GOLETA — Two spots on the Goleta Union School Board are up for election in November. The spots are currently filled by current board President Sholeh Jahangir, who is running for reelection, and Susan Epstein. Six candidates are vying for the positions.
Ms. Jahangir studied in the Santa Barbara Unified School District before getting a history degree from UCLA. She is a former teacher aiming to reduce achievement gaps and create an equitable learning environment.
Vicki Ben-Yaacov holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UCSB. She has two daughters in the district and is endorsed by several of the current board members. She hopes to prioritize students’ mental and physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing childcare for essential workers and ensuring students access to food.
Caroline Abate teaches part-time with a teaching credential from UCSB. She opposes the new sexual health curriculum and the dual language immersion program. She holds a registered-nurse license, which she says would be beneficial in reopening efforts. (The Goleta school board voted unanimously not to apply for a reopening waiver Aug. 26.)
Patricia “Max” Rorty is a licensed clinical social worker at the Isla Vista Neighborhood Clinic. She cofounded the Santa Barbara Transgender Advocacy Network and served as a commissioner for the city of Santa Barbara’s Community Development and Human Services committee. She aims to improve social-justice efforts as part of the board.
Devany Bechler is a mother of four Goleta students and a former math teacher. She has served as the president of the Hollister Parent-Teacher Association for the past two years and was vice president for one year. She is focused on minimizing learning disparities during distance learning.
Greg Hammel volunteered with the PTA and school site council while raising three children in the district. He hopes to close education gaps.
— Annelise Hanshaw