Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Maria immigrated to the United States as a toddler. After settling in the Santa Ynez Valley, Maria experienced school as an undocumented youth. Those experiences; both good and bad, helped shape her career path as an educator.

Maria currently serves as the Director of Multilingual and Migrant Education Programs for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District. As of January 2, 2018, she will serve as the Director of English Learner and Parent Engagement for the Santa Barbara Unified School District. As an immigrant, English Learner and Migrant Student, Maria is proud to lead an incredible team that is focused on increasing and improving opportunities for multilingual, migrant and immigrant students. A recent study of our immigrant students done in partnership with Dr. Jennifer Kam at UCSB has been pivotal in providing the appropriate supports for undocumented youth in our schools. This year, addressing the socio-emotional needs associated with fear of deportation and bullying has been at the forefront of Maria’s priorities. She and her team work with both educators and staff to provide support and counsel to our most vulnerable students.

Report can be found here.

Maria lives in Santa Barbara with her husband Greg and two kids, Martín and Isabel.

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