Voter’s Edge California
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
KPBS Voters Guide@KPBSNews
November 6, 2018 — California General Election

San Dieguito Union High School DistrictCandidate for Trustee, Trustee Area 5

Photo of Kristin Gibson

Kristin Gibson

Governing Board Member, Del Mar Union School District
5,204 votes (31.6%)Winning
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.
Thank candidate for sharing their information on Voter's Edge.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Restore proper governance and establish a climate of collaboration and trust throughout the community
  • Ensure fiscal responsibility and achieve a balanced budget
  • Provide a safe, nurturing learning environment and an exceptional, engaging educational experience for ALL children



Faculty, School of Teacher Education, San Diego State University (2006–current)
Board President, Del Mar Union School District — Appointed position (2018–current)
Governing Board Member, Del Mar Union School District — Elected position (2010–2018)
Teacher, La Mesa-Spring Valley School District (1998–2005)


Wake Forest University BA, Art
San Diego State University California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Emphasis in Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development and Supplemental Authorization in Art
San Diego State University MA, Educational Technology (currently Learning Design and Technology)

Community Activities

Cabinet Member, Salkexcellerators, Salk Institute for Biological Studies (2011–current)
Parent Representative, School Site Council, Pacific Trails Middle School (2016–2018)
Member, Pacific Trails Middle School Planning Committee (2014–2015)
Parent Representative, School Site Council, Ashley Falls Elementary School (2009–2011)
Board Member, Del Mar Schools Education Foundation (2009–2010)


Kristin holds a BA from Wake Forest University, a California Teaching Credential, and an MA in Educational Technology from San Diego State University. She began her career as a teacher in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District and is now a faculty member in SDSU’s School of Teacher Education, as well as a contributor to projects at the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education. She has served two terms as a trustee in the Del Mar Union School District, currently as board president, and she holds a Masters in Governance from the California School Board Association. Her child has attended public schools in Carmel Valley since Kindergarten and Kristin has also contributed to our local schools over the past decade as a member of the Pacific Trails Planning Committee, the Pacific Trails and Ashley Falls School Site Councils, and the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • San Dieguito Faculty Association
  • San Diego County Democratic Party
  • Run Women Run

Elected Officials (10)

  • Rick Shea, Trustee, San Diego County Board of Education
  • Amy Herman, Trustee, San Dieguito Union High School District
  • Joyce Dalessandro, Trustee, San Dieguito Union High School District
  • Darren Grettler, Former Trustee, Del Mar Union School District
  • Beth Hergesheimer, Trustee, San Dieguito Union High School District
  • Doug Rafner, Trustee, Del Mar Union School Board
  • Julie Union, Trustee, Solana Beach School District
  • Vicki King, Trustee, Solana Beach School District
  • Debra Schade, Trustee, Solana Beach School District
  • Erica Halpern, Trustee, Del Mar Union School District

Individuals (24)

  • Susan Polizzotto, Past President, Del Mar Schools Education Foundation
  • Steve Young, District Parent
  • Kim and Sean Harkin, District Parents
  • Dr. Amanda Datnow, Community Member
  • Dr. Karen Calfas, Community Member
  • Renee Testa, District Parent
  • Kate Takahaski, District Parent
  • Karen Schaffer, District Parent
  • Monica Rodriguez, District Parent
  • Christene Renner, District Parent
  • Heather Mueller, District Parent
  • Gee Wah Mok, District Parent
  • Juliet Mejias, District Parent
  • Eric Koliander, District Parent
  • Kim Klekotka, District Parent
  • Kristi and Brian Griffith, District Parents
  • Britney Ewing, District Parent
  • Cindy Edgerly, District Parent
  • Heather Dugdale, District Parent
  • Trish and Trent Douglas, District Parents
  • Michele Denning, District Parent
  • Coleen Caspersen, District Parent
  • Mariah Sharkey Brummund, District Parent
  • Nikki Briggs, District Parent

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters North County San Diego (4)

What are the pressing problems of this school district, in your opinion, and what experience do you bring to the Board that will help address these problems?
Answer from Kristin Gibson:

The immediate issue that needs to be addressed is the restoration of proper governance. San Dieguito is a wonderful district but, by all accounts, they struggle with a dysfunctional board of trustees. Without a high functioning school board, even a wonderful district is limited in what it can achieve. The negative and unproductive environment that results from a fractured governance team distracts from the important work of providing an exceptional educational experience for all children. It also makes it challenging for the district to attract talented leadership. Board members need to come together as a unified team to make decisions in the best interest of students. Differences of opinions are valuable and can be leveraged in positive ways to benefit the district, but they must be shared respectfully and with the goal of achieving consensus whenever possible. Board members must be crystal clear on what their job does and does not entail, they must agree to a set of behavioral norms, and they must invest time and energy in building trusting, healthy relationships with the community. I am proud that my colleagues and I established such a governance team during my time on the board of the Del Mar Union School District. Until this happens in San Dieguito, it will be difficult to successfully address other critical issues such as school safety and deficit spending.


What is your view of charter schools?
Answer from Kristin Gibson:

I believe there are a number of well-run non-profit charter schools that play a productive role in public education. However, I also believe charter schools also can pose serious risks to authorizing school districts. The authorizing district must oversee the charter, but is not provided with adequate resources to do so. This means either district staff is spread too thin, or is forced to hire additional personnel, neither of which are good for children. If a charter becomes financially or academically unviable and fails, the authorizing district maintains responsibility, having to reabsorb students, sometimes in the middle of a school year. The district may not have the staff or facilities to do so easily. If the charter made errors in regard to  special education, the district then must deal either with students who did not receive proper services, or the expense of needing to continue to provide services that may not have been necessary. It is unclear if charter school boards are subject to the Brown Act, which provides accountability to the public, as are the boards of non-charter schools. Charters receive taxpayer funds but don't always provide fiscal transparency non-charter schools do, particularly in the case of for-profit charters, in which corporate vendors are able to make money at the expense of taxpayers. For charters to play a viable role in our educational system, state laws need to provide proper protection to districts and their communities.


Question 3

Should the district curb its school choice initiatives (for students who are not in charter schools), so that more students stay in their neighborhood schools? Why or why not?

No answer provided.
Are there school discipline strategies or behavioral support programs that you find appealing alternatives to exclusionary or punitive discipline? If so, which ones, and why?
Answer from Kristin Gibson:

Restorative Justice is a alternative to using punishment to manage misbehavior. A punitive approach typically results in resentment, alienation, and shame, while a restorative approach often results in empathy, accountability, and healed relationships. Restorative justice targets both the person causing harm and  the person who is harmed. It builds close connections within a school community and provides an opportunity for social and emotional learning as well as the development of effective conflict resolution skills. I am also a supporter of Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded by family members whose loved ones were killed in December 2012. Their mission is to reduce school violence, including suicide, through trainings that teach social inclusivity as well as how to spot and respond effectively to signs that someone might cause harm to themselves or others.

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.