Express to Success advisor appointed to school board

Ismael+Ulloa%2C+new+board+of+trustees+member%2C+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+9%2C+at+City+College.+Ismael+will+be+replacing+Monique+Lim%C3%B3n+on+the+Board.

BRAYDON RUSSELL

Ismael Ulloa, new board of trustees member, on Thursday, Feb. 9, at City College. Ismael will be replacing Monique Limón on the Board.

Kathyvan Tran, Features Editor

Express to Success advisor Ismael Ulloa has attended school at nearly every institution available in Santa Barbara, so it made sense for him to be giving back to the education community.

Ulloa was selected to serve on the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education in January to fill the seat vacated by Monique Limon after she was elected as to represent the 37th Assembly District in the California State Assembly. Ulloa will complete the remainder of Limon’s term, which ends in Dec. 2018.

“My drive has always been … the knowledge that education is the great equalizer,” Ulloa said. “I want my legacy to be of education equity, period.”

Ulloa, the middle child of Mexican immigrant parents, comes from a low-income Latino family background. As a first-generation, he was one of the first in his family to go to college.

Sociology major Denise Lazaro Gonzalez, who works as support staff for express to success, said she thinks it’s important that Ulloa is on the board because of his cultural background.

“We need diversity, someone with different opinions and ideas,” she said.

Being a local, Ulloa attended Santa Barbara area primary schools, Santa Barbara Junior High and Santa Barbara High School. He also attended City College, UCSB and Antioch University, the latter of which he received his master’s in education from.

“He’s definitely the right fit for the job, especially since he’s a local graduate,” academic success counselor Andrew Gil said. “He understands the population. He’s also caught up and well-read on local policy and board.”

Board president Kate Parker said she selected Ulloa out of a total of 17 applicants and 11 interviewees since he had gone through the local school system and is currently working with students. Ulloa participated in his first board meeting exactly one day after receiving the news of his appointment.

“We wanted someone to hit the ground really fast,” Parker said in a phone interview. “I was really impressed with the way he started off.”

Ulloa, who has worked as the advisor for Express to Success since Nov. 2015, said the program aims to help students who have assessed at lower levels in math and English get up to speed in these two subjects. He said his position of working with progressing students at City College, many of whom went through the district themselves, can help him to address remediation within the district to help prepare students for when they go off to college.

“He knows what students are missing and what the schools are lacking and what they need to provide to achieve equity,” said sociology and Spanish major Alondra Lazaro Gonzalez, who also works as express to success support staff.

Prior to working at City College, Ulloa served as the director of California Student Opportunity & Access Program (Cal-SOAP) for five years. He also currently serves on the board for Future Leaders of America.

“He has a lot of experience,” Lazaro Gonzalez said. “I know he will make a difference being on the board.”