"In 2017, when I first began as County Superintendent of Schools, never would I have imagined that we would need to navigate conditions created by the Thomas Fire, and mitigate the tragic impacts of the debris flows in 2018. In 2020, we created a new system of education for all 70,000 students in our county due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through it all, my priorities have remained consistent and focused on children: keep students safe, keep schools open, and focus on excellence in education.
With over 40 years in Santa Barbara County and 26 years in public education, I am personally invested in our school communities. I am a product of Santa Maria public schools, a mother of two school-aged children, and the wife of a local public school teacher. I taught high school English, coached athletics, and served as a junior high principal, director of instruction, assistant superintendent, and deputy superintendent in Santa Barbara public schools. "
Since 2017, Dr. Susan Salcido has served as our Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools. She was elected to lead the Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO), which supports 20 school districts, 10 charter schools, and over 70,000 children, educators, families and valuable countywide partnerships.
While growing up in Santa Maria, Susan attended Adam Elementary, El Camino Junior High, and Santa Maria High School. She worked at her family-run small business and was regularly involved in school and community events, making frequent stops at the Santa Maria Public Library. Dr. Salcido later attended UCSB, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and her master’s degree in education. She earned her doctorate in 2018 from University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, where she focused on organizational change, leadership, and student equity.
At the local level, Dr. Salcido is a board member of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 13, and Partners in Education. She serves as a board member of Santa Barbara County Special Education Local Plan Area Joint Powers Agency (SELPA/JPA) and an advisory board member for the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. She has also served as a board member of the Community Youth Performing Arts Center at the Marjorie Luke Theatre, Social Skills America, and the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA).
Susan is a Commissioner for First 5 Santa Barbara County and serves on the Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board (WDB). She was a Katherine Harvey Fellow, class of 2010-2011, and a mentor in the Emerging Leaders Program, Santa Barbara County.
Dr. Salcido is a member of the YouthWell Coalition Steering Committee, the Fighting Back Leadership Coalition, the Santa Maria Arts Council, the South Coast Youth Safety Partnership, the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Women & Girls committee, and the Cottage Hospital Behavioral Health Collaborative.
Susan provides support to statewide partners in areas related to education. She was a member of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Committee, and has been a member of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) Advisory Council since 2018.
Her work with the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) has been extensive. She served as executive board member of the CA Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC). She also served as chair of CISC’s CA Science Statewide Committee. Since 2019 she has served as a member of the System of Support Coordinating Committee, and was chair of the Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee.
In addition, the California State Board of Education appointed her to the California Practitioner’s Advisory Group, and she is a former board member of both the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation (CDEF) and the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT).
Dr. Salcido’s work has been widely acknowledged for its excellence. In 2018 she received a Santa Barbara County Women of the Year Award for the 19th Senate District and the 37th Assembly District.
In 2017 she received the Administrator of the Year award from the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 13, representing Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties. As a teacher, she was named the Parent Teacher Association Honorary Service Award recipient.
Since 2017 she has conducted extensive media outreach, including hosting cable TV talk shows, radio commentaries on local radio stations, and writing editorial commentaries in local newspapers, all in an effort to help keep the community informed of critical issues related to public education, schools, children, and families.
Susan is a product of Santa Maria public schools, a mother of two school-aged children who attend local schools, and the wife of a local public school teacher. She knows first hand the challenges of being a parent with school children who have had to adapt to fires, mudslides and a pandemic. She stands beside her husband as he teaches Social Studies to public high school students in SB County.
She is the daughter of Korean immigrant parents who grew up in Santa Maria As a child, she worked in the family hotel business and learned the value of hard work. Salcido shares, "If you were staying in room 6, and called and needed more towels, you might get Susan Salcido at 6 years old bringing you towels because that's the work life that we had."
Being raised by hard-working parents, whose livelihood depended on long hours, Susan’s exposure to the world came from her local schools. She learned about medicine, engineering, sports, and colleges through inspirational community volunteers. She aims to ensure that all students can dream big dreams and make them a reality.
Copyright © 2022 Susan Salcido for Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools 2022, FPPC #1445114 - All Rights Reserved.