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Academic leaders highlight what’s happening in local schools during annual Santa Maria Valley state of education event

Santa Maria Valley State of Education
Santa Maria Valley school superintendents speaks during a panel discussion during the State of Education at the Radisson Hotel in Santa Maria on May 9, 2023. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Santa Maria Valley education, business and government leaders came together Tuesday morning for the region's annual State of Education event.

Held by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber, the two-hour provided insight into what's currently happening with all of the area's school districts.

"I think the state of education in the Santa Maria Valley is really strong," said Glenn Morris, Santa Maria Valley Chamber CEO. "I think we have educational leaders that are committed to helping our youth and working adults get the skills and education they need to thrive in our community.

A feature component of the event was a panel discussion moderated by Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Salcido, who spoke with four school district superintendents.

The superintendents taking part in the panel included Dr. Darren McDuffie from Santa Maria-Bonita School District, Antonio Garcia from Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, Dr. Holly Edds from Orcutt Union School District and Dr. Emilio Handel from Guadalupe Union School District.

"We have amazing educators in our schools that are doing the best that they can to provide the best education possible for all of our students," said Garcia. "We are doing everything we can to make sure our students are prepared for both college and career and life and so that has been a concerted effort We are making sure students have options by the time the graduate."

In addition, Allan Hancock College Superintendent/President Dr. Kevin Walthers also spoke, as did a panel of local business partners.

A key component of the event was to highlight the important of workforce development that is taking place between the business community and all of the local school districts.

“With workforce development as a priority of our organization, we view partnerships between local businesses and education systems as a vital component of these efforts,” said Morris. “This event is not only an opportunity to educate our community on the work being done by our local education systems but inspire business leaders to further engage in the efforts of building our future workforce.”

Article Topic Follows: Education
Local News
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara area school districts
Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce
workforce development

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Dave Alley

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