WR: What seat are you running for?
BH: The Riverside County Board of Education. It represents all education in Riverside County and there are seven trustee areas. Temecula, Murrieta and most of Lake Elsinore are in trustee area number seven —I'm running for that seat.
WR: What 's the job description for that position, and how does that differ from a local school board?
BH: The local school board handles the district that it's in, policies, approving budgets, personnel reports those kinds of things. The county board [deals] with county wide policies, overseeing and approving the superintendent's budget for the county programs and things like that.
WR: What motivated you to consider running for elected office?
BH: I've been going to the county board meetings, I've missed very few, for five years now, and just the back and forth between the board and the staff, the absence of the superintendent, the tone and attitude towards the teachers and parents that do show up, those kinds of things —I think that they need a different perspective now.
I think that they need somebody that's actually in a school, in the classroom, that's working with teachers, working with parents on a daily basis.
No offense to the people that are there, I'm sure they're doing the best they can with the information that they have, but I don't think that they have current, up to date information.
Especially this area (SWRivCo). In this area, parents want choice, but the county doesn't really support that. I want to make sure that it's there for them.
WR: What makes you qualified for the job?
BH: I have background experience in education —twenty years, as a teacher, as a parent, as a principal, and the fact that I've been attending those meetings (County Board of Education) so I'm very familiar with what they're doing. I've even gone to their workshops.
Being an advocate for students and parents, I think that's what qualifies me. I was a business owner prior, so the fiscal part of it —I think that I'm qualified there too.
At this point I interjected.
"I like how your answer went, because you're not just blowing your own horn, but I saw you get a school together in a short period of time." (Speaking of the new campus for Sycamore Academy)
With a smile she responded, "Yeah, I'm not a politician, I'm doing my job. My job was to get that school done and I'm going to do my job."
|Barbara Hale is 6th from the left at the ground breaking ceremony in Spring 2015.|
|Barbara Hale addressing the crowd at the Sycamore Academy's ribbon cutting ceremony, Autumn 2015.|
WR: If elected, what would be your top priorities?
BH: The first thing we have to do is help the rest of the board understand their role. I think that they don't understand that they do have the authority to set policy. Which changes the tone of the county office, which changes the tone in all the districts.
WR: I'm assuming that you'll be accessible to the public once in office.
BH: Here's where I can toot my own horn. That is something that I complained about to the board. There was no way to contact them, except through through the county office secretary, and if you didn't know how it worked, you didn't know that. I used my five minutes (public speaking time) at several meetings in a row [about this issue]. They're now accessible on the county website with email addresses.
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It's worthy of mentioning that the location of the CBoE meetings she's been attending are in downtown Riverside and at 9:00am on Wednesdays. Her commute starts in Winchester, yet she has made nearly every meeting over the last five years just as a member of the public. Something neither of her opponents in this election can say. In fact, the other two haven't been to a single meeting. Not even after announcing their candidacies.
For more information visit her website and facebook page. Links are below.
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