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Board of Education

School Board Overview

The Governing Board is comprised of five elected representatives (called Trustees) for the community. Working as a team, the Board provides big-picture visionary leadership and establishes the framework and vision for all District work by adopting fair and responsible policies, procedures, budgets, and goals that guide District operations.  The Board provides leadership on educational issues to the community and fosters an environment within the District where excellence can be attained. The Vista community elects the Board members from five Trustee Areas (see map) , a process that began in 2012. 

About the School Board of Education  

A school board member (called a trustee) is elected to a four year term by the community members within the trustee area. The Vista Unified School District boundaries span three cities (Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos) because the district was created prior to the cities. Each trustee area includes a portion of the registered voters. Board members are residents of the school district they serve. While the board members are elected by trustee area, their charge is to represent the entire community. The five members of the board of education are charged with setting the vision, values, goals, budget, and policies for the district. The Superintendent is charged with implementing the direction of the board and running the daily actions of the school district. 

School Board Meetings 

The five member board is required to complete their business in meetings open to the public based on the regulations set by the Brown Act 2003. The purpose of this set of regulations is to ensure that the public can observe the board in action and address the board on topics related to education. Regular board meetings are scheduled one time a month. The meeting is broken into two sections. The first is called “Closed Session.” This portion of the meeting is closed to the public because it addresses confidential topics related to negotiations, legal matters, and employment. The second is called “Open Session.” This portion of the meeting is open to the public and follows a detailed agenda with a large variety of topics related to implementing educational programs for students across the district.  

With a few exceptions, regular board meetings are held on Thursdays, with closed session starting at 5:00 p.m. and open session starting at 6:00 p.m.  From time to time, the board will hold a special board meeting to address a particular topic or set of topics that may need more attention. The board also holds periodic workshops to talk more informally about projects or topics that require a greater degree of attention or analysis. Regardless of the type of meeting, all board agendas are posted to the website prior to the meeting so that the members of the public can review and determine if they wish to attend. All regular board meetings are also made available through Live Streaming for members of the community who are unable to attend in person. The digital link to the live stream meeting is posted to the website one day prior to the meeting. 

Community Member Engagement

The school board trustees work as a unified team to represent the community. As such, we encourage all members of the community to participate in board meetings. All regular board meeting agendas are published 72 hours in advance of the meeting date so that community members have the ability to review the topics and have sufficient time to attend a meeting.   You can watch the regular meetings virtually or attend in person. Members of the public can even address the board with information, ideas, or concerns. Any member of the public can request a “Hold Card” prior to the start of the meeting to address the board on a topic that is not on the agenda or identify a particular topic on the agenda that is of interest It is important to note that if you want to address the board, you need to attend the meeting in person.  Please visit the website and click on the "Meetings and Agenda" tab to access agendas and the Live Stream links to watch the virtual meeting. All meetings are held in the Board Room at the District Office at 1234 Arcadia Ave. Vista, CA 92084. 

Board Participation in Committees

Vista Unified is committed to engaging students, families, staff, and community members in on-going dialogue and feedback to ensure the continuous improvement of programs, support, and facilities. There are a variety of district level committees and councils used to actively engage community leaders consistently throughout the year. Board members often attend these meetings in a liaison capacity and report back to their fellow trustees periodically during the school year. The board develops a Committee List annually with one to two members assigned to listen and observe the great work of each committee team.   

2023 Board Officers

Martha Alvarado

Julie Kelly

Rena Marrocco

Rosemary Smithfield

Cipriano Vargas

2023 Board Officers


Marth Alvarado 2023


Julie Kelly picture

Board Committee List

View the list of committees board members are serving on as observers

Board Committee List