Editor’s Note: This story was updated to add three additional candidates and to correct the description of Trustee Area Three’s border.

Six Candidates File for Goleta Union District School Board

Conservatives Caroline Abate and Christy Lozano Vie for Two Separate Seats; Ethan Bertrand Running Unopposed

Ethan Bertrand, Caroline Abate, and Christy Lozano are all running for separate seats on the board. | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss (file); Courtesy

Six candidates have filed or announced their intentions to run for positions on the Goleta Union School District School Board in the upcoming November election, with one potentially running unopposed.

Ethan Bertrand, running for Trustee Area Five, which includes Isla Vista and the entire coastline spanning to El Capitan Beach, is the only candidate for the school board currently running unopposed. If no other candidates file for the positions, he will likely be appointed in lieu of an election. Bertrand has served as director of the Isla Vista Community Services District (IVCSD) since the November 2016 election and has also worked for the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors since 2019.

For Trustee Area One, which covers everything above Highway 101 spanning from Painted Cave Road to El Capitan Beach, including Dos Pueblos High School and Cathedral Oaks Road, incumbent Richard Mayer will take on Caroline Abate, a conservative elementary school teacher.

Abate previously ran for Goleta School Board in 2020, telling the Independent that she wanted to “bring conservative balance” to the school board. She was critical of the decision to close schools during the COVID-19 pandemic and has also openly ridiculed requirements for students to receive comprehensive sexual health education. 

Three candidates have filed for the Trustee Area Three seat, which includes Old Town Goleta, the UC Santa Barbara Campus, and the area south of Cathedral Oaks Road between Fairview Avenue and Patterson Road: Emily Zacarias, a teacher from Santa Barbara; Bert Haley, a Goleta business owner; and Christy Lozano, a physical education teacher who ran earlier this year for County Superintendent of Schools but was not able to oust incumbent Susan Salcido. 

Lozano has been an outspoken critic of the Santa Barbara school district, most infamously when she appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News in January 2022. During the program, she claimed that district-provided resources for teachers regarding race and sexuality were part of the curriculum being taught to young children, a claim the district denied. Following her failed bid for superintendent, Lozano’s more recent efforts to open a “pod” school at Goleta United Boys & Girls Club hit a snag earlier this month when a meeting to discuss opening the school at the club was postponed “due to a number of complaints by unnamed sources.” The club’s executive board voted this Tuesday to not allow the private school to open at the club. 

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