top of page
Home: Why I'm Running


Vista public schools changed my life. They allowed me, the child of parents with only an elementary-level education, to become the first in my family to graduate from a four-year university. Not only did I ultimately obtain a college degree, but I entered the workforce as a Kindergarten teacher in the urban core of San Antonio, Texas. I knew I could make a difference in my classroom every day, and I continue to dedicate myself to public education today. 


Now in 2020, I am running for re-election to the Vista Unified School Board to continue to serve the community that has provided me with a backbone of success. As a student graduate of  VUSD, I had teachers who believed in my potential as a student. I also had access to essential school programs that grew my leadership skills and expanded the vision of the future I had for myself. As a student, I was fortunate to receive critical opportunities and mentorships that allowed me to thrive. Because of all of this support, I chose to mentor students during college, so that they too could have someone in their lives who believed in their potential. 


As a current Vista Unified School Board Member, we are amplifying the voices of our students and maximize our impact as a district. We opened the first dual-language program at Grapevine Elementary in the fall of 2018.  We have increased the number of students enrolled in early childhood programs by more than 20% since 2016.The graduating class of 2019 received more than $6.6 million in scholarship funding. And thanks to your support, we passed Measure LL to improve our school facilities. 


We are doing all of this important work, even in the face of budget cuts and continued state and federal underinvestment in education. While we navigate this pandemic and the challenges coming our way, I will continue to fight for our students. They deserve it.


I am asking for your vote and support on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. I am confident that together, as a community, we can and will give all of our students the tools they need to thrive.


With gratitude,


Cipriano Vargas

President, Vista Unified School District Board of Education



Cipriano Vargas is a proud graduate of Vista Unified Schools, having attended Breeze Hill Elementary, Washington Middle School, and Vista High School. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Vista Unified School Board.


Vargas has been a rising leader since his time at Vista High School, where he participated in the Character Leaders and Migrant Education programs, and served as President of the Future Farmers of America. It was these programs, and the teachers who believed in his potential, that allowed him to flourish, both academically and as a young student leader. 


In 2009, Vargas enrolled at California State University San Marcos, becoming the first person in his family to attend college. During his time at CSUSM, then Governor Brown appointed Vargas to serve on the California State University Board of Trustees. As a trustee, Vargas championed affordable education, programs to support first-generation college students, and advocacy efforts that led to hundreds of millions of additional state funding in higher education. While continuing his studies at CSUSM, Vargas also volunteered at Vista High School, assisting English Language Learners through the school’s Migrant Education program. As an alumnus of the program, Vargas knew he would only continue to commit his life to advancing equity in the K-12 educational system. 


After achieving his bachelor’s degree in sociology, Cipriano went on to teach kindergarten in the urban core of San Antonio, Texas. As a kindergarten teacher, he focused on a culturally-responsive framework, building strong student rapport and utilizing a restorative justice approach. A strong supporter of bilingual education, he taught Spanish and promoted a multicultural lens for his students and their families. 


In 2016, with the support of innumerable community members, Vargas became the youngest person elected to the Vista Unified School Board. He is a delegate to the California School Boards Association, and commonly makes legislative visits to state and federal representatives in Sacramento and Washington D.C.. He is proud to represent Vista Unified School District Area 4, and to serve as the Vice President of the Governing Board. Concurrently, Vargas serves on the Alumni Board for California State University San Marcos. 


Vargas has two siblings who attend schools within the Vista Unified School District. He is running for re-election to the Vista Unified School Board to continue his work on early childhood education, access to dual-language programs, and ensuring all students have systems in place that allow them to reach their full potential.

Home: Meet [candidate]

Martha Alvarado 

Schoolboard Member,

Vista Unified School District 

I am proud to endorse Cipriano Vargas for reelection to the Vista School Board. He is a Vista native who attended our public schools and our local university.  He understands first-hand the hardships and obstacles that many of our students experience everyday.  His unique knowledge, perspective, and empathy is an asset to VUSD. Cipriano is a staunch advocate for all students and I am confident that he will continue to fight for educational equity in our community.   

Website Photo with Jacket.jpg

Rick Shea

Vice President, San Diego

County Board of Education

Cipriano Vargas is uniquely qualified to represent the students, parents and the entire Vista community on the Vista School Board.  He is a Vista native and a graduate of Vista public schools. He understands the needs of the students and puts their needs first in his decisions.  I have personally worked with him on many community issues and am impressed with his caring, intellect, compassion and work ethic. Vista needs his proven community leadership now more than ever. I am proud to endorse his reelection to the Vista School Board.


Rosemary Smithfield

Schoolboard President,

Vista Unified School District 


I am proud to endorse Cipriano Vargas for Vista Schoolboard. As a Vista native and graduate of VUSD, he understands our community firsthand. He prioritizes students and all aspects of their education well beyond the classroom. He is dedicated to making the best decisions for our community by putting in the effort required to make well informed decisions. Cipriano understands, appreciates, and supports the tireless work of both educators and staff and the immense impact those efforts have on our students.

Home: Volunteer


bottom of page