Monday, February 19 , 2018, 6:02 pm | A Few Clouds and Breezy 54º


Santa Barbara School Board Getting At Least 3 New Members

Come January, Kate Parker, center, may be the only incumbent left on the Santa Barbara Unified school board since Pedro Paz, Gayle Eidelson and Ed Heron are not running for re-election and Monique Limón, right, is running for State Assembly. Click to view larger
Come January, Kate Parker, center, may be the only incumbent left on the Santa Barbara Unified school board since Pedro Paz, Gayle Eidelson and Ed Heron are not running for re-election and Monique Limón, right, is running for State Assembly.  (Santa Barbara Unified School District photo)

The Santa Barbara Unified School District's board of trustees will start 2017 with three new members — and possibly four — after incumbents decided not to run for another term.

Gayle Eidelson, Ed Heron and Pedro Paz aren’t seeking re-election, and Monique Limón is campaigning for the 37th District State Assembly seat.

If Limón wins, the board will need to appoint someone to serve the last two years of her term. 

The school board race won’t be on November’s ballot since only three people applied for the seats.

Instead, Laura Capps, Jackie Reid and Wendy Sims-Moten will be appointed to fill the vacancies.

Capps, the daughter of retiring Congresswoman Lois Capps, returned to Santa Barbara three years ago after a career in Washington, D.C.

She has her own public relations and communications business, and previously worked as a speech writer for President Bill Clinton and as an aide to the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy.

Her son, Oscar, starts kindergarten at Roosevelt School in the fall, she said in her announcement for seeking the board seat. 

Reid, who describes herself as an educator and nonprofit director, is president of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, and teaches at Antioch University Santa Barbara’s master’s in education program.

She is co-director of the nonprofit Teachers for the Study of Educational Institutions.

The organization’s mission is “to ensure that education includes historical contributions made by LGBTQ Americans and persons with disabilities along with other marginalized ethnic and cultural groups to the economic, political and social development in California and the United States.”

Sims-Moten is business and human resources manager at First 5 Santa Barbara County, where she has worked since the commission was formed in 1999.

She is also on The Fund for Santa Barbara’s grant-making committee.

“There is a big learning curve, and actually it was during the superintendent search that it finally sort of coalesced that I would be the last board member standing after January,” said Kate Parker, who has served on the board since 2006.

“Of course we don’t know for sure about Monique, but it’s highly likely she’ll be going to the Assembly.”

The school board shakeup influenced the recent superintendent search, after which Cary Matsuoka was hired to replace outgoing superintendent Dave Cash.

“That’s what drew us all to Cary, because he’s such an experienced superintendent,” she said.

The board will attend a California School Board Association meeting in December for training, and departing board members have offered to answer questions for the newcomers, Parker said.

“I’m kind of excited about it and looking forward to it, and a little worried about it,” Parker laughed.

The new board members will be sworn in at the Dec. 13 meeting, and if Limón goes to the Assembly, she would turn in her resignation by early December so the board can start the application process for a replacement, Parker said.

Limón is assistant director of the McNair Scholars Program at UCSB and is serving her second term on the school board.

In June’s primary election, Limón, a Democrat, garnered 65.2 percent of the vote. She will face Republican businessman Edward Fuller again in the November general election.

If she is elected to the seat and leaves the school board, the district will appoint someone to serve the rest of her term, which ends in November 2018.

In that case, all five of the board members would be appointed, not elected, to their seats, since Parker was appointed in lieu of election in the uncontested 2014 race.  

Noozhawk managing editor 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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