Bill Cirone, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools

Bill Cirone's photo
Bill Cirone has a long track record of leadership in education, business, and civic affairs. First elected to his position in 1982, he is in his ninth four-year term and is the longest-serving county superintendent in California. He has also worked as a teacher, an administrator and an executive in the private sector.

Bill has chaired the California Arts Task Force, the National Community Education Association, the National Teachers Network, and the California Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT). He also served on the board of the Santa Barbara Foundation for nine years, including two years as the board chairman. He is a member of the boards of the National Center for Learning and Citizenship (past chairman), the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation (chairman), First 5 Commission of Santa Barbara County (chairman), the Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Fighting Back Task Force (co-chair), and KDB FM classical music radio station in Santa Barbara (past chairman).

He has received numerous awards for his service and achievements, including the Santa Barbara Foundation Man of the Year Award, the Anti-Defamation League Distinguished Community Service Award, Santa Barbara News-Press Lifetime Achievement Award, Santa Barbara Public Servant of the Year Award, Community Action Commission Champions and Lifetime Achievement Awards, Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Outstanding County Superintendent Award, the Wildlife Sanctuary Community Service Award, the Rotary International Paul Harris Service Award, the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Ferd. J. Kiesel Memorial Award for Distinguished Service, and the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission Leni Fé Bland Distinguished Service Award. He was also the first superintendent to receive the California State PTA Honorary Service Award.

The driving philosophy behind all of Bill’s educational accomplishments is his deep-rooted belief that all children can learn.

He also believes that community service and service-learning are a critical means for helping students achieve “civic literacy” — the knowledge, skills and disposition needed to be productive citizens in our democratic society.

Bill works in partnership with the print and electronic media to provide the public with a mix of commentaries about education issues and parenting tips. He contributes op-ed columns twice a month to all newspapers in the county, provides daily and weekly commentaries for several radio stations, and hosts four television shows.

Bill champions teachers and the daily miracles they perform in our classrooms. He writes: “If our students are our future as a community and a society, then teachers are the unsung heroes and heroines who mold the future through their skills, their wiles, and their daily feats.”