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Monday, June 24, 2024

News & Updates

VUSD News & Updates

Ventura Unified School District Employees Honored - Monday, February 14, 2022


Ventura Unified School District Employees Honored

Dr. Roger Rice, Superintendent of the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) has been awarded the 2022 Superintendent of the Year Award by Region 13 of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). In addition, Dr. Soledad Molinar, VUSD’s Director of Multilingual & Multicultural Education is being honored with the 2022 Valuing Diversity Award, and Dr. Lorelle Dawes, Principal of Cabrillo Middle School is being awarded the 2022 Middle Grades Principal of the Year both by ACSA’s Region 13. Last but certainly not least, VUSD’s Director of Risk Management, Mr. Eric Reynolds is being recognized by ACSA’s North Ventura Charter as the Charter’s 2022 Central Office Administrator of the Year.  

Superintendent Rice is being honored for his unwavering passion and dedication to ensuring that all students receive the very best education and graduate college and career ready. Dr. Rice models a personal code of ethics in everything he says and does; he is known across the state for his integrity and for making difficult decisions for the benefit of students. He is known throughout the county for challenging assumptions and helping change paradigms. He holds himself and those around him to high expectations in support of a vision focused on student success and wellbeing. 

Dr. Soledad Molinar, is being recognized for her tireless efforts in ensuring that students with the greatest needs receive the most services and that schools are places where students feel safe, valued, and nurtured to thrive. Dr. Molinar is an exemplary educator who has tremendous integrity. Her deep dedication to all stakeholders is evident in her positive communications and interactions.

Dr. Lorelle Dawes is being recognized for leading her school community through a lens of equity and nurturing her middle school students emotionally, socially, and academically. She is a champion of restorative practices and promotes family-school partnerships that aim to increase the voices of historically underserved families. Dr. Dawes is an exceptional school site leader who brings innovative ideas and programs to her site and our District.

Mr. Eric Reynolds has been an exemplary leader since he started in VUSD in 2007. He has always been proactive about providing safe and healthy learning environments for our students and staff as well as overseeing everything relating to insurance, accidents, and other aspects of Risk Management. Since the pandemic started, he has been responsible for coordinating with public health, communicating with sites and every employee who showed symptoms of COVID-19, and being at the forefront of leadership through the pandemic.

“The VUSD team has worked harder than ever since the pandemic began. We want to congratulate our colleagues on their well-deserved recognition. We could not think of a more appropriate way to honor the dedication they put into their work every single day,” stated Communications Director, Marieanne Quiroz. 

ACSA Region 13 includes Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. Dr. Molinar, Dr. Dawes and Dr. Rice will receive their awards at an event to be held in Solvang in May and all three aree now in the running to receive the award at the state level.

Announcement of New Assistant Superintendent of HR - Tuesday, January 25, 2022



 VENTURA, CA, January 25, 2022- The Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) Board of Education, in their January 25, regularly scheduled Board meeting, voted to hire Ms. Gina Wolowicz as the new Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. Ms. Wolowicz will be replacing Mr. Brett Taylor, who recently resigned from his position to move to educational site-based leadership.  

Ms. Wolowicz brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will serve her well in this position. She has worked in the field of education for more than 20 years, most recently as the Director of Curriculum & Instruction- TK-5. She began her career at VUSD in 1997. She has held several key positions in the District, including interim Co-Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Principal at Juanamaria Elementary, Assistant Principal at DATA, and a bilingual teacher. 

“Her career in education has focused on rigorous, well–rounded academic and social-emotional programs that are student-centered. Ms. Wolowicz’s strength lies in her ability to build relationships with those she serves. She assists teams in successfully collaborating not just across departments within the District but also with colleagues throughout the county for the benefit of our students. I look forward to Ms. Wolowicz joining our Executive Cabinet team,” stated Dr. Roger Rice, Superintendent.

Ms. Wolowicz earned her B.A. at Loyola Marymount University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. She earned her M.A. in Educational Administration at California State University, Northridge.

Ventura Unified School District Salutes its Board of Education - Monday, January 10, 2022

Ventura Unified School District Salutes its Board of Education

The Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) is proud to join more than 1,000 local educational agencies in the state to recognize board members' contributions during School Board Recognition Month. In this time of unprecedented challenges in nearly every sector of life, board members have worked tirelessly to support student learning and social-emotional health in our District. 

