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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

Ventura Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Don Wood

Don Wood

Father/Financial Manager
13,681 votes (17.9%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Ensure that every student has a clear path to success after graduation, whether that is to attend college or to move directly into the workforce. We need to provide strong vocational education and partner with local businesses to understand their ne
  • We need a long-range facilities and technology plan that anticipates our future needs and provides a productive learning environment for every student, a productive work environment for every employee and keeps pace with with our rapidly changing wor
  • I will work to be a strong advocate for our schools, locally, with the city and businesses, across other districts to share ideas and at the state-level to secure the resources we need too address the opportunities that abound



Profession:Father/Financial Manager
Multiple Leadership Positions, GTE/Verizon (1981–2015)


Occidental College Bachelor of Arts (Honors), Economics and Rhetoric (Double Major) (1981)

Community Activities

Board Member, Ventura Education Partnership (1994–current)
"Voice of Relay" and Committee Member, ACS Relay for Life of Ventura (also Ojai, Oxnard and Port Hueneme) (2001–current)
President, Ventura Education Partnership (1996–2001)


Don is running for a seat on the VUSD Board of Education because it's important.  He is a true believer in the power of quality public education and the difference it can make in a community and in our society.


Don has supported Ventura schools and our teachers over the past 22 years, hosting the District's largest fundraiser every year!  He has been a member of the Ventura Education Partnership (VEP) throughout that time, including 4 years as President.

Don has also volunteered himself to other important community efforts: Hosting over 20 American Cancer Society Relay For Life events in Ventura, Ojai, Oxnard and Port Hueneme as well as events to support The Kingdom Center, Gabriel's House and All American Ballet School. Don has also mentored students as a Project Business classroom instructor and served on a dedicated team from High Tech and Aerospace companies, along with LAUSD and LACOE to improve math and science education in the LA basin.

Don and his wife Stacy have been married for 30 years.  Their daughter Paige attended Loma Vista Elementary School, Cabrillo Middle School and Foothill Tech High School.  Don began supporting our schools when his daughter was a baby and he continues today, years after her graduation.  Because its important..


Don graduated with Honors from Occidental College with a double major in Economics and Rhetoric and went on to a successful 34-year senior business management career.  He understands the dynamics of large organizations, the details of financial and performance analysis, the need for long-term vision, action toward that vision, strong "customer" focus and empowered employees.  He would like to dedicate the next chapter of his career to serving our schools.


Don understands the value of clear, open communication, consensus building and strong partnering.  Don brings these skills and his broad experience to the table, along with an energy and a passion to make Ventura Unified School District better every day!

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Ventura Unified Education Association
  • Ventura Education Support Professionals Association
  • Ventura Chamber of Commerce

Elected Officials (1)

  • Barbara Fitzgerald - President - VUSD Board of Education

Individuals (1)

  • Suz Montgomery - Educator and Media Host

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (1)

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?
Answer from Don Wood:

I will ensure public understanding of this and other important activities of our school district through visible advocacy, utilizing local forums and media.  I will also encourege our school district administration to communicate key aspects of this complex formula through communication to parents, students and the public.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

VUSD is in a position of strength, with a track record of success, but we can do better and we must be forward thinking to stay ahead of our rapidly changing world.  I will serve to provide oversight, insight and foresight to position VUSD and its students for success today and in the future.

Smaller class sizes, especially at the elementary level, are a key enabler for our teachers.  They translate to better learning.  The Arts are as important as any other subject in motivating, educating and inspiring our students.

We should celebrate and embrace our diversity.  This is not only right, it is vital in today's world.  We must grow our understanding and appreciation of the multitude of cultures and individuals that make up our community, our country and our world.  This provides lessons for us all.

The VUSD workforce must feel empowered and appreciated.  Motivated, empowered employees are essential to the health of any organization.  This results in quality work.  We must create the flexibility to allow teachers the freedom to learn, to share, to partner, to innovate and to inspire their students every day.

Expand successful safety net programs that move quickly to prevent students from "falling through the cracks" and get them the help they need to stay on course.

Expand our focus on lifelong learning through VACE Adult Education.  We need to keep our growing senior population engaged and thriving.  Nwever stop learning!

Advocacy and Communication.  As a school board mamber, I am a conduit to the community to ensure that our community'sd values and priorities are reflected in our schools.  I will be visible, accessible and involved in our schools and our community.

Candidate Contact Info

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