Santa Paula Unified School District News
If your 6th grade student does not currently have their Tdap vaccine, please join us for a FREE Tdap Vaccine Clinic at Fillmore on May 25, 2023 from 4:00-7:00 p.m.
There will be another opportunity in Oxnard on May 31st. Please see the flyers linked below for more information.
Barbara Webster Elementary’s The Environmental Show featured fourth grade students singing and speaking to the audience about things they can do to be healthier and make the world a happier place yesterday, May 18, 2023.
They promoted composting, saving energy, conserving water, being cautious about eating highly processed foods, and so much more!
Dear SPUSD Community,
It was reported today, May 18, 2023, that a student might have a weapon on campus at Santa Paula High School. The SPPD, SRO, Administration, and security worked together to search the individual in question and their belongings. It is confirmed that nothing was found.
Safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance.
Jeffrey Weinstein, Superintendent
The Rotary Club of Santa Paula's 2023 Scholarship Celebration took place last night and a whopping $39,000 in scholarships were awarded to local students! SPUSD students from Renaissance High School and Santa Paula High School received the following awards:
Academic Scholarship Award: Luis Avila, Gabriela Nolasco, Roselyn Gil, Karmen Parra, Alondra Leal, Mariah Hernandez, Karen Magana, Daisy Vaca, and Lorena Mondragon.
Renaissance Scholarship Award: Angelina DeLaMora
Music Scholarship Award: Gael Gonzales (Not pictured)
Vocational Studies Scholarship Award: Melissa Magana
IOFF Wes Easley Memorial Scholarship Award: Rose Segovia (Not pictured)
Anne Henderson Community Service Scholarship Award: Rayleen Meza
Janette Cole Memorial Scholarship Award: Samantha Ivanez
Congratulations to all!
On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, a group of students from Santa Paula High School graduated from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division’s Pre-Engineering Program.During the 15-week program, students learned about various types of engineering through hands-on experiences.Mr. Jeffrey Weinstein, SPUSD Superintendent, congratulated them in his opening remarks during the ceremony.Not only did the program graduates receive a certificate of achievement, but also a letter of recommendation!Congratulations to the next generation of engineers: Michelle Baltazar, Jorge Barajas, Fernando Galindo, Yahir Hernandez, Joseph Jimenez, Brandon Magana, Brandon Martinez, Madilyn Olvera, Christopher Ramirez, Lindsey Ramirez, Eduardo Valdovinos, and Daisy Zepeda.
We would like to thank the Santa Paula Rotary Club for continuing the tradition of honoring some of our 11th grade students from Santa Paula H.S. this year with the Junior Achievement Award! This special award is given to the highest achieving junior student in every academic/elective content area.
Students received a special certificate and a gift card to Rabalais during the Rotary luncheon yesterday, 4/24. Above, you will find a list of students and the teachers/staff that nominated them.
On April 24th, 2023, Mr. Joaquin Licea, SPUSD Director of Technology, and Mr. Michael Colmenares, SPUSD Network & Systems Manager, met with five students from Santa Paula High School who have been selected to participate in the very first work-based learning experience serving as IT student interns.
They will be working with the SPUSD Technology Services department to address Chromebook repairs and more!
This internship will allow for students to apply crucial skills found in IT Support employment opportunities. This has come about through a collaboration between Mr. James Haas, Cybersecurity teacher at SPHS, Mrs. Christina Gonzalez-Ornelas, SPUSD Director of College & Career Readiness and Student Achievement, Mr. Michael Miller, Career Technical Education Counselor, and Mr. Joaquin Licea, SPUSD Director of Technology.
You’re invited! On Thursday, May 4, 2023 from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m., Isbell Middle School will be hosting a STEAM Fest! At this event, there will be hands-on activities available to engage students, parents, friends, and family in the content areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. There will be a handful of experiences for guests to engage and learn from. Participants will be engaged in different activities that will encourage creativity, team work, critical thinking skills, while boosting curiosity in real world situations. The STEAM Fest will be an event that allows individuals to connect problem solving to real world solutions, all while having fun!