"Board members are our elected representatives and a vital link between the school district and the community," said VUSD Superintendent Dr. Roger Rice. "The board sets the foundation and vision for the District, directs resources where they are most needed, and ensures accountability to the community by monitoring progress toward goals. Their end goal, of course, is to support and elevate student achievement."

During this challenging year, the VUSD Board of Education has worked with our staff to:

  • close the digital divide by providing every student with a device
  • direct resources to students most in need
  • provide healthy and safe environments for our students and staff
  • provide compelling educational programs for our all students
  • and so much more

The Ventura Unified School District Board of Education Trustees are Matt Almaraz, Sabrena Rodriguez, Velma Lomax, Jerry Dannenberg, and Amy Callahan. 

"I hope you will join me in saluting our hard-working board members for their support of our students through effective policies and their continued advocacy for more resources at the state level," said Superintendent Rice. 



Items will be sold during Shop Small Saturday in collaboration with local business.

Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) students will be selling their locally produced items in shops in downtown Ventura for Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate and support local small businesses and all they do for our community. Student-created items will be available at four shops along Main St; Betty Belts, Ecugreen, Very Ventura, and Flags and Knives.

The VUSD Career and Technical Education (CTE) department has teamed up with local merchants and the Downtown Ventura Organization to develop a pilot program that allows students to create, design, manufacture, market, and sell items starting on Shop Small Saturday. This business partnership and collaboration will be expanded in the future but currently focuses on goods created by students at DATA Middle School and Foothill Technology High School.  Fourteen local businesses have been involved in the process of developing this pilot program to assist our VUSD students bring their ideas to fruition. Those businesses include Very Ventura, Betty Belts, Ecugreen, Sea Things, Spicetopia, Findings Market, Passport Habits, Flags and Knives, C Street Apparel, Latitudes, Ventura Visitors Center, Plum, Copperfields, and B. ON MAIN.  

“Many of our high school students graduate with the technical skills needed to meet projected labor market demands in Ventura County; however, many graduate with little to no knowledge of how to leverage entrepreneurial skills in the marketplace. Entrepreneurial skills such as creativity, initiative, resiliency, management, selling ideas, and self-reflection translate to increased employability regardless of job type. These skills will better prepare them to thrive in a gig economy. We are pleased that our local community is partnering with us to provide our students with the real-world experience that is needed in today’s market,” stated Joe Bova, Career Technical Education Administrator.



Middle and high school teachers needed for new grant-funded program.


VENTURA, CA, August 26, 2021- Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) has been awarded a three year NOAA Bay-Watershed and Training Grant Award for the implementation of a new and exciting environmental science program titled 'Ventura River Action Network (V-RAN) in partnership with the MERITO Foundation and with additional support from the U.C. Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science and Ventura Water. 

The V-RAN program is an adaptation of MERITO Foundation's EECCOA program for VUSD science teachers and focuses on monitoring and restoring the Ventura River Watershed to support the removal of the Matilija Dam. This work will be done in collaboration with local and state environmental organizations. 

V-RAN will provide free professional development field training, webinars, and science curriculum and stipends to eight science teachers per school year and live and virtual environmental monitoring experiences for their 600-750 middle and high school students at Ventura River watershed and coast. The program will also include a STEM competition called 'the EECCOA Challenge' for students to design methods to reduce the environmental footprint of their school campus, with cash prizes for the authors of top projects.

The 158 foot high Matilija Dam blocks a tributary of the Ventura River about 16 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Built in 1947, the dam has outlived its usefulness, and sediment fills almost its entire reservoir. With support from state and private funding, including the Open Rivers Fund program of Resources Legacy Fund, local stakeholders are working with dam owner Ventura County Watershed Protection District to plan, design, and finance the dam's removal. The removal of the Matilija Dam will benefit the community by addressing old, out-of-date infrastructure, expanding outdoor recreation opportunities, restoring habitat for steelhead trout, and enabling needed sediment to move downstream to beaches.

VUSD is now recruiting eight middle and high school science teachers to participate in the V-RAN 2021-2022 program. For more details or information on enrolling, contact Bret Klopfenstein, VUSD Science Specialist at, or

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