AUSB honors the life of AUSB alum and long-time community leader Margaret “Maggie” L. Espinoza and her service to Santa Barbara county. Maggie, a resident of Guadelupe, CA, passed away February 13, 2014, at the age of 64.
This year marked Maggie’s fortieth year of service with the Community Action Commission (CAC), a nonprofit that works to create opportunities for low-income Santa Barbara County families to achieve stability. A few years after graduating Righetti High School in 1967, Maggie began working as a bus driver and parental aide with the CAC Head Start Program. Her involvement continued to increase and eventually she became the CAC Head Start Regional Manager for North County. She oversaw the development of many new services in Santa Maria, Guadalupe, and Cuyama, and instituted several vital programs. Maggie was also sought out on a national level to monitor other Head Start programs. In 2009, she was awarded Administrator of the Year by the California Head Start Association.
Also in 2009, at age 60, she graduated from AUSB with a BA in Liberal Studies, an achievement which was her self-proclaimed “greatest goal.” She was part of our first cohort of students from North County and continued to be instrumental in encouraging her Head Start teachers to take advantage of the program and funds provided by First Five and Antioch to complete their BA.
Many have called her a community hero, and rightfully so. We are inspired by her example of service and the difference she made in the lives of children and families.
Our deepest condolences go out to Maggie’s husband of forty-four years, Raymond Espinoza; their four children; nine grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren.
For more about Maggie’s commitment to the CAC, visit their Facebook page.