Carpinteria Unified School District administrators

Carpinteria Unified School District administrators, from left, Jamie Persoon, principal of Canalino Elementary; Diana Rigby, CUSD superintendent; Michelle Fox, principal of Aliso Elementary; Lisa O’Shea, principal of Carpinteria Middle; and Aaron LaPlante, CUSD technology director, tour the pot greenhouses of Glasshouse Farms in Carpinteria Valley.  

The Carpinteria Valley nonprofit cannabis farmers group, CARP Growers, has made a donation to Carpinteria Unified School District that will fund a full-time school counselor for the next three years at Carpinteria Middle School. The $189,000 donation over three years will provide the middle school with an onsite youth service specialist to help support the social-emotional needs of students, according to CMS principal Lisa O’Shea.

“The counselor will be able to meet with students to provide therapy, run group therapy sessions, supervise lunch refocus, and any other service that the administration deems necessary to support students,” said O’Shea.


The donation was accepted on Aug. 27 by the school board in a 4-1 vote, with Rogelio Delgado dissenting. CARP Growers will donate $63,000 annually for three years. The donation comes after a middle school counselor was identified by the school district as an unmet need and a top priority for funding for the 2019-20 school year.

CUSD will hire the counselor through the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA), a local nonprofit that specializes in providing substance abuse prevention, intervention and treatment programs throughout Santa Barbara County. O’Shea expects the new counselor to be on the CMS campus as early as the week of Sept. 23.


“This funding opportunity really highlights what CARP Growers, as a nonprofit, was built to do,” said Kyle Hardy, president of Cresco California, a cannabis company operating a farm in Carpinteria Valley, and member of CARP Growers. “Our team in Carpinteria includes numerous parents of students at Carpinteria Middle School and schools throughout our school district.”

CARP Growers is a California nonprofit comprised of 12 member farms in Carpinteria Valley. In order to be a member, farmers must demonstrate they use vapor-phase odor control systems among other best practices.

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