Trustee profile: Dr. Marianne Kugler


Future Board of Trustees member Dr. Marianne Kugler

Scott Buffon, Staff Writer

Education is the main focus of Dr. Marianne Kugler’s life; she has helped make some great contributions to the teaching field, and will continue to by joining the Board of Trustees to cover their Second District.

Kugler, 72, was the education officer of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation when the Department of Education, under President Bill Clinton, decided to partner with the organization to help install after-school programs throughout the country.

“Nobody new about after school programs back then,” said Kugler.  “It was a once in a life time experience. So I spent four years in Washington DC to help people start the training and the evaluation.  I had a wonderful time spending time with Mrs. Clinton and the Cabinet.”

Kuglers education background is impressive. She matriculated to UC Berkeley to earn her Bachelors degree in humanities before attending UCLA for her elementary teaching credential. She earned her masters in psychology of learning at University of New Mexico and earned her Doctorate in sociology of education.

“I always knew I would be a teacher,” Kugler said. “I’ve had this career that has went a lot of places, but it’s all in education.”

After finishing up with the foundation, Kugler was offered a job as the Dean of the School of Education and Human Services at the University of Michigan-Flint.  “I’d still be there,” Kugler said.

However, in 2002, Kugler and her husband took up permanent residence in their Californian vacation home to be closer to their family.

Being a “cool head” by nature, the majority of Kuglers passion lies in teaching.  However, she has one other form of enjoyment that she indulges on a regular basis.

“My other love, besides teaching, is art,” Kugler said. “I paint. Sometimes I sell my paintings, and sometimes I win awards for them.”

After being in Santa Barbara for a while she began to take art classes at the City College.  Kugler was stunned by the quality of learning on campus, and at the same time the faculty began to spread word of Kugler’s accomplishments. Soon she was asked to assist the Presidential Search Committee that eventually hired on Superintendent-President Dr. Lori Gaskin.

“I was on the Presidential Search Committee as the community representative for Dr. Gaskin, about whom I am thrilled.  She’s just what I imagined,” Kugler said.

Running unopposed in this election wasn’t what Kugler had in mind. She would have liked to run against someone for the position on the Board of Trustees, to have the experience.

“I believe in the process,” Kugler said.  “Since I didn’t run, a lot of people in Goleta have never heard of me. It’s very hard to figure out how to represent them when they don’t know that there’s a trustee.”

With the limited funding on campus, Kugler isn’t sure of the right answer when it comes to the enrollment of international and local students.

“It’s a balancing act. I don’t think it’s as difficult an issue as people are making it, but it is an issue,” Kugler said.

An active supporter of Proposition 30, Kugler finds the bill extremely important because it gives money to all of education, not just specific grade levels.

“I’ve been wearing my Prop. 30 button,” Kugler said. “I’m totally supporting Prop 30, it’s imperative for SBCC and all of the community colleges.”

A large amount of Kugler’s experience is in education, but she also brings to the board monetary experience and an ability to keep people unified when cuts have to be made.

“When you have to do this kind of financial transition, the really critical part is not the finances it’s the transition,” Kugler said.

A woman who is no stranger to board meetings, Kugler has attended approximately 20 over the last three years, and her attendance has risen dramatically since her nomination to the board.

“Once I knew that I was a potential trustee, I don’t know that I’ve missed any board meetings,” she said. “I’ve been doing my homework, and reading all of my materials.”

With a strong background in education and administration, Kugler knows exactly what is expected of her and how to best achieve her goals.

“I will support, guide where appropriate, and encourage the president to do what needs to be done in these tough times,” said Kugler. “I will be responsible for the school along with the other trustees.”