Two spots on the Carpinteria Unified School District are up for election, and five candidates want in.
The open positions are currently held by Rogelio Delgado, who is running for reelection, and Michelle Robertson, who is not running.
All the candidates have students in the district, and equity is a common theme among their platforms.
Craig Cook is a professor in the American Ethnic Studies department at Santa Barbara City College. His main goal is to advocate for vulnerable student populations.
“We must create and foster a more equitable education in our district — especially hybrid/online education,” he says on his website, craigmcook33.wixsite.com. “The good news is that I will work hard to bridge the opportunity and achievement gaps that exist.”
He has three CUSD students and enjoys volunteering in their classrooms. He is on the Carpinteria Middle School site council as well.
Rogelio Delgado is the only incumbent running for reelection. He spent the first years of his life in Mexico before moving to Carpinteria. He graduated from Carpinteria High School and holds a master’s degree in education from UCLA.
He has three daughters, one of which is still studying at CHS.
He has served four years on the board and is running again, promising transparency to voters.
“My biggest achievement has been gaining enough support to implement a Multicultural Literature Course in our high school,” he said in a Facebook post.
Jaime Diamond is the coordinator for Carpinteria Foodbank and a mother of three. She enjoys getting involved in the schools and served as the vice president for Parents at Canalino for five years and president at Parents for Carpinteria Middle School.
“I point out problems in our school district and school board but always follow up by offering a solution, and I’ve worked tirelessly on reducing food insecurity among students and families,” she says on her website, jd4cusd.com.
She has lived in Carpinteria since 2003.
Aaron Smith and his wife were born and raised in Carpinteria and are now raising three kids in the same schools they attended. He is on the board of the boosters club at Carpinteria High School.
“I am running with the focus to continue the work being done in our district to promote equity and close the achievement gap,” he said in a candidate forum held by the Alcazar Theater.
He is a fan of extracurricular activities.
“We need to take a good look at the curriculum with a goal to inspire every student in our district,” he said. “I’m ready to work hard and make decisions with our student’s interests first.”
Jeff Weinbender graduated from Westmont College in 1989 and continued his education, earning certificates from SBCC, San Jose City College, San Jose State and UCSB. He teaches history in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.
“This past year has highlighted how vital and important our schools are, like never before,” he said in his opening remarks during the candidate forum. “I’m running because I want to help, and I believe I can offer the type of experience and sound decisions our schools need.”
His wife is also a teacher, and their daughter attends CMS.