Susan Bennett, left, retired purchasing manager; Bree Valla, deputy superintendent; Shannon Filburn, printing department manager; Superintendent Trevor McDonald; John Karbula, retiring assistant superintendent. (Courtesy photo)

John Karbula, assistant superintendent of business services in the Lompoc Unified School District (LUSD), has announced his retirement from the district, effective Jan. 31.

“Working in Lompoc Unified has been among the most gratifying professional experiences of my 34 1⁄2 year career as a public educator. I have nothing, but the utmost respect and admiration for Mr. Trevor McDonald, our superintendent, for his relentless focus on doing what is right for students.

“This is Mr. McDonald’s North Star, and he is willing to keep the district focused on students regardless of the cost or the pushback he might receive.”

Karbula is a third generation public educator. His youngest daughter Lauren is an elementary school teacher in Texas, making her a fourth generation public educator.

During his tenure at Lompoc Unified, Karbula had numerous notable achievements and recognitions. The district has received positive budget certifications every year under his leadership.

As the district’s lead negotiator, Karbula has maintained a positive budget certification while giving employees the largest percentage raises of any school district in Santa Barbara County.

For his efforts, Karbula was a state finalist for the Negotiator of the Year award for the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), and was the ACSA Southern Region Administrator of the Year.

Superintendent Trevor McDonald commented concerning Dr. Karbula’s career and tenure with Lompoc Unified,

“Dr. Karbula has been a great team player working for the betterment of all students, but especially our most vulnerable populations,” McDonald. “He is a man of great integrity and has added to the pragmatic and positive work environment for all Lompoc Unified staff members.”

“John has a child-like energy and enthusiasm that is infectious to those who work with him. We thank him for his commitment and dedication,” said Bree Valla, deputy superintendent.

Looking back on a career that has spanned three states and seen him in the role of teacher, high school assistant principal, elementary and high school principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent, Karbula said:

“Whatever humble positive change I hopefully made during my time here is mainly due to the exceptional people I have had the privilege to work with throughout my career.

“My life has been rich in working with dedicated and caring professionals. The ability to work with and laugh with my amazing colleagues and friends will be what I miss the most of all.”