Dear SPUSD Community,
Here is an update regarding safety at SPHS and throughout the district. Last night, we became aware of a social media and/or group chat exchanges between multiple SPHS students regarding a rumor about a school shooting (see email string w/ ParentSquare information sent out to SPHS & RHS parents). All reports were sent to the Santa Paula Police Department and investigated by detectives. The police were contacted but could not substantiate the threat, as noted in the message that went out to staff, parents and students. There will be an additional police presence at the high schools as well as police patrols at the elementary schools and our SRO Gutierrez will be at the middle school. This morning there will also be an increased presence of District Office staff at the high schools and middle school.
After the message went out last night, SPPD continued to look into reports and notified me that there were no new threats and that all rumored information was non-specific and no origin could be established. All reports were taken seriously. Information came in from multiple sources and were second, third, and fourth hand. These were immediately sent over to the SPPD. SPPD visited homes & spoke with many individuals who reported information and spoke with all sources of information. No new information has surfaced today as verified by the SPPD Chief of Police.
As we end our week, we thank you for your commitment and dedication to students. We know that security and safety measures work because of people and the established relationships that we have with students. Please be visible at your door as you welcome students into your class. This will help with making students feel at ease and it will also increase the visibility of staff across the campus. We welcome any staff member who would like to voluntarily assist with supervision and break time.
To report a tip anonymously, here is the phone number. Tips can also anonymously be submitted electronically using the WeTip form that can be found at https://mobile.catapultems.com/santa-paula-usd/Sites. This will be shared again with students and parents. We will also make sure that this information is more visible throughout the campus on bulletin boards, offices, etc.
Jeffrey Weinstein, Superintendent
✨Get to know SPUSD!
We would like to share some information about Georgina “Gina” Ramirez, Ed. D., SPUSD Assistant Superintendent of English Language Services and Community Engagement.
Dr. Ramirez was born in Mexico City and is one of five sisters. She is the second oldest and the only one that attended college. Her parents had a dream that they would become somebody and after her dad passed away when she was 13, she made it her mission to finish school. She is married and has four beautiful children. She also has a daughter in law and a granddaughter.
Education has always been very important to her. No one can take away our education and therefore, she feels that she has a moral obligation to provide our students with the highest quality education possible.
She started kindergarten at Vernon Elementary School in November of 1974 when she had just arrived from Mexico City. She continued her education in Los Angeles and graduated from Sacred Heart of Jesus in Lincoln Heights. She attended Pasadena City College and earned an AA in General Education. She then graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Bilingual Bicultural Education with an Emphasis in Spanish. The following year, she earned her BCLAD (Bilingual Crosscultural Language Acquisition Design). Additionally, she earned her first Masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the California State University of Los Angeles. Her second Masters was in Educational Leadership from California State University Channel Islands. Finally, she earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from California State University of Northridge.
Dr. Ramirez began her teaching career at Sunkist Elementary in La Puente for Bassett Unified School District in 1994 where she worked as a Bilingual Teacher for 1st and 2nd grade. In 1998, she moved to Santa Paula and began working for the Santa Paula Elementary School District as a kindergarten teacher at Grace Thille and then later moved to Glen City to teach kindergarten and 1st grade. After 9 years of teaching, she became the EL Specialist for the District. Then, she was the Migrant and ASPIRE Coordinator. She also had the opportunity to serve as an assistant principal and interim principal at Isbell Middle School. Later, she served as the Director of State and Federal Projects. She has spent 24 years working in the Santa Paula Unified School District.
The 2nd Annual Cardinal Gala: Dinner Concert and Silent Auction took place this past Thursday, March 23rd. The Santa Paula High School Center Courts were beautifully illuminated that night. Guests enjoyed a dinner catered by Presto Pasta while enjoying the live music.
