Vote Heter for county school board
I urge you to vote for Roberta Heter in the Santa Barbara County Board of Education District 4 race.
Roberta started as a substitute teacher. She was a special education teacher before she transitioned into administration as a dean. Her last position prior to retirement was principal at Lompoc High. After retirement, Roberta stayed involved with education through committee involvement.
There was a midterm opening on the Santa Barbara County Board of Education, which Heter was chosen to fill until the next election. She felt this was something she needed to continue working on, so next election she took out papers to run for the remainder of the two-year term she had been appointed to. She worked on several additional community committees during this term. Elections rolled around and she again took her papers out to run for this rewarding position. For the second time, she ran unopposed. This brings us to the current election. Let’s put Roberta back assisting our county to continue improving our public education system for ALL OUR CHILDREN!
Clarifying role of county school boards
You recently published an op-ed from Mr. Bill Cirone, the retired superintendent of the Santa Barbara County Office of Education, supporting the re-election of incumbent trustees Dr. Peter MacDougall, Joe Howell, Roberta Heter and Dr. Richard Fulton. You also published a conflicting op-ed from Michelle de Werd and Lou Segal, candidates for two of those positions.
De Werd and Segal criticize education throughout the county, laying the blame at the doorstep of the county education office and the incumbents. My letter here is to clarify what appears to be a lack of understanding regarding the role of county school boards, which is reflected throughout the De Werd/Segal letter.
Having been in public education for 60 years as teacher, school principal, district superintendent, professor and chair of the leadership department at a major California university, I wanted to provide that understanding of the role of county school boards and their offices throughout the state and, more specifically, the Santa Barbara County Office of Education.
They are service-oriented and provide valuable resources to all their respective local school districts. These services include administrative services, fiscal services, special education services, counselling and guidance, health, technology, and transitional youth services, to name a few.
In the area of academics, they hold annual events, such as the Mathematics Superbowl, The Author-Go-Round, the Science Fair, the Spelling Bee and many other academic events throughout the year. County offices of education are a vital extension to all public school districts within their respective counties, especially those smaller school districts (called direct service districts) that don’t have the numbers of students, faculty, staff and budget to provide many of these services.
In my service as superintendent of two small school districts in Santa Barbara County for 22 years, I feel I can speak on behalf our school districts’ communities when I say that the support provided by the Santa Barbara County Schools office has been greatly appreciated and has represented a valuable extension to our school programs.
Concern about a perceived decline in student performance in schools and school districts in Santa Barbara County by any member of the public is a matter to be directed toward, and addressed by, local school officials, their school districts, and their respective governing boards.
As indicated at the beginning of this letter, my intent is to provide clarification regarding the role of county offices of education and the relationship between local school districts and their county offices of education. While my experience in the Santa Barbara area is limited to my service as a school district administrator for 22 years, during that time I have gratefully appreciated the support and guidance my school districts have received from our County Office of Education and its governing board.
In regard to the upcoming election and the Recall of Chris Djernaes that is on the ballot, it is important to follow through and complete the process by voting “YES” on the Recall.
There are concerns about alleged Brown Act violations and then there is his behavior in Council Meetings and behavior during personal interaction with business owners and other Solvang residents.
Mr. Djernaes has known for months how Solvang residents feel about his behavior and demeanor. There have been no apologies from this Councilman . His behavior continued until the over 1300 petitions for recall were signed and approved. Since then he has been relatively quiet-but his bias against certain businesses has continued.
The Solvang residents did not line up the City Council one day and count off Eeny Meeny Miny Moe and declare Mr. Djernaes “IT”. His chosen, continued, unapologetic, rude, degrading and disrespectful behavior has put him in this position. We need Council members who we can trust to be honest and will treat everyone with respect-whether they agree with them or not.
We can choose to have respectful representation by voting “YES “on the recall measure on our ballots.
As a strong supporter of the value of a quality education and a funder of local scholarships for our most deserving students, I wish to show my full support for José Juan Ibarra for Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District Board Member. José Juan grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley, received his two degrees from UCSB and has taught in both public and private schools in Santa Barbara County. He knows the value of a quality education and the need for collaboration and cultural diversity in our schools. He and his wife Arcelia have raised their two daughters in the Santa Ynez Valley and they both are attending prestigious colleges. I’ve known José Juan for over 10 years, and I’ve admired his levelheadedness, caring and intelligence. Most of all, he is a good listener, which is much needed in our jump to our own opinion society. I hope you will support me and many others in choosing José Juan Ibarra.