Staff Report

Tory Babcock has been appointed to the school board at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, which creates a wrinkle for voters in the Nov. 6 election.

Babcock’s name will remain on the ballot, but if she is elected the district will have to make another appointment. She fills a two-year vacancy that was created by the resignation of Steve Foley on Aug. 10.

Because election law required Foley’s vacancy to be filled in 60 days, the district couldn’t wait until the election. The board needed a special meeting on Oct. 3 to make the appointment in time.

Babcock was chosen unanimously from a field of six applicants, including John Baeke, Heather Blanchard, Elizabeth Breen, Douglas Piligian and Eileen Preston. Baeke, Breen and Preston are also candidates for election on Nov. 6.

Even with Babcock out of the running, 10 more candidates are seeking three seats on the school board. In addition to Baeke, Breen and Preston, they are Kros Andrade, incumbent Jan Clevenger, Carl Johnson, Lori Parker, Tyler Sprague, Jessica Yacoub and Eric Zivic.

All of the candidates except for Andrade responded to a questionnaire about their positions on various issues, and their answers are posted on the Star’s website,

If Babcock is not among the top three vote-getters on Nov. 6, she will serve out her appointed term alongside the three people who are elected. If she is among the three people elected, she will be required to resign either the appointed or the elected seat because she cannot hold both. Then the board will go through another appointment process after the election.

“If we do end up in that situation, we have got a really good appointment pool. There are some great candidates out there,” district superintendent Scott Cory said.

To see more information about the school board candidates, go to

Voters have until Monday, Oct. 22, to register in time to vote on Nov. 6. For more information about the election, including how to register, go to and click on the “Elections” tab at the top of the page.