Michael Watkins was elected Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools in November 2006. Watkins served in the Santa Cruz County Office of Education since 1980 as Director Special Education, then Director, Alternative Education. Additionally, he served as Past State President of the Juvenile Court, Community and Alternative School Administrators of California. 

A native of Oakland, California, he received a B.A. in Psychology, teaching credentials in both History and Special Education and a Masters degree in School Administration from Cal State University Hayward. His teaching experience includes one year as a teacher in Oakland, followed by seven years with the Alameda County Office of Education.