The event was well attended and featured music performed by the SPHS Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and Chamber Ensembles.
A big thank you to everyone who helped put this wonderful event together!
✨Get to know SPUSD!
We would like to share some information about Mr. Danny Guzman, Santa Paula High School Assistant Principal.
As a native of Santa Paula and graduate of Santa Paula High School from the class of 1999, Mr. Danny Guzman considers himself blessed to be employed at his Alma Mater and is honored to service the local community he grew up in.
Mr. Guzman has been part of the Santa Paula Unified School District for over 18 years. Throughout his tenure, he has taken on various roles and responsibilities at SPHS which include working as a physical education/health teacher, area department chair, and as an athletic director for 11 years. He has served as a member of the CIF Transfer Rules Committee, CIF Public/Private School Committee, and served as Citrus Coast League President for various years.
Additionally, Mr. Guzman has been involved with various administrative support roles as well as extra-curricular activities such as the boys basketball coach (over 10 years) at various levels. For the last 3 years, he has served in the role of Assistant Principal in which he has enjoyed working with teachers and students in different academic capacities.
He began his collegiate educational career by attending Oxnard Community College in which he was a student athlete while playing on the men’s basketball team. Thereafter, he transferred to California State University Northridge where he earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Kinesiology and completed his Single Subject Teaching Credential. After getting hired as a faculty member at SPHS, he attended Azusa Pacific University where he received a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology followed by earning his Administrative Services Credential from California State University of Channel Islands.
In his spare time, he enjoys staying physically active (as much as possible) often going on long walks and riding his bicycle. His greatest passion includes traveling, as he enjoys exploring different cultures throughout the world. He takes pride in serving his community and is passionate about helping build the leaders of tomorrow.
On Wednesday, March 15, 2023, Mia Rogers, a second grade teacher at Glen City Elementary, was selected to ride alongside the U.S. Navy Blue Angels on a flight in a Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet jet during a visit to the Naval Air Station in Point Mugu, CA.The U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have a Hometown Hero flight program that offers ride-along opportunities to members of the community. Ms. Rogers was nominated by Dr. Lydia Olivo, Renaissance High School Principal.Ms. Rogers was joined today by all Glen City Elementary second grade classes, including her own. Dr. Olivo was also present, along with a group of students from Renaissance High School.This was such an amazing experience for all!
Please join us on Friday, March 24, 2023 from 5 p.m.- 7 p.m. to provide input on the Isbell Middle School construction project. We would like for you to share any ideas you may have regarding the design and construction. This is also a great opportunity to ask questions you may have regarding the project.
The meeting will take place at the Santa Paula Community Center located on the corner of where Steckel Dr. and Main St. intersect. Light refreshments will be provided.
We are also seeking feedback from you via the survey found at the link below or by scanning the QR code located on the flyer.
English survey link:
Spanish survey link:
✨Get to know SPUSD!
We would like to share some information about Mrs. Cynthia Carrillo, SPUSD Executive Director of Classified Human Resources.
Mrs. Carrillo first started working in the Santa Paula Unified School District in August 2020, as the Executive Director of Classified Human Resources. She has worked in public education for over 25 years in both merit and non-merit school districts, community college districts and county offices of education. She has served in human resources management roles for over 20 years and has served in the role of a director in human resources for 15 years.
She has a wealth of experience as a human resource professional in public education. She has successfully managed all facets of human resources including recruitment and selection of all employee types, classified and certificated negotiations, contract administration, employee leaves, workers’ compensation, employee discipline (progressive discipline), professional development, job analysis, and classification/compensation studies.
Mrs. Carrillo holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and an MBA in Management and Strategy.
She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors (President-Elect) for the CASBO Southern Section, she is the State Chair for the CASBO Human Resources Professional Council, and previously served as a training director for the California School Personnel Commission Association (CSPCA) for three years.
