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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

Santa Barbara Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Ricardo Sisto Cota

Ricardo Sisto Cota

Middle School Teacher
9,067 votes (7.22%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Making decisions that benefit students
  • School safety and social/emotional well being of our students
  • Ensuring all students are TRULY college and career ready



Profession:Middle School Teacher
History Teacher, Santa Paula Unified School District (2013–current)
Director, Los Posas Children's Center (2008–2013)
Sergeant, US Army 82nd Airborne Division (2004–2008)


Califonia Lutheran University MA, Educational Leadership (2018)
Cal State University, Channel Islands BA, History and Chicano Studies (2012)
Ventura College AA, Liberal Studies (2009)


Hello, I am Ricardo Cota, and I thank you for this opportunity to address all of you and let you know my qualifications for the job. I have been in the education field over ten years. I started as an after school counselor and eventually became a director. For the last six years, I have been teaching middle school in Santa Paula and have taught the core subjects of math, language arts, science, and my current assignment, history.


During this time I have served on the district LCAP committee as well as the school site committee. Additionally, I have also been overseeing the SPARC program at my district which provides additional afterschool support to migrant students. During this time, I have created after school clubs that not only promote higher education but has given many many students a sense of belonging.


My education includes a BA in History from Cal St. Channel Islands, a Multiple subject credential, and recently I received a Masters in Educational Leadership from Cal Lutheran University along with an administrative credential.


After the events of 9/11, I decided to serve our country by joining the Army. I served for 4 years with 82nd Airborne and attained the rank of sergeant. During this time, I gained invaluable leadership experience during my 3 tours overseas.


Now, I want to continue to serve my community in Santa Barbara. Although I don’t have children of my own currently attending SBUSD, my wife and I are eager to start our family and we know that very soon our future children will be attending a school here in the SBUSD.


The extraordinary events that affected our community last school year, highlighted some areas of weakness in our community and I am excited to get involved and meaningfully collaborate with the Santa Barbara Unified School District in order to meet our students’ needs. ...and that is why I have decided to run for school board.


For this reason, if elected, my top priorities are School Safety, closing the achievement gap of our most marginalized students, making sure our students are college and career ready and ensuring our students social/emotional needs are met. I look forward to listening and working with all stakeholders in the district as I am here to serve you. I promise to make decisions based on what is best for students. As an educator, I have seen how decisions are made that benefit adults, and not our students.


I look forward to serving the community of Santa Barbara as a school board member and being a voice for all students and ensuring that they are receiving the best instruction and support needed to be ready for a higher education in the 21st century.


My passion in life is working with students and their families. I know that if you elect me you won’t find anybody that will have the passion nor the work ethic. Don’t forget, Cota is here to serve YOU!

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Planned Parenthood

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I do not belong to any political parties and am an independent voter. I tend to be socially liberal and financially conservative. 

Candidate Contact Info

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