The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Why I'm Running for the RSF School Board

I have been involved in the field of education my entire life. I’m a product of the award-winning Palo Alto public school system. I studied at Princeton as an undergrad and received my PhD from Yale and have served as a professor at the University of San Diego for over 10 years. My parents were professors for decades at Stanford and Santa Clara University.

Because I have three children currently attending both the elementary and middle schools at R. Roger Rowe, I’m aware of the distinct challenges that face each school. As a professor at USD, I have served on numerous committees regarding academic curriculum, facilities and funds assessments, allocation of resources, and strategic planning.

In addition, I am CEO of a local real estate company that invests in multi-family and commercial real estate throughout Southern California. I’m committed to seeking community input, I’m fiscally conservative, I own property and pay taxes here, and I want to hear from and represent parents and community members regarding how we can do an even better job in providing our children with extraordinary educational experiences.

The school would benefit from more transparent and inclusive Board governance, and I would work extremely hard to advocate for more parent/community-member input. The continued success of the elementary and middle schools is clearly vital to developing our district and wider community in the right direction.

R. Roger Rowe has vast resources that it should use prudently to offer all of its students even more customized learning experiences. We also should be doing more to prepare to launch students who aspire to gain acceptances to top private schools for middle or high school. We need to assess our curriculum and programs in order to ensure that we are maximizing the value of every dollar we spend.

The Board and district should do more due diligence to evaluate the condition of the entire school's infrastructure before considering spending vital funds to promote a bond measure that would raise property taxes throughout the district. The entire community needs to be involved in deciding whether and how to pay for discretionary facility upgrades, and we should consider a wider range of funding options including private fundraising.

To summarize, I stand for:

  1. Transparency and shared governance
  2. Developing a comprehensive master plan for the school
  3. Fiscal responsibility

I am the only candidate:

  1. Promoting a NO Bond approach
  2. With 10+ years experience as a professor at a major university
  3. With children currently enrolled in both the elementary and middle school at R. Roger Rowe
  4. RSF Education Foundation Supporter and Scholars' Circle Member since 2013
  5. With over 20+ years as a real estate investment professional with extensive executive board and CEO experience

Please support me and vote Thomas Barton for RSF School Board.

Campaign website: