Yvonne DeGraw — a Goleta-based technical writer who has served on the Parent Teacher associations for Kellogg School and Santa Barbara School District’s Goleta Valley Junior High, and on the GATE advisory board for the Goleta School District — confirmed to The Santa Barbara Independent on Wednesday that she will be running for one of two spots on the Goleta School Board.
“We all know that educating children well is beneficial not just to the kids, but also to our economic future and even our property values,” she said. “The Goleta School Board has been dealing responsibly with the cuts they’ve needed to make, and I support that. But there are challenges ahead in areas where I believe I can help.”
A Good Land resident for more than two decades, DeGraw has, for many years, taught after-school science classes with her husband at Kellogg, where her daughter goes to school. “I think it’s important to encourage an interest in science, engineering, and math in our elementary schools,” she said. “We see how kids can blossom when creativity in the context of science is encouraged.”
With her skills from a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M and from her membership in the Society for Technical Communication, DeGraw spent much of last year writing the PTA newsletter for Goleta Valley Junior High, where her son will be attending in fall. “I learned there’s a real hunger among parents for communication about what’s going on in schools,” she said.
“The Goleta District,” she continued, “faces ongoing budget uncertainties because of the state’s slow recovery from its economic mess. My skills at analyzing technical data will help with those budget issues.” DeGraw also pointed to her interests in math and science as “valuable” to the school board’s conversations.
DeGraw said she was encouraged to run by members of the school board. Currently, she and sitting president Susan Epstein are the only two candidates running for two spots — the one being held by Epstein and the one being held by Dr. Dean Nevins, who told The Independent that his desire to spend more time with his family means he won’t be seeking another term. Epstein said that DeGraw has “the right intelligence and compassion” for the job.