Trustee profile: Veronica Gallardo


Future Board of Trustees member Veronica Gallardo

Scott Buffon, Staff Writer

Veronica Gallardo, 33, is running unopposed for the candidacy of the new drawn area 3 district for the Board of Trustees.  She has been in and out of the area for a large part of her life, and now feels that she should step up and give back to the school that has given her so much.

Gallardo also doubles as a kindergarten teacher at McKinley Elementary School, the school right across from the City College’s East Campus.  She believes her strong connections in the Santa Barbara community will bring a fresh perspective to the Board.

“We exist because of the students,” said Gallardo. “We’re here to serve the students and the families.”

Gallardo moved to Santa Barbara to take classes at City College in 1997.  While a student, she took up multiple jobs on campus. She eventually returned after receiving her degree to work as a student adviser.

“I worked and I was a student here for so many years, I just love [City College],” said Gallardo. “Not just aesthetically, the heart that is here is just really unique.”

Gallardo met her current husband in Santa Barbara, and currently has two children.

“I have a strong support network with my family,” Gallardo said. “We’re pretty solid.”

After attending City College she transferred to UCSB and received her English degree, eventually earning her teacher credentials.  She loves teaching her kids in class and helping out other students in any way she can.

“Any time you can get them to have that ‘Aha!’ moment, to see that they really know something, that’s really amazing,” said Gallardo.

In her free time Gallardo contributes to the Junior League of Santa Barbara, a woman’s non-profit organization whose mission is “to develop the potential of women as a training organization.”

“I’m on the literacy committee,” said Gallardo.  “All the projects we do are geared towards youth literacy.”

When asked about the diverse population of students on campus, Gallardo is happy that we have such a large group of international and out of state students enrolled.  However, she also recognizes that we are required to cater to our local students.

“I think [the diverse population] is one thing that makes City College unique. With international student fees, they’re adding more money, so that does allow for more sections,” Gallardo said.
Dr. Lori Gaskin, the new superintendent-president has orchestrated several sessions for the nominated candidates to brief them on the board and the college they will be representing. These briefings have reinforced Gallardo’s belief that she is knowledgeable about many of the problems facing the board in upcoming months.

“[Gaskin] had five study sessions, and she went through the different aspects of the college,” said Gallardo. “It was comforting to know that I know this college.”

Gallardo realizes that the current budget is a large issue that she will be faced with while working with the board, but she’s excited to face the problem head on.

“The power of our human capitol can be way better than a check,” said Gallardo.  “It’s not that it’s impossible, it just requires a lot more creativity.”

Proposition 30 is a hot topic issue because of the impact it will have on education budgets if it fails to pass.  Gallardo understands why some people might want to support Prop. 30, but she has her reservations about fully committing to support it.

“It’s hard because you want more classes,” said Gallardo. “You don’t want these programs to go.  But you want to see more of a long term plan.”

Gallardo feels that no problem is too big to solve and she will work hard to communicate, cooperate, and think outside of the box.

“We just have to get like minded organizations and people on board with whatever we want to execute” said Gallardo.  “That’s where it’s a challenge but at the same time it’s exciting.”