Newcomer Monique Limón won the most votes in Tuesday’s Santa Barbara school board election with 19,008, or 30.85 percent. Kate Parker kept her seat with 17,825 votes and will serve another four years.

The district’s area includes tens of thousands of voters, and even last-place candidates bring in more votes than local City Council races. Candidates Dean Nevins and Loren Mason grabbed 12,980 and 11,665 votes, respectively.

Candidates attended at least five forums — including a student-led event at the Open Alternative School — and frequented school board meetings in the busy campaign season leading up to Tuesday.

Limón and Parker will join Annette Cordero, Susan Deacon and Ed Heron on the board. Incumbent board member Bob Noel did not run for re-election.

The board’s decisions range from budget policies to academic curriculums, and in recent years, members have had to deal with severe cuts to the $120 million-or-so annual budget.

Parker was a PTA president before being elected to the school board in 2006. She has three children in the Santa Barbara elementary and secondary districts.

Limón told Noozhawk she was excited and seemed somewhat surprised with her win, given her underdog beginnings and grassroots campaign efforts.

A district graduate and former ESL student, she reached out to a broad base of supporters, mostly families, and said she didn’t walk one precinct without seeing at least one Monique Limón sign.

She teaches interdisciplinary studies classes at UCSB and serves on various local educational boards and committees, though she said she most likely will have to cut back on her nonprofit commitments with her election win.

Parker said she was glad to have another term, adding that there’s a lot of work still to be done.

“I’m really excited to take on the challenges and continue to do the best for the children of Santa Barbara, Goleta and Montecito,” she said.

Mason, a licensed contractor and real estate agent, has two children who attend Dos Pueblos High School. Nevins is a Goleta Union School District board member and a full-time SBCC computer science professor.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.
http://www.noozhawk.com/schools/article/101210_santa_barbara_school_districts_qa

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Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com.