Susan Epstein, current president of the Goleta School Board, announced earlier this week that she is running for reelection. On the board since 2004 and twice elected its president, Epstein cited increased test scores, still-small class sizes, and more nutritious food in school cafeterias as notable achievements of her tenure thus far.

Susan Epstein

“There’s still a lot of important work to be done, and it’s really important during these economic times to continue to preserve our programs,” said Epstein, whose son goes to school in the district and whose daughter attends the Santa Barbara School District’s Goleta Valley Junior High.

Calling her job on the school board a “pleasure,” Epstein — who has degrees in computer science and law from Stanford and the University of Chicago, respectively — is also the founding director of Santa Barbara Village, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the elderly maintain their ability to live independently.

Epstein’s fellow board member, Dr. Dean Nevins, said on Tuesday that he will not be seeking another term, saying that he plans to spend more time with his family.

As of now there are only two candidates believed to be running for the two seats — Epstein and Yvonne DeGraw, a longtime Goleta resident who has served on the Parent Teacher Associations at Kellogg School and Goleta Valley Junior High, and on the GATE advisory board for the Goleta School District.

“Dean has been a phenomenal board member. He’s done terrific work for the last eight years,” Epstein said, adding that DeGraw has “the right intelligence and compassion” for a board member.


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