- Wendy Sims-Moten, President
- Virginia Alvarez, Vice President
- Gabe Escobedo, Clerk
- Rose Munoz, Board Member
- WIlliam Banning, Board Member
- Kavya Suresh, Student Board Member
- Email the board
Wendy Sims-Moten, President
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 her at: email@example.com
Virginia Alvarez, Vice President
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabe Escobedo, Clerk
Mr. Escobedo earned a Bachelor’s degree at California State University, San Marcos before earning a Master’s degree at St. Mary’s College of California. He works at UCSB as an Intramural Coordinator, overseeing an 18,000-participant program with a $600,000+ budget. Mr. Escobedo helped manage an evacuation center at UCSB during the Thomas Fire. He’s also served on the Planning and Community Formation Commissions at the City of Santa Barbara for the past 3 years. Mr. Escobedo is a member of the Board of Directors for Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) and Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA) as well.
His current term on the school board expires December 2026.
Email him at: email@example.com
Rose Munoz, Board Member
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 2026.
Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
WIlliam Banning, Board Member
William Banning was appointed to the Board of Trustees on January 12, 2023, to complete the term of Supervisor Laura Capps, who stepped down in November 2022.
He is a passionate advocate for public education with extensive experience in the field. He has a proven track record of working with teachers, administrators, and parents to improve student achievement and is committed to ensuring that every student in the district has access to a high-quality education and the resources they need to succeed.
Banning holds a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership and retired as Superintendent of the Goleta Union School District in 2017. His 40-year career includes work in Administrative Services, Human Resources, and both elementary and secondary school site leadership. His teaching experience includes elementary, secondary, and university levels. He is looking forward to applying his skills and experience to make a positive impact on the District.
His current term on the school board expires December 2024
Email him at: email@example.com
Kavya Suresh, Student Board Member
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.”
Email her at: studentboardmember@sbunified.
Email the board
If you'd like to contact all board members, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!