Teacher Appreciation Week, or National Teacher Appreciation Week, celebrated May 3-7, is a week-long celebration in recognition of teachers and the contributions they make to education and society. It is held in the first full week of May of every year and provides an opportunity for the school community to show their appreciation for all the hard work done by teachers. Our teachers deserve heartfelt gratitude for their continuous adaptation, creativity and flexibility to ensure all students were successfully learning during this pandemic. 


New CMS assistant principal and Aliso/Summerland principal

Please join me in welcoming the newest members of our leadership team for 2021-2022, Ricardo Cota, Carpinteria Middle School assistant principal, and Veronica Gallardo, Aliso/Summerland principal. 

Ricardo grew up in Ventura with close family ties to Santa Barbara. He attended CSU Channel Islands to earn a BA in History, followed by graduate work and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at California Lutheran University. Ricardo was an active member of the Army from 2004-2008 with multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He taught multiple subjects for five years at Isbell Middle School in Santa Paula, and currently he is the Assistant Principal at the De Anza Academy of Technology & Arts Middle School in Ventura. His favorite subject is history, with an emphasis in early California. Ricardo resides in Santa Barbara with his wife and daughter, and he is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan.

Veronica is currently teaching Kindergarten at Roosevelt School in Santa Barbara where she has spent the past 10 years teaching primary grades. She has a strong background in business and public education, and most recently as a professional learning consultant. Early in her career, Veronica worked as an account executive in the San Francisco Bay Area where she hired and developed sales teams to exceed goals, and developed extensive customer service and management skills. As an educational consultant, she has provided professional learning in science to teachers in support of district goals and teacher professional needs. 

Originally from the Bay Area, Veronica moved to Santa Barbara to attend SBCC and transferred to UCSB where she earned a degree in English literature. She is a South Coast Writing Project Fellow, she holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, a Master of Science in Literacy and Reading, a Reading Specialist Credential, an Administrative Credential, and most recently, a Certificate in Education Finance from Georgetown University. 

Growing up in a family of seven children, Veronica’s parents raised her in a bilingual home where they taught her and her siblings how to speak fluently in Spanish, a benefit that carried into her personal and professional career. Veronica has been an active member of the Santa Barbara community for over two decades. She has served and volunteered for various organizations including Junior League of Santa Barbara, National Charity League and Women’s Fund. She is an elected trustee for SBCC, having served the college since 2012, and she supports the SBCC Foundation’s President’s Circle. Veronica currently resides in Santa Barbara with her husband and two high school children, a sophomore and a senior, who will be attending nursing school in the fall. We are planning a June reception for the Aliso/Summerland community and the board to meet her.


TK/K enrollment for 2021-22

Kindergarten enrollment is lower than last year at this time: Aliso: TK: 18; K: 22, K Dual Language Immersion (DLI): 25; Summerland: K-3; Canalino: TK: 12, K: 22, K DLI: 40, Carpinteria Family School (CFS) K: 13. For the first time in four years, we did not have to hold a lottery for DLI and CFS due to the opening of the kindergarten DLI class at Aliso. 


USDA extends free meals through next school year

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue reimbursing schools and childcare centers for free meals to all students regardless of their income through the 2021-22 school year, USDA officials announced last week. Meal service waivers such as the “Seamless Summer Option” that made it possible for California districts to distribute millions of grab-and-go meals to students since campuses closed due to Covid-19 will be extended through June 2022, according to a USDA news release. Advocates say the extension comes at a pivotal time for food-insecure families.



Diana Rigby is the current superintendent of Carpinteria Unified School District. She is focused on improving teaching and learning for all CUSD students and welcomes parent and community input and feedback. For more information about CUSD, log on to, or contact Diana at or (805) 684-4511x222.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.