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Long-time member of Santa Maria school district honored at tree-planting ceremony

Posted at 5:53 PM, May 10, 2023

A long-time member of the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District (SMJUHSD) was honored today with a tree-planting ceremony, the district said in a press release.

Dr. Carol Karamitsos, who served as a member and president on the district’s school board from 2006 to 2022, had a mini purple pony plum tree planted in honor of her contributions to the district.

“I am so appreciative of having the honor of a tree planting for my service as a school board trustee,” Dr. Karamitsos said in the release. “The promise statement of SMJUHSD, ‘Where Greatness Grows,’ encapsulates the efforts put forth by the entire organization. I feel privileged to have been a part of helping to materialize that for the students of our community. … I hope to see this tree grow greatly as it lives its life on the campus of my high school days in the care of SMJUHSD, a committed organization devoted to the students and families that it serves.”

The plum tree — unlike Dr. Karamitsos’ long career of giving back and putting others first — will be fruitless, the release said. It was planted outside room 235 at Righetti High School.

Dr. Karamitsos currently works as an OB/GYN hospitalist at Marian Regional Medical Center and as a clinical instructor for Marian’s OB/GYN residency program.

“Dr. Karamitsos was a guiding force on our school board,” Superintendent Antonio Garcia said in the press release. “Her vast experience and deep connections in the community provided stability, context, and a very important viewpoint to the board. The district is in a better place because of Carol’s dedicated service.”

Dr. Carol graduated from Righetti High School in 1981 as valedictorian, the release said. She “was active in cross country, track, multiple clubs, and ASB student government,” it said.