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More than 150 Santa Maria Joint Union High School District students will hone their leadership skills during a conference on Monday, September 21.

The gathering, which is presented by the California Association of Directors of Activities and the California Association of Student Leaders, will be held inside the San Luis Obispo Adult School. Pioneer Valley, Santa Maria and Righetti High School students are participating.

The day’s activities will include motivational speakers, workshops to develop leadership skills, and ways to connect to others on campus.

“It’s important for us to grow as leaders and get new ideas for events on campus,’’ said Natalie Ramirez, the PVHS Student Commissioner of Dance and Entertainment. “We are going to learn a lot of new and useful things.’’

The conference is one way the SMJUHSD’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) is helping student engagement and keeping students involved in school. This year, the district decided to fully fund all athletic programs. The revenue generated by sports now goes to ASB (Associated Student Body) activities. It’s being spent on leadership, dances, clubs, trips and other related events, reducing the need and time for fundraising.

“This is just one of the ways our increased funding is increasing student involvement,’’ said PVHS Activity Director Lisa Walters. “By training student leaders, we motivate them to work to connect other students to school – and future success.’’.

Research after research shows that when students are connected to their school, “they do better academically and stay in school,’’ said Superintendent Dr. Mark Richardson.

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.