Wednesday, February 10 , 2016, 8:47 am | Fair 51º

Eidelson, Heron, Paz Win Seats on Santa Barbara School Board

Pedro Paz was one of three candidates who won seats on the Santa Barbara Unified School District board on Tuesday.
Pedro Paz was one of three candidates who won seats on the Santa Barbara Unified School District board on Tuesday.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @magnoli | updated logo 1:08 a.m. |

Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education candidates Gayle Eidelson, Ed Heron and Pedro Paz won the three available seats Tuesday night.

Eidelson had the most votes, with 30.18 percent of the 107,748 votes cast, and Lou Segal had the least, with 15.65 percent, so he won’t be joining the Board of Education.

Paz garnered 27.65 percent of the vote and Heron received 26.22 percent.

“I am very excited to be taking a seat on the board,” Eidelson said. “There will be many challenges ahead, but I think that as a board, we will work effectively together to solve critical issues.”

Eidelson is a mother of seven and has been involved as a parent and volunteer in the district for more than 20 years. She wants to increase parental involvement, hire and retain motivated teachers, and increase student achievement.

Paz, who was born and raised on the South Coast, is the program and evaluation manager for First 5 Santa Barbara County. He wants to reduce class sizes, provide more opportunities for minority students and students with special needs, and engage parents to make sure children are prepared for K-12, as he does in his work at First 5.

His victory is still soaking in, but he’s excited to work with his new colleagues, he said Tuesday night.

He can’t wait to visit each school site and see how the Common Core Standards get implemented throughout the district, he said.

“Generally speaking, I’ll be able to be a good listener; that’s huge given the important things happening at the district,” Paz said.

“I’m actually looking forward to using my Spanish with parents in particular, and working with parents to get more engaged.”

He hopes the district can work more with Goleta Union and other feeder districts to ease the transition of students from elementary to secondary education, as well.

Heron, a retired real estate executive, won re-election and will serve another four-year term. He wants to continue his work, including his advocacy for fiscal responsibility, closing the achievement gap, and building technology infrastructure.

Eidelson and Paz would be taking over for board president Susan Deacon and member Annette Cordero, whose terms end this year.

Segal, a local small business owner, presented himself as a reform candidate and was the only one to openly oppose the district’s parcel taxes on Tuesday’s ballot. He wants to change the tenure system and the way that teachers are evaluated.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

» on 11.07.12 @ 03:34 AM

Question: Since Eidelson has two children in the schools, will she have to recuse herself from any issue/question before the school board that might affect the schooling of her children?

Thanks to Lou Segal for stepping forward and running.

» on 11.07.12 @ 04:48 AM

Thanks for your encouragement, Looking West. I may have lost, but I can sleep well knowing I took a stand for reforming a system that needs to do things much differently than to which they have become accustomed.

Giana is right that I want to change the tenure system and the way teachers are evaluated, but I also wanted to change the culture of the schools, too. For the sake of the kids, I hope the people who lead our schools will not be timid or afraid to pursue the necessary reforms to improve the performance of our schools. Money without educational reforms will not accomplish very much. Almost 17,000 voters agreed.

» on 11.07.12 @ 02:26 PM

Just want to congratulate Gayle Eidelson! I didn’t know you were running for an office, m’dear.  Been living in the Bay Area now for 18mos.  This is exciting news!  I hope you and your family are well.

Loretta Lopez (Alicia’s mom)

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