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SMMUSD Board of Education

Mission Statement

Extraordinary achievement for all while simultaneously closing the achievement gap.

Vision Statement

As a community of learners, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District works together in a nurturing environment to help students be visionary, versatile thinkers; resourceful, life-long learners; effective, multilingual communicators and global citizens.  We are a rich, culturally diverse community that values the contributions of all its members and strives to promote social justice.  We exist to assist all students in their pursuit of academic achievement, strength of character, and personal growth, and to support them in their exploration of the intellectual, artistic, technological, physical and social expression.

Contact the Board of Education at or their individual email addresses:

Oscar de la Torre Craig Foster Jon Kean Maria Leon-Vazquez
Oscar de la Torre
Craig Foster
Jon Kean
Vice President
Maria Leon-Vazquez
Laurie Lieberman Ralph Mechur DR. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein
Laurie Lieberman
Ralph Mechur
Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein

Public Comments at Board of Education meetings:

Meetings are generally held the first and third Thursday of each month starting at 5:30pm at either the SMMUSD offices located at 1651 16th Street, Santa Monica (just north of Olympic Blvd. on 16th Street across from Memorial Park) or the Malibu City Hall located at 23825 Stuart Ranch Road  Malibu, CA 90265.
Meeting agendas are posted online at the Friday prior to the scheduled meeting.
- The public may request to speak regarding an item that is scheduled for that meeting by submitting a “Request to Address” card (commonly known as a 'chit') prior to discussion of that item.
- The public may also request to speak on general topics (items that are not scheduled on that meeting’s agenda) during the Public Comment segment of the meeting.  This is generally held earlier in the meeting. To speak during the Public Comments section, you must submit a "Request to Address" card at the beginning of the meeting.
"Request to Address" cards, printed in both Spanish and English, are located with meeting materials just outside the board meeting room. Completed cards should be submitted to the Recording Secretary sitting next to the Superintendent (this is usually Sarah Wahrenbrock, Assistant to the Superintendent).
Public comments at board meetings, both to agenda items & general topics, are generally limited to 2-3 minutes in length, depending on how many members of the public wish to speak at the meeting.



Oscar de la Torre
December 2022

Craig Foster December 2022
Jon Kean December 2020

Maria Leon-Vazquez
December 2020

Laurie Lieberman December 2022

Ralph Mechur December 2020
Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein December 2022

Kimya Afshar
Malibu High School
June 2018

Aidan Blain
Santa Monica High School
June 2018

Olympic High School
June 2018


Dr. Ben Drati, Secretary of the Board of Education

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
1651 16th Street
Santa Monica, California 90404