Get informed on the Nov. 8 local election

Read Santa Cruz Local's Election Guide

We break down the local races and ballot measures.
Get informed on the Nov. 8 local election

Meet the candidates

Scroll right and click each photo to learn more about the candidates.

Soquel Union Elementary School District recently transitioned to district elections. Each trustee represents a geographical area. The district spans Capitola, Soquel and part of Live Oak. View a district map with trustee areas.

Two candidates for one seat in trustee Area 4

Trustee Area 4 includes part of Capitola, near New Brighton Middle School and eastern areas of the school district. On the Nov. 8 ballot, voters in trustee Area 4 will choose one of two candidates:

  • Justin Maffia.
  • Phillip Rodriguez.

One candidate for one seat in trustee Area 3

Trustee Area 3 includes east Soquel.

  • Robert Dickenson was the only candidate for trustee Area 3 so he will be seated automatically.

One candidate for one seat in trustee Area 2

Trustee Area 2 includes neighborhoods near Soquel High, Soquel Elementary and Main Street Elementary schools.

  • Kallista Edmundson was the only candidate for trustee Area 2 so she will be seated automatically.

Background on Soquel Union Elementary School District

The Soquel Union Elementary School District is an elected body accountable for ensuring that the school district is responsive to the community’s values. The board has the power to:

  • Set budgets for the district, including teacher pay.
  • Hire and fire the superintendent.
  • Develop goals for programs.
  • Set policies and approve staffing related to mental health, campus safety and other areas.
  • Adoption of curriculum and instructional materials. Read more about the board’s responsibilities.

Qualifications include:

  • An ability to manage complex school budgets and allocate resources equitably.
  • A willingness to work with other board members to craft policies.

Compensation:

  • Trustees may receive a monthly stipend of $240. Trustees are eligible to receive employee health insurance, but must pay the full cost of premiums.

What we heard from voters

Santa Cruz Local talked to 16 Soquel Union Elementary School District voters in interviews and an online survey. The voters’ most common questions were taken to the candidates. The candidates responded in writing. The candidates’ responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

The top themes raised by Soquel Union Elementary School District voters were:

  • Teacher pay raises.
  • A need for more mental health support for students.

Read more about what Santa Cruz Local heard from voters.

—Kara Meyberg Guzman and Allison Gasparini

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