Associate Superintendent of LAUSD Brings Strong Experience in Equity, Excellence, and Community Building
Today the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint a new Superintendent, Hilda Maldonado. Maldonado was chosen for her extensive background in academic achievement, her strong focus on partnerships and her current leadership in responding to the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She is currently the Associate Superintendent of Leadership and Partnerships in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) overseeing the development of system capacity to train and retain high caliber employees as well as develop partnership and grants efforts across the second largest district in the country. She will take the helm of Santa Barbara Unified on July 1, 2020.
Maldonado’s leadership career in LAUSD includes roles as Senior Executive Director of Diversity, Learning, and Instruction, Executive Director of the Multilingual and Multicultural Education Department, and Director of Schools. She has worked as a bilingual teacher, a bilingual coordinator, an assistant principal and a principal at two schools – both of which experienced growth in academics, safety and school culture under her leadership. Maldonado came to the U.S. from Mexico as an 11-year-old and credits her positive experience as an English learner as her motivation to become a bilingual teacher.
“This pandemic is ushering in a new era of education while shining a spotlight on the inequities of the old education system. We need a tested leader who has the expertise to harness new opportunities, engage the community and propel our schools forward for the future. Hilda Maldonado is the leader for this transformational time,” said Laura Capps, President of the Board, who with her colleagues led the competitive search that involved nearly 50 candidates from across the country.
“It is an honor to be selected to serve the Santa Barbara Unified School District students, staff and community during these extraordinary times. I am committed to building on the greatness of this district as we collectively navigate a new education system that ensures ALL students are prepared for life, college and career. I believe a quality education is the key to success for families, communities and our country. It certainly made a difference in my life journey and I wish the same for all our students.”
“The Santa Barbara Unified School District will be well served by Hilda’s commitment to equity and excellence for all students” said LA Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner. “She has served students and families in LA Unified for more than 30 years as an open and innovative bilingual teacher, administrator and senior leader. We thank her for her tireless advocacy and leadership and wish her the best in her new role.”
“During this unprecedented time, I see Hilda Maldonado as a beacon for moving the district forward,” said Dr. Jackie Reid, Vice President of the Board. “I know she will provide equitable access to all students to ensure academic success and career readiness. I am proud of the process and rigor we participated in as a Board to find our new leadership for this district.”
“I invite the community to celebrate with us the selection of the new Superintendent and to engage with our school district as we ensure that the voices of all students are heard,” said Rose Munoz, Clerk of the Board.
“Hiring a superintendent on Zoom was a daunting challenge, but Ms. Maldonado’s brilliance and insight were evident throughout the entire process! She is clearly a courageous, inspiring, tireless leader whom we can lift up, look up to, and learn from. We set out to hire the best, and Hilda Maldonado IS the best. I am thrilled to welcome her to the SB Unified team,” said School Board Member Kate Ford.
“Our appointment of Ms. Hilda Maldonado gets a Triple “R” rating: Right Person, Right Place, Right Time,” said Board Member and past president Wendy Sims-Moten.
Maldonado and her husband Kamran look forward to relocating to Santa Barbara, which she has enjoyed getting to know through the Courage to Lead program. They have two sons in college.
In the coming days, our community will become further acquainted with Maldonado, who plans to make herself available for a Q & A with students.