Filling a Vacancy on the Board of Education

  • UPDATE: At its regular meeting on January 14, 2021, the Board of Education appointed Mr. Keith Coleman to fill this board vacancy. Read the appointment news release.

    On November 3, 2020, Mr. Oscar de la Torre was elected to fill an open seat on the Santa Monica City Council, leaving a vacancy on the Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education.

    Mr. de la Torre was first elected to the board in November 2002 and was reelected in November 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018.  The Board of Education will undergo the appointment to bring a new member on the board to serve out the remainder of Mr. de la Torre's term, which expires in December 2022.  The person selected for this appoint can, if they choose and continue to meet the eligibility requirements, run for the full four-year open seat in the November 2022 election.

    To be eligible to serve on the board, a person must be (as per Education Code 35107):

    • 18 years of age or older
    • A citizen of the state
    • A resident of the school distirct
    • A registered voter
    • Not disqualified by the Constitution or laws of the state from holding a civil office

    The eligiblity of an applicant will not be based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, ehtnic group identification, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or genetic information. SMMUSD employees may apply and if appointed, must resign as an employee prior to being sworn into office.

    Members of the public who meet the eligibilty requirements are encouraged to apply.  



    Applications Received

    Note: The Board of Education subcommittee has reviewed the applications for eligibility.

    Completed applications were submitted to the Superintendent's Office by December 17, 2020.  During winter break, a subcommittee of the Board of Education - consisting of no more than three seated board members - will review the applications for eligibility (based on Education and Government Codes).  When the second semseter begins in January 2021, the board subcommittee will inform the Superintendent's Office which applicants meet the eligibility criteria. The Superintendnet will invite those applications to participant in the interview process, which will take place at the regularly scheduled board meeting on January 14, 2021.

    The interview process, deliberations, and final appointment will all occur during open session at the January 14, 2021, board meeting, which will be held via Zoom.  The agenda for this regular meeting will be posted online by January 8, 2021, at

    Members of the public with questions regarding this appointment process are encouraged to contact the Superintendent's Office at

    On January 5, 2021, Dr. Drati sent a letter to the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) regarding the incompatibility of Mr. de la Torre holding his former school board seat and new city council seat simultaneously.