Editor’s note: This is one of a series of articles about local candidates in advance of the Nov. 8 general election.
Local small business owner Bert Haley is running for Goleta Union School Board District 3 against Christy Lozano and Emily Zacarias.
Mr. Haley was born and raised in Goleta. He attended K-6 grades in the Goleta Union School District. Mr. Haley also graduated from Fairview Elementary School, Goleta Valley Junior High and Dos Pueblos High School, all schools in Goleta.
He also attended Santa Barbara City College and UCSB
“My daughter just graduated from high school,” Mr. Haley told the News-Press. “I have always volunteered with my daughter and my son with all the different things the school needed.
“When my daughter graduated this year, I felt like I needed to do something to volunteer and do something for the kids. I thought this was a great way to give back to my community,” Mr Haley told the News-Press.
Mr. Haley is the husband of an educator, and father to two children who graduated from Goleta schools: Kellogg Elementary, Goleta Valley Junior High and Dos Pueblos High School.
Mr. Haley has owned and operated a local childcare and summer camp, coached numerous girls and boys youth sports teams, and volunteered in Goleta Union School District classrooms and on school field trips at Ellwood, Kellogg, and El Camino Schools. He has supported teachers and students locally for more than 25 years.
Mr. Haley has also received an honorary service award for more than 10 years of active volunteering in his children’s elementary school.
When Mr. Haley’s wife began her teaching career, he became a stay-at-home dad. “I wanted to make sure that my kids got the same experience I had with my mom,” Mr. Haley told the News-Press. “I got the unique perspective of being able to stay home. It was actually really fun for me. I was the one dad at the park with the kids. I was going to pick up my kids and talk with parents and I was really grateful for that experience.”
“I have been in the schools most of my life and I have lived in Goleta all of my life. I want to help the kids,” Mr. Haley said. “I also have a unique perspective as a business owner. I have visited all the schools and seen what they need. I think I bring a good overview of a bunch of different perspectives.”
If elected, Mr. Haley said his goals would “help with the facilities and get schools up to where they need to be by investing in infrastructure and considering all different perspectives including kids, teachers and parents.
“I really want to focus on the fact that the social aspect that the kids have right now is not where it should be in terms of interacting with each other in communication,” he said. I want to give back to the kids and make sure that all the kids in the district get the same opportunities.”
The News-Press asked Mr. Haley why he feels he is better for the position than his opponents.
“I want to make sure the kids get the same education that my kids got,” Mr. Haley said. “My kids got a great education and are thriving. I want to help and make sure everyone has a great education.”
“My overall message is: I’m here for the kids,” he continued. “I don’t have any political agenda. When you are on the board there are a lot of things you can help with, but you don’t need to be the one telling the experts what to do.
“A board member’s job is to be the support and ask questions, but the kids are the most important thing.”