Solana Beach School District Candidates Share Their Views


This will be the Solana Beach School District’s first election since transitioning to administrative areas after the general election. Candidates Gaylin Allbaugh and Chuck Ringer are hoping to fill the Zone 4 seat, which represents the community of Pacific Highlands Ranch and parts of Carmel Valley and Rancho Santa Fe.

The Zone 1 seat represents Solana Beach west of I-5, with candidates Aubrey Huff and Debra Schade vying. Aubrey Huff could not be reached to participate.

Meet the candidates in alphabetical order, in their own words:

Gaylin Allbaugh

(Copyright of Gaylin Allbaugh)

Gaylin Allbaugh, Zone 4
I am running for re-election to the Solana Beach School Board to represent the communities of PHR, RSF and Carmel Valley. I am dedicated to ensuring that our Solana Beach schools provide the best educational experience for our students. I am committed to small class sizes, inclusion in our classrooms, financial transparency, and connecting our parents and community to our school board. I take pride in modeling the civility, inclusion and respect we expect from our students. I believe in collaboration rather than conflict. As a parent of four children, I hold our school board accountable to do what is best for all students. My family has lived in School Board Zone 4 since 1999 and I have held volunteer leadership positions in our schools since 2010. I am proud to be the only candidate whose children currently attend our schools. I am in our schools every day and hold our schools accountable for providing top-notch education. I respectfully request your vote for re-election.

What do you think is the biggest problem facing the district?
The answer is threefold. First, identifying and meeting the unique needs of each of our students and ensuring that each of our students feels safe and connected to their school is necessary for their success. Anxiety, feelings of isolation and loss of learning are still felt in our K-6 schools and we need to be able to meet the needs of all of our students and their families. Second, we must introduce a fiscally responsible budget so that we can continue to provide this support along with the highest quality education, small class sizes, and retain the best teachers in our schools for generations to come. Third, the school board must continue to listen to the needs of our students and families, while ensuring that we have a learning environment that enables all of our students to reach their full potential and prepare them to succeed in middle school, high school and beyond.

What do you think of the current functioning of the council and what you can bring to this council?
I am committed to preserving the civility, intelligent speech and respectful expression of opposing points of view which are essential to the proper functioning of a school board. I strongly believe in the need for a governance model for our school board to maintain a focus on student success. As a parent of students attending district schools, I value the voices of our students, parents, and community members. I am committed to ensuring that our schools prepare our students to be well-rounded and able to achieve their full potential. I am committed to meeting the diverse needs of our students. The Solana Beach School Board has demonstrated a commitment to open communication, opportunities for community contribution and collaboration, and an ongoing drive to do what is best for the students in our district. This has also been my guiding principle during my first term, and I pledge to tenaciously uphold these principles if re-elected.

Chuck Ringer, Area 4

Ring Chuck

Ring Chuck

(Danielle Miranda)

I’m a father of three, a robotics engineer, and have hands-on experience managing organizations the size of our school district. I care deeply about our local schools and my three children will begin attending Solana Ranch next year. I strongly believe in evidence-based education. Therefore, I am committed to ensuring that the children of Administration Area 4 have equal access to the early grades, music, and arts resources enjoyed by children elsewhere in our district.

After earning my Masters in Engineering at Johns Hopkins, I worked for the Chief of Naval Operations creating research and development programs to protect our troops. Following this assignment, I continued to work in the public interest, managing research programs with complex government budgets. I have hands-on experience with the mechanics of public finance and have successfully led organizations the size of our school district through budget uncertainty.

What do you think is the biggest problem facing the district?
The issue that excites me the most is ensuring that our small communities of Pacific Highlands Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe have a voice on council. With the move to trusteeship areas, this election is truly the first opportunity for our community to have a local representative. I believe that with your vote and my advocacy, we can ensure that our children have equal access to early grades, music and the arts.

Pragmatically, the multi-million dollar budget shortfalls the district has experienced over the past four years are the most pressing issue. I did a comparison with neighboring DMUSD and found that they spent about 10% more of their budget on class salaries than our district and still balanced their budget. I will seek to leverage the experience of our neighboring district to improve our financial execution and refocus our spending priorities on our children’s classrooms.

What do you think of the current functioning of the board and what can you bring to this board?
I am delighted that we have finally moved on to fiduciary domains. I believe this change will give each unique community the opportunity to have their voice heard. Pacific Highlands Ranch does not yet have an attorney on the board and this lack of representation has had consequences. Our students face larger class sizes, longer commutes, and a smaller share of the district’s musical and artistic resources than students at neighboring schools.

I believe the board needs to focus on its core job – ensuring that all students in the district have equal access to a high quality education. I was embarrassed when our board made headlines by voting unanimously to ban books depicting various families, then streamlined the process to ban school materials. I strongly believe that public schools have a duty to promote a message of tolerance for all people, regardless of protected class, identity or belief system.

Debra Schade

Debra Schade

(Copyright of Debra Schade)

Debra Schade, Area 1
I believe in public education and am passionate about the Solana Beach School District. I currently serve as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and serve on the Board of Directors for the San Diego County School Boards Association. I am the elected state director of the California School Boards Association, representing the members of the San Diego school board. I have a graduate degree in public health and over 39 years in teaching, research, technology and business. My three children have been very fortunate to attend and thrive in our schools. The Solana Beach School District has a reputation for excellence and celebration of the whole child. Our award-winning district, innovative programs, and quality child-centered education have made SBSD a district of choice. I am seeking re-election because I have the passion, commitment and experience to continue making a difference for our students. I promise to always put students first in all decisions and works every day to maintain the Solana Beach School District’s reputation for excellence.

What do you think is the biggest problem facing the district?
The biggest challenge facing our district is funding. California public school budgets continue to be impacted by rising special education costs and the current acceleration of employee retirement obligations. The Solana Beach School District has been able to overcome these challenges with healthy district reserves. As a board member, I championed transparency in our district’s budgeting process and provided strong budget oversight to ensure the long-term financial health of our schools. I am active in legislative advocacy at the regional, state, and federal levels with our elected officials to secure full and equitable funding for California public schools, increased federal funding for special education, improved support for our health programs mental health and other important issues that are key to the success of public education and our district.

What do you think of the current functioning of the board and what can you bring to this board?
Our board has a reputation for having strong governance and for putting students at the center of all decisions. Proven leadership and thoughtful, collaborative decision-making will keep our schools strong. As a member of the Board of Directors, I am committed to engage, educate and innovate provide the highest quality child-centered education all student.

Students first: My highest priority remains to provide an academically rigorous education, rich in diversity, meeting the individual needs of each child in a safe and supportive learning environment – providing an educational environment where EVERY child knows they belong, knows he matters and knows he is safe.

Cooperative partnerships: Support cooperative partnerships between teachers, parents, community and administration that promote academic success for ALL students.

Excellency: Prioritize excellent academic programs by maintaining small class sizes, recruiting and retaining exceptional staff, managing growth and voter-approved modernization projects, and providing

I am supported by parents, teachers, community leaders, district employees and elected officials. Read more of my story at


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