- Rose Munoz, President
- Wendy Sims-Moten, Vice President
- Laura Capps, Clerk
- Virginia Alvarez, Member
- Kate Ford, Member
- Kavya Suresh, Student Board Member
P R E S I D E N T
Elected to the Santa Barbara School Board in 2018, Rose Muñoz is a Santa Barbara native. She is bilingual and bicultural. Muñoz holds a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) and is recognized as the first social worker, in known history, to serve on the school Board. Muñoz, active in the school community, has volunteered for a Parent Teacher Association and was involved in the formation of the Equity and Excellence Committee at Dos Pueblos High School.
She is recognized for her work to support the passage of local school bonds for art and music programs and to increase funding for local schools. In addition to her work with the school community, she provided Spanish translation for the Pro Youth Movement and the Westside Community group. Her goal is to have a school culture that is inclusive and safe for all students. It is her belief that every student in our schools should have equal access to an excellent education, regardless of race, income or background. Muñoz and her husband, Luis, have two daughters ages 25 and 28 who attended public schools and benefitted from a public education in Goleta Union and Santa Barbara Unified School District.
Her current term expires in December 2022.
Email Muñoz at:
Wendy Sims-Moten, elected to the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board in 2016, is the executive director of First 5 Santa Barbara County. She has worked for the county for 23 years and has been an active resident for 30 years.
Sims-Moten, who served as Santa Barbara Unified School Board President in 2019, has dedicated much of her life to the progress and well-being of the community, having been involved in several organizations including the original Santa Barbara County Employee University Governing Council, Gateway Educational Services, CAUSE Action Fund, African American Women of Santa Barbara County, United Way Women United, and Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee.
Her commitment to education and children make her a great addition to the board of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation.
Sims-Moten’s current term expires in December, 2024.
Email Sims-Moten at: email@example.com
Laura Capps, a proud graduate of Santa Barbara public schools, and member of the Board of Education for Santa Barbara Unified School District. Her son is an elementary student in the school she attended. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from UC Berkeley and a Masters from the London School of Economics.
Capps, elected to the board in 2016, has devoted her career to public service, serving as a White House speechwriter for President Clinton, a communications director on John Kerry’s presidential campaign, an advisor in the United States Senate to Senator Edward Kennedy, part of Al Gore’s climate change organization, and an ocean conservation advocate. In addition to her service with the Santa Barbara Unified Board of Education, Capps manages her own public affairs practice collaborating with non-profit organizations on issues of climate, poverty, immigration, and childhood hunger.
Active in the community, Capps is past President of the Board of the Community Environmental Council and a recent Director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She previously served on the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women and on the Board of Trustees for her alma mater, University of California, Berkeley. She has taught college courses on Congress and politics at the University of California Washington Center.
Capps’ current term on the school board expires in December 2024.
Email Capps at: firstname.lastname@example.org
M E M B E R
Virginia Alvarez personifies the promise of public education. She is a bilingual product of Santa Barbara Unified School District, and elected SBUSD board member since December 2020. She attended McKinley Elementary, La Cumbre Junior High and San Marcos High School. She is also the proud parent of three SBUSD graduates and a former classified employee of SBUSD. Those who know Virginia, know that she cares the most about two things in life, her family, and public education. She has devoted her professional career working in the public school system. With years of experience in all aspects of running schools and districts, including school finance, and public employment. She currently works at Montecito Union School District as the Chief Business Official and Human Resources Administrator.
Virginia holds a Master’s Degree in Education and School Business Leadership. She is also a certified School Business Official from the California Association of School Business Officials, a graduate of the University of Southern California Chief Business Official Program and a graduate of the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team Mentor Program. She has also received numerous awards and recognitions including being named the Santa Barbara County Classified Employee of the Year, and the San Marcos High School Royal Award.
As a school board member, Virginia is focused on collaboration, equity, academic achievement, transparency, accountability, fiscal responsibility, and environmental stewardship. She wants to nurture a strong partnership between the board, teachers, classified and administrative staff, parents, and students, which translates to a strong community. She aspires to work together, build bridges and focus on commonalities to do what is best for all students.
Virginia is grateful for the opportunity to serve all the students and staff at SBUSD. She is also the first former SBUSD classified employee to be elected to the Board of Education.
Her current term on the school board expires December 2024
Email her at: email@example.com
Kate Ford, a lifelong educator and elected SBUSD board member since 2018, has a long family legacy in Santa Barbara as well as a professional career that has taken her many places. Kate was an English and drama teacher for fifteen years and then a school principal/director for twenty years in San Jose, Stockton, Phoenix, and, most recently, Peabody Elementary School in Santa Barbara. Before retiring from public education in 2018, Kate was the Area Superintendent for Aspire Public Schools in Los Angeles, where she led and managed eleven college preparation schools in the communities of Huntington Park, South L.A., and South Gate. Additionally, in 2011-2014, Kate held the position of Senior Program Officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, where she managed education grants to school management organizations and to the state departments of education for California, Tennessee, and New Mexico.
Ford holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Chapman College and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Education from UC Santa Cruz, as well as a lifetime CA Teaching Credential and an Administrative Services Credential from Santa Clara University. She also has served on numerous non-profit boards and is the Chair of Reframe Labs, which recruits and trains future leaders of color in low income communities in Los Angeles. As a school board member, Ford remains focuses on transparency, fiscal accountability, environmental education/sustainability, the arts, and academic achievement. In addition,Ford has won two Educator of the Year awards; and three years ago, she was chosen as a Pahara-Aspen Fellow in Education. Ford also is a part time educational consultant and volunteers on the Education Committee of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
Her current term on the school board expires December 2022.
Email Ford at: firstname.lastname@example.org
S T U D E N T B O A R D M E M B E R
Kavya Suresh is a 16-year-old junior at San Marcos High School, and will be the Student Board Member for the 2022-23 school year.
As a student advocate and activist, Ms. Suresh was motivated to apply for the role in order to better elevate the student voice.
“I chose to be the student board member because I wanted all students to recognize the power and authority they have to influence decisions in our districts. I want students to look at our school board and see a powerful and diverse group of people who all want to hear from them and support them, and I hope to be a bridge between student and district activities. Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of leaders or influencers who looked like me, but I hope that my term as student board member inspires students who are often excluded from leadership to occupy the space that’s rightfully theirs.”
Ms. Suresh can be reached via email at studentboardmember@sbunified.