Gina Cuclis, who was the top Sonoma Valley candidate placing third of six in the June primary for 1st district Sonoma County Supervisor, has announced she’s running in the November election to be 1st district Trustee on the Sonoma County Board of Education.
Cuclis is challenging incumbent Alex Bantis.
“I’m very honored to have been asked by Sonoma Valley educators to run for the County Board of Education and to have been endorsed by all of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District board,” Cuclis stated in a news release.
She said she’s running to bring to the county board her “energy, advocacy and collaboration skills, and recent experience as a Sonoma County public school parent.”
“The issue in this race is not philosophical. It’s who has the energy, drive and community knowledge to be fully engaged in the position so as to better serve students, teachers, staff, parents and all who have a stake in public education in Sonoma County.”
Cuclis is aged 53 and Bantis is 80 according to voter registration information.
Cuclis has 15 years experience on local government advisory boards and commissions, according to her news release. She has been working on children and youth issues as a member of the Sonoma County Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Advisory Board. Her 19-year-old twin daughters, Olivia and Elena Tennant, went through Sonoma Valley public schools and are 2011 graduates of Sonoma Valley High, she stated. During their school years, Cuclis was an active parent volunteer and served on Sonoma Valley High’s Grad Night committee. She operates a Communications/PR consultancy.
The County Board of Education is currently in a period of transition, as it reduces from seven to five trustees. The new boundaries roughly align with the five Sonoma County Board of Supervisors' districts. The 1st district encompasses Sonoma, Bennett and Rincon valleys and areas of eastern Santa Rosa.
“The additional workload with a smaller board makes it imperative the 1st district trustee be someone who has the motivation to engage with others to address the education issues of a larger area,” Cuclis said.
Cuclis said her priorities as a County Board of Education Trustee will be “to ensure all programs meet high standards including those serving special needs students and that technical education programs meet the needs of both students and the business community.”