When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, six children, and her precious granddaughter, Hannah. She enjoys gardening, planning parties, short stories, and watching documentaries. She dreams of spending more time at the beach and planning hikes with her family.
Dear SPUSD Community,
This is a notification to all in the SPHS community that school will resume tomorrow, Friday, March 3, 2023. Thank you for your understanding in this matter as we made decisions in the best interest of student and staff safety.
After a thorough inspection, the civil engineering consultants, including a geotechnical engineer, underground utility contractor and City officials, it has been determined that school may resume and they believe there is no threat to the school buildings based on their assessment. The existing storm drainage pipe failure on N. Sixth St. has been repaired with soil material replacing the area that was eroded by storm water. At this time, N. Sixth St. continues to be repaired and the estimated completion date is unknown.
In anticipation of heavy traffic, we strongly recommend that you arrive early for parking or student-drop-off. Please account for this when parking or dropping off students. Below is information regarding closure of N. Sixth St., available parking & accessible routes. We encourage carpooling and walking to school to prevent a traffic build-up. Using surrounding areas to drop students off will help to alleviate any traffic congestion on Santa Paula St. Please be safe when dropping off students by pulling over and not double parking.
CLOSURE: North Sixth St., between Pleasant St. and Virginia Terrace. SPPD are controlling access. There is NO PARKING above Pleasant St. Residents are able to access by walking to their homes after parking below Pleasant St.
PARKING: For staff, the science/tech parking lot & Palm Court parking lot will be accessible to students and staff.
*Fifth St.to Virginia Terrace - will be open to through traffic.
*Palm Court drop off
*Pleasant St. & lower part of N. Sixth St. (Upper N. Sixth St. is closed)
*Santa Barbara St. & 5th St. is a safe drop off zone
*Santa Paula St. & 7th St. is a safe drop off zone
We look forward to seeing students and staff return to school. Thank you to all of
Emergency agencies, including Ventura Co. Fire Department (VCFD) & VCFD Urban Search & Rescue, Santa Paula Police Dept. (SPPD), Santa Paula Public Works, City of Santa Paula officials and companies who worked through the night to stabilize N. Sixth St. and ensure the safety of us all and our school buildings.
Jeffrey Weinstein, Superintendent
On Friday, February 24, 2023, the SPHS Jazz Ensemble participated in the Western States Jazz Festival, which was hosted by Upland High School. The competitive festival featured performances from elementary to collegiate jazz ensembles.
There were live performances from many groups including some from CSU Long Beach, Azusa Pacific University, and Riverside City College.
At the end of the day, the SPHS students placed 2nd in their division out of 4 schools and received an "Excellent" rating from 3 adjudicators. The students had a great performance and were fortunate enough to have an extended clinic (nearly 50 minutes) with professional trumpet musician and Bach performing artist, Jeff Bunnell.
In early February 2023, the Ventura Section FFA Public Speaking Contest was hosted at Santa Paula High School.
There were over 70 students from five different high school programs present: Camarillo, Fillmore, Ventura, Carpinteria, and Santa Paula.
Many students will now be competing at the Regional FFA Finals on March 9-10 at King City High School in King City, CA. There are three students who will be running for Regional FFA Officer positions which if elected, they will serve as Regional FFA Leaders from San Jose to Los Angeles. Those students are: Priscila Perez, Angel Tinajero, and Jazmin Guevara.
Here are the results from the contest:
FFA Extemporaneous Public Speaking
1st Place: Jazmin Guevara- Santa Paula
2nd Place: Robin Fernandez- Santa Paula
3rd Place Angel Tinjero- Santa Paula
FFA Prepared Public Speaking
2nd Place: Aaliyah Kendricks- Santa Paula
1st Place: Jill Fausset- Santa Paula
2nd Place: Analiz Arroyo- Santa Paula
3rd Place: Amaris Fregoso- Santa Paula
5th Place: Brayan Rocha- Santa Paula
6th Place: Kamila Gomez- Santa Paula
Aliana Espinosa- Santa Paula
FFA Job Interview
3rd Place: Yazmin Magana- Santa Paula
5th Place: Priscila Perez- Santa Paula
Isaac Opolka- Santa Paula
Jeffrey Magana- Santa Paula
Daniel Magana- Santa Paula
Samantha Ivanaez- Santa Paula
Natalie Estrada- Santa Paula
3rd Place: Joann Christnesen- Santa Paula
Layla McLemore- Santa Paula
Diana Zizumbo- Santa Paula
Sofia Manzano- Santa Paula
Carlos Pulido- Santa Paula
Isbell Middle School is hosting a monthly four-part parent informational series that begins in February and ends in May.
