GUSD Appoints New Principal for La Patera

Last night the Goleta Union School District Board of Trustees took action to hire Dr. Ricardo Araiza as the District’s newest principal. Dr. Araiza will be assigned to La Patera Elementary School beginning this August, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Patricia Santiago, who has been principal there since 2006.

Dr. Araiza is currently serving in his fourth year as principal at Foothill Elementary School in the Pittsburg Unified School District in Pittsburg, California. He was selected from a strong pool of more than 30 candidates after a combination of staff and community input sessions, rigorous interviews and a comprehensive validation process.

Dr. Araiza will be introduced to the GUSD community on May 15, when he will have the opportunity to meet La Patera staff and parents. He will participate in a District administrators’ meeting and later attend the regular meeting of the GUSD Board of Trustees.

GUSD Superintendent, William Banning stated, “I believe Dr. Araiza will be a strong match for the community and school. His experience and personal attributes are a close match to the desired characteristics expressed by members of the staff and community who participated in our input sessions last week. He has a solid track record of improving student achievement and building collegial relationships with his staff and community. We are very pleased to have a school leader of Ricardo’s caliber join the exceptional leaders of our District.”