variety of programs created by the Legislature, such as charter schools and special education.
“We’re proud of the work Niki has done with our tribal youth, in the community and at the state level,” said Vincent Armenta, tribal chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “The success of our education department is a prime example of her hard work and dedication.”
Her reappointment is slated to be confirmed by the State Senate within one year.
Sandoval holds a Ph.D. in education from UCSB, a master’s degree in museum studies from the George Washington University and bachelor’s degree in public relations from Pepperdine University.
Her work history includes positions at the Nonprofit Support Center, where she served as a consulting manager from 2008-09 and a community outreach specialist from 2007-08.
Sandoval was project evaluator at UCSB from 2004-06 and served in several positions at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian from 1995-2002, including assistant director of community services, training coordinator and special assistant for external affairs.
She was also a public affairs assistant at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History from 1994-95 and a press assistant at the J. Paul Getty Museum from 1991-93.
The Santa Ynez Reservation is located in Santa Barbara County and was established and officially recognized by the federal government Dec. 27, 1901.
The tribe is a self-governing tribal sovereign nation that follows the laws set forth in the tribe’s constitution, which is similar in text to the U.S. Constitution and the California Constitution.
— Mike Traphagen is a public relations specialist representing the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.