Monterey County Board of Education

Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success

Dr. Deneen Guss, County Superintendent of Schools

County Board

Photo of current board members of Monterey County Board of Education

Board Meeting Schedule for 2021

The Monterey County Board of Education is comprised of seven members who represent individual Trustee Areas of the county. Each member is elected by the voters of his or her Trustee Area and serves a four-year term. The Board supports and guides the Monterey County Office of Education in providing leadership and services to the school districts.

What We Do

The primary responsibilities of the Monterey County Board of Education are to work with the Monterey County Superintendent of Schools to establish the direction and priorities for the Monterey County Office of Education through its budgetary determinations and to provide leadership to support the success of public education.


Collaborate with the county superintendent of schools so that the shared vision, goals and policies of the county office of education can be implemented. Adopt, evaluate and update policies consistent with law and the county board's vision and goals. Maintain a cooperative and supportive working relationship with local school districts, their school boards and the community. Provide community leadership on educational issues and advocate on behalf of students and public education at the local, state and federal levels. Fill by appointment any vacancy that occurs during the elected term of the county superintendent of schools.


Adopt the annual budget and review interim fiscal reports of the county superintendent of schools. Authorize changes to the budget during the fiscal year. Establish the salary of the county superintendent. Review and accept the professional annual accounting audit of the county school's expenditures and financial record keeping. Acquire or dispose of real property as necessary for the county's educational programs. Contract with and employ any persons for special services and advice in financial, economic, accounting, engineering, legal, or administrative matters. Approve contracts for equipment and construction, maintenance or leasing of classroom or office facilities.


Approve the curriculum and maintain accountability for student learning in schools and programs operated by the county office of education. Adopt policies to ensure that a safe and appropriate educational environment is provided for all the students of the county office of education.


Conduct hearings on student expulsion appeals and denied interdistrict transfers. Serve as the County Committee on School District Organization by overseeing the reorganization of school districts through territory transfers or unification and the establishment or rearrangement of governing board trustee areas in the school districts of the county. Conduct public hearings when appropriate.

Charter Schools

Grant reviews, if requested, of petitions to establish a charter school if the district school board denies the original petition request. Evaluate petition requests to establish a charter school that will serve pupils for whom the county office of education is responsible. Provide supervisory oversight for any charter school whose petition was accepted by the county office of education.

Our Philosophy

We, the Members of the Monterey County Office of Education, must do everything measured by the following standards:

  • We must make every decision in consideration of the children and the public schools that serve them.
  • We must be passionate in our commitment to excellence-excellence in education; excellence in teaching; excellence in administration; excellence in governance.
  • We must conduct ourselves with dignity and civility.
  • We must never allow political partisanship to shape our agenda.
  • We must continue to represent and serve all of our constituents-county schools, urban districts, suburban districts, rural districts, small districts.
  • We must embrace, value and celebrate the diversity of our county's residents.
  • Therefore, We resolve to support the Mission of the Monterey County Office of Education.

How We Function

In California's public education system, a trustee is a person elected or appointed to serve on a board of education. Individual board members bring unique skills, values and beliefs to the County Board of Education. In order to govern effectively, individual board members must work with each other and the superintendent to ensure that a high quality education is provided to each student.

To be effective, an individual board member:

  • Keeps learning, and achievement for all students as the primary focus.
  • Values, supports and advocates for public education.
  • Recognizes and respects differences of perspective and style on the board and among staff, students, parents, and the community.
  • Acts with dignity, and understands the implications of demeanor and behavior.
  • Keeps confidential matters confidential.
  • Participates in professional development and commits the time and energy necessary to be an informed and effective leader.
  • Understands the distinctions between board, superintendent and staff roles, and refrains from performing management functions that are the responsibility of the superintendent and staff.
  • Understands that authority rests with the board as a whole and not with individual board members.

K-12 School Board Best Practices

The Monterey County Board of Education believes California K-12 schools are public institutions that belong to the communities they serve. Responsibility for their fiscal health and effectiveness is granted to locally elected boards. To fulfill these responsibilities, boards must have maximum autonomy and flexibility. The California School Boards Association provides professional guidance, training and resources to school board members to build strong governance teams. For more information, visit the California School Boards Association's Effective Governance webpage.

Roles and Responsibilities

Citizen oversight of local government is the cornerstone of democracy in the United States. School board members are locally elected public officials entrusted with governing a community’s public schools. The role of the school board is to ensure that school districts are responsive to the values, beliefs and priorities of their communities. Boards fulfill this role by performing five major responsibilities:

  • Setting direction
  • Establishing an effective and efficient structure
  • Providing support
  • Ensuring accountability
  • Providing community leadership as advocates for children, the school district and public schools

For more information about roles and responsibilities of school boards, please visit the California School Boards Association's Role and Responsibilities webpage.


Dr. Deneen Guss

County Superintendent
Phone: 831.784.4244

Cindy Dunn

Assistant to the County Superintendent
Phone: 831.784.4244

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