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Dr. Darren McDuffie

August 2023

Dear Students, Parents, and Staff,

Welcome back to another exciting school year here at Santa Maria-Bonita School District.  I hope this message finds you all in good health and high spirits. As your school superintendent, I am thrilled to embark on another year of excellence, growth, and achievement for our young people.

Our primary focus this year is to continue the work of our new strategic plan. This strategic plan began February of 2023 when a Planning Team of 25 members representing the Santa Maria-Bonita School District and Santa Maria community gathered to develop a Strategic Plan intended to transform our school District in order to achieve an extraordinary purpose!  The collective voice of administrators, teachers, classified staff, students, parents, and members of the community produced a plan anchored in unity and innovation, guided by a set of beliefs, mission, objectives, strategies, and parameters. 

Our mission is to ensure every student flourishes by discovering their passion and purpose, exercising self-determination and developing the skills to reach their maximum potential. We will do this through creating:

  • a whole child approach

  • an inclusive environment

  • community and family engagement

  • transformational innovation

  • and highly effective staff

This fall, we will create Action Teams who will develop Action Plans under each of our strategies. You will be hearing more and more about our Strategic Plan and may be asked to join an Action Team.   

We plan to redesign our logo and District website this year. We look at designing a logo that reflects more of our identity as a school community.  Our website will be designed to be more user friendly so that important information is more easily accessible to all of you. The website will be an important tool to increase communication.  

Our dedicated staff have been working diligently to get our schools ready for the 2023-2024 school year. They have replaced playground equipment at many of our schools and added air conditioning at one school.  Many of the grass playfields are getting an overhaul. Our dedicated teachers are back to develop innovative instructional practices, incorporating technology and personalized learning experiences that meet the needs of all our students. We will continue to foster a love for learning, critical thinking, and creativity, preparing our students for success in an ever-changing world.

Parents, your involvement and support are vital to the success of our students. I encourage you to maintain open lines of communication with your child's teachers and stay actively engaged in their education. Together, we can make a significant impact on their growth and development.  We have to do this together.

Finally, to our students, I want to remind you that you are the heart and soul of our school District. Each one of you brings unique talents, abilities, and perspectives that enrich our educational community. Embrace the opportunities that lie ahead, set ambitious goals, and believe in yourselves. As I mentioned before, our mission is that every one of you will flourish by discovering your passion and purpose, exercising self-determination, and developing the skills to reach your maximum potential.

I am genuinely excited to witness the achievements and milestones that this school year will bring. Let us make this a year filled with outstanding accomplishments, cherished memories, and remarkable growth. Together, we will make a difference!

Welcome back, and let's make it a fantastic school year!


Darren McDuffie, Ed.D

School Superintendent

Darren McDuffie Ed.D.


Maggie White

Public Information Officer

Kristyn Cornejo

Executive Secretary

Elisabeth Flores

Executive Liaison to the Superintendent