Wednesday, March 22 , 2017, 5:38 pm | Partly Cloudy 66º


Local News

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

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.

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