Meet the Superintendent
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, nearly 70,000 students, 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.
Dr. Salcido began her teaching career at Dos Pueblos High School, and subsequently served as assistant principal of San Marcos High School and principal of Santa Barbara Junior High School. She joined SBCEO in 2006 as a director in the Curriculum and Instruction division and later served as assistant superintendent for the Instructional Services division. From 2012-17, she was the County Education Office’s deputy superintendent.
Since the beginning of her tenure as Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Salcido has been a strong supporter of school safety and an advocate for youth mental wellness, helping to access increased grant funding for both. She has been an integral partner with the county during the Thomas Fire and 1/9 debris flow, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dedicated to serving Santa Barbara County and the state, Dr. Salcido provides support for youth, educators, and the educational system by working with several local and state partners:
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).
Dr. Salcido is a Commissioner for First 5 Santa Barbara County. 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.
Dr. Salcido 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 since 2017, she has been a board member of both the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation (CDEF) and the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT).
Awards and activities
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.