Superintendent Cary Matsuoka announced the selection of Santa Barbara Unified School District’s Director of English Learner and Parent Engagement, Maria Larios-Horton. Larios-Horton currently serves as Director of Multilingual and Migrant Education Programs for Santa Maria Joint Union High School District. She will start in her new position on January 2, 2018.
The selection of Larios-Horton as Director of English Learner and Parent Engagement followed a competitive and collaborative recruitment process comprised of District English Learner Parent Advisory Committee members, educators, principals, and district officials.
“Maria Larios-Horton is a highly regarded and talented education professional,” said Superintendent Cary Matsuoka. “She has demonstrated her ability to lead and organize effective teams, engaged stakeholders, and has improved systems to make significant advances in programs and services for English learner students and parents. Maria brings a passion and commitment to Santa Barbara Unified School District that makes her a natural fit to continue to build upon the successful efforts led by Dr. Jacqueline Mora for our district’s English Language Learners and Parents.”
Santa Barbara Unified developed the English Learner and Parent Engagement management position three years ago as part of a plan to improve student achievement and parent engagement. In the district, English Learners account for approximately 23% of the total student population. Larios-Horton will work to implement State and Federal English Learner regulations and District policies; coordinate English Learner education activities with other divisions and departments. She will also serve as liaison between schools and parents/families; educate district leadership and staff on effective practices that promote parents and families as equal partners; advise and train parents to understand the educational system in order to become better advocates for their children’s education.
“I am thrilled and honored to join Santa Barbara Unified School District, a community in which I proudly live; and know, cares deeply about every child,” said Maria Larios-Horton. “I look forward to furthering the district’s vision for English learners and parent engagement at all levels. As an English learner growing up in Santa Barbara County, I am deeply invested in helping our schools meet the needs of our emerging multilingual students.”
Larios-Horton lives in Santa Barbara with her husband Greg, son Martin and daughter Isabel, who is a Junior at San Marcos High School. She enjoys visiting with extended family in her birth city of Guadalajara, Mexico where she will spend time this Thanksgiving.