Candidate previously ran for county superintendent of schools
Editor’s note: This is part of a series on local candidates in advance of the Nov. 8 general election.
Stressing her experience and determination to make schools better, Christy Lozano is running to represent District 3 on the Goleta Union School Board.
The school district consists of elementary schools, and Ms. Lozano is running against Bert Haley and Emily Zacarias.
“After my run for (Santa Barbara County) superintendent of schools, I felt like we had created a lot of momentum during the campaign that we wanted to continue,” Ms. Lozano told the News-Press in advance of a Santa Barbara rally Friday featuring her and other candidates. It’s set for 4 to 7 p.m. at the Aijian Ranch, 1160 N. San Marcos Road.
“We are bringing together as many candidates as we can running for school board who are like-minded, for the voters to get to know candidates,” Ms. Lozano said. “Winning isn’t always about one person. I want to support all of the people around me that are also running for school board, to build a team.:
“One of the biggest goals is that we have a better education system and have inspired other people to step up and run for other districts. It’s about creating this community and encouraging others and bringing people to work together.”
Ms. Lozano told the News-Press how her career has prepared her for this position. “I’ve been a teacher for 18 years, and I’m a parent of a 16 year old. My daughter attended Goleta Union District.
“I am more familiar with Goleta Union as a parent than a teacher,” said Ms. Lozano, who has taught in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. “Goleta Union District has a strong chance of making improvements. I think the most effective thing that can be done with elementary aged kids is if a strong foundation is laid, students will take that foundation to junior high and high school.
“The elementary level is where we can do our best and most important work. I am very passionate about elementary school learning,” Ms. Lozano said.
“My goals are to provide positive outcomes for the educational environment. Goleta Union is slightly higher than other districts in the county. But the Latino population is down at 50% in literacy; 50-60% is not a passing score,” she said. “I would like to see it in the 80-90% percentile in regards to literacy.
“I would like to continue working on safety and making schools safe, as well as transparency and parental involvement, effective strategy, positive outcomes and effective leadership.
“With regard to school safety, when you are teaching elementary kids it is important to teach them that rules matter and to follow rules for kids and adults,” she said. “If they don’t understand that rules have a cause and effect, it can contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline. They don’t think rules matter and go into society, never having learned about cause and effect.
“It’s important to look at the way schools are set up and (that) they are safe,” she said. “Sometimes schools are more open than they should be. We can create as safe an environment as possible, but it takes people to be watchmen and involve protocols to make the schools safe.”
Ms. Lozano explained how she wants to improve transparency and parental involvement.
“Goleta Union School Board does a better job with PTA involvement,” she said. I haven’t been involved for five years.
“When I was involved, parents were running the PTA, involved in classrooms and working with teachers,” she said.
“The parent is going to be the first teacher, and so they play a significant role in the education of students. Parents need to be engaged,” Ms. Lozano said. “We also need to give parents access to curriculum and make it available online.”
“Improving education takes team and community involvement,” Ms. Lozano continued. “A healthy school includes the school, the parents and the community. As long as I have been teaching, I have had so many opportunities to work with the community. It is very enriching to the learning environment.”
She noted that by making education rich, fun and engaging, schools make learning more exciting for students.
She stressed the need for immediate improvement in schools.
“California is 50th in literacy across the United States,” Ms. Lozano said. “We spend about $15,000 per student in California. We need change, and we need it quickly.
“We are trying to build a community of people that can make that happen,” said Ms. Lozano.
“I have worked in the elementary school system and I am familiar with what happens at that age and feel I would be the best candidate for the position,” she said. “I have done a good job of motivating and leading by example, and I want to continue to do that.”