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SMJUHSD Student Services will be upgraded with a new administrative position and two assistant principals.

Former SMHS Assistant Principal of Student Affairs Pete Flores will serve as the new Director of Student Services. Ernest Righetti High School’s Assistant Principal of Guidance and Counseling is Floyd Eugene “Gene” Rickman, while Ivan Diaz takes over as Santa Maria High School’s Assistant Principal of Student Affairs.

The focus of the position for Flores is resolving student discipline issues, attendance, alternative education programs, safety and committee, community and SARB outreach. Flores joined the district in the summer of 2010.

“I have come to realize that my high school and life experience is not the same as the students,’’ Flores said. “Though I do try to use my personal experiences to figure out how to best hold students accountable for their actions, while simultaneously motivating and inspiring them to do better. Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’’

Rickman, who replaces retired Assistant Principal Dave Hutton, has been an educator for 23 years including eight as an administrator. Rickman previously was the Lakeview Junior High School Vice Principal for the Orcutt Union School District.

“I am excited about this opportunity to work with the Righetti community and make a positive impact,’’ Rickman said.

Diaz began teaching in 1991 and been an administrator since 2008, spending the lion’s share of that time with the Kern High School District at Mira Monte High School. He’s also coached football and track for about 20 years. Diaz’s last position was Assistant Principal of Administration with KHSD. Diaz fills the vacancy left by Flores.

“It’s an honor to be part of the Saints family and I can’t wait to get started,’’ Diaz said. “The value of education and working hard produces positive results.’’

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.