Parent University is a 4-part series open to all SPUSD parents/guardians aimed to help them best support their student(s). The series will focus on vaping and drug awareness, mental health, college and careers, and social media.
Please reference the flyers above to learn more about Parent University. All presentations will be given in English and Spanish.
Please park on 4th St. and plan to enter through the main office.
We hope you can join us!
Thelma Bedell Elementary students attended a College and Career Fair at their school on Friday, February 17, 2022 and many left feeling very inspired.Students in grades 3-5 spoke with various invited guests, which included representatives from colleges and many professions, including law enforcement, the trade industry, information technology, firefighting, and more!Thank you to all of the guests who came to show our students the many great options they have for their bright futures. It's never too early to start thinking about college and career readiness!
✨Get to know SPUSD!
We would like to share some information about Mr. Jeff Argend, SPUSD Director of Maintenance and Operations.
Mr. Argend comes from a family who has a long history in the Fillmore, Santa Paula, and Ventura area. His family moved here in the late 1800s and many relatives worked in the oil and farming industry and remained in the area until their passing.
Mr. Argend’s career began in the marble and granite industry where he was president of Argend Enterprises, Inc. and the company’s first big project was working on the Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas. During this time, he was also teaching at night as an associate professor at Azusa Pacific University. He has been working here at SPUSD for the last 9 years. He has previously worked here as the SPUSD Risk and Safety Manager and for the past year as the SPUSD Director of Maintenance and Operations.
His educational background is as follows:
- Attended Buena H.S. and played varsity basketball.
- Received a pilot's license at the Santa Paula Airport (Tom Moore and Michael Dewey were his instructors).
- Attended a business program at VC and was a basketball player there.
-Attended the UNLV Economics program and earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He also played basketball there.
-Earned his contractor’s license in CA.
- Earned a Master’s Degree in Education degree from APU.
Mr. Argend’s spare time is filled with spending time with his family. His wife, Louise, is a retired teacher from the Rio District. His daughter, Ariana, works in the pharmaceutical field. His other daughter, Alisa, is a teacher and coach. His family recently welcomed a new grandchild, Jackson.
He has enjoyed coaching and playing basketball and also enjoys water polo, camping, fishing, playing golf, and traveling.
He looks forward to his continued service to SPUSD as a director. He feels that working for SPUSD and all the people here is an absolute pleasure. He hopes and prays that he can make an impact on improving the wellbeing of all who work in and serve this district.
Mr. Argend always remembers why we are all here and notes that everything we do is for the children that attend our schools.
The California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) has partnered with the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to share important information with families in Spanish about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other helpful programs. The virtual workshop will take place on February 18th from 10-11:30 a.m.
To register: bit.ly/3XwsIco
Save the date! Please join us in the first of many coming opportunities to provide input on the Isbell Middle School construction project. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2023 from 5-7 p.m. at Isbell Middle School in the cafeteria. We hope you can join us!
We are also seeking feedback from you via the survey found at the link below:
English survey link: bit.ly/3XmRcow
Spanish survey link: bit.ly/3Iiclfv
The Ventura County Office of Education conducts a countywide contest for students to create logos for various academic competitions. Santa Paula High School student, Sam Moreno, created a logo for the Ventura County Science Fair 2023 and was selected as the winner! Congratulations!