The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Uncontested SBCC Trustees plan to keep improving City College

Marianne Kugler (left) and Veronica Gallardo are up for re-election to the Board of Trustees, Thursday, Sept. 29, at City College. Kugler and Gallardo are running uncontested along with Craig Nelson, who was unavailable to be photographed.

Election season for the Board of Trustees is underway, but three candidates remain uncontested.

Trustees Marianne Kugler, Veronica Gallardo, and Craig Neilson have already secured a spot on the board.

Neilson was unavailable for comment. The Channels emailed, called and spoke to his secretary numerous times to try and set up an interview without success.

The Board of Trustees is the body for policy-making, discussions and decisions for the college. It also takes recommendations from faculty and approves or denies them. There are seven areas, from Carpinteria to Goleta, which each board member represents for their 4-year term.

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The Board of Trustees acts as a connector between the community and the college, and whenever something comes up involving a certain area, the board member represents both the City College and area.

“We want to be here to serve the community and make [the students] lives easier with whatever that might be,” Gallardo said.

The other responsibility of the board is to support the superintendent in making sure the mission of the school is fulfilled.

Kugler, 76, who has been in her position since 2012 and represents Area 2 of Goleta, said she loves what she does, especially when she gets to attend events where she meets the students she represents. Even so, she was ready to be contested.

“I talked to a lot of people and asked them to find good candidates,” Kugler said. “I was concerned because I am older. I thought it would be better for Goleta to find someone younger.”

Kugler said she is already calling and trying to find people that may be interested in running four years from now.

Kugler is a lifelong educator and has served as a teacher as well as a principle. But Kugler said she never saw herself on the policy making side of the education system.

“I have always believed in CCs,” Kugler said. “I think they were created for a very intelligent purpose.”

Kugler’s visions for the next four years is to repair the facilities that need it, and rebuild some that are too far-gone. After the Campus Store, they are starting with the renovations of the Campus Center. Currently, they are building a temporary cafeteria outside the Student Services Building.

Speaking about the last four years, Kugler and Gallardo agree that their biggest accomplishment was the successful transitions between presidents.

“I am excited because they are both very skilled,” Kugler said. “We did a very large search and looked all over to find the best we could—and we did.”

Gallardo feels that the transition was a blessing.

“[Beebe] is so in tune with the wider issues in the community,” said Gallardo. “There is just something very organic about Mr. Beebe.”

Gallardo is the first board member to occupy the new Area 3 of Santa Barbara and has been in her position since the end of 2012.

“It’s a unique position to serve, being the voice and advocate for a college where people are accomplishing their goals,” said Gallardo.

Gallardo and her husband are both alumni of City College and feel as if it’s part of their family. One day, she was driving to City College and noticed the view past the lookout to West Campus.

“I thought to myself, ‘God, where else would I serve than somewhere that helped me so much,’” Gallardo said.

Kugler and Gallardo said they want the community to be more aware of the gem that is City College, and believe that there is no better place. The College does exactly what it sets out to do.

“When your heart is beating for the mission of the school, I wouldn’t be doing anything else,” said Gallardo.

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