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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Cabrillo Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Sophia Layne

Sophia Layne

Parent / Biotech Director
6,411 votes (37%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Recruit/retain the best teachers and staff – Support 'every child...every day' by strengthening community alignment and partnerships to overcome challenges (e.g., budget, cost of living, teacher shortages) and make CUSD a truly great place to work
  • Foster a learning mindset and culture in our schools -- Empower teachers and encourage partnerships to pilot and expand successful strategies to prepare today's students for the future
  • Bolster early reading support -- Ensure all students are set up for success with a solid foundation to achieving a high bar on other skills and academic disciplines (e.g., STEM, the arts)



Profession:Parent and biotech director
Global Clinical Operations Business Manager (rotation), Genentech, Inc. (2015–2016)
Global Medical Affairs Pipeline Director, Oncology, Genentech, Inc. (2014–2015)
Global Medical Affairs Pipeline Director, Oncology, Genentech, Inc. (2010–2014)
Publication Planning Manager/Senior Publication Planning Manager, Genentech, Inc., (2004–2009)
Market Analyst/Consultant (pharma/biotech), WWMR, Inc. (2001–2004)


New York University MS (Masters), Biology (current)
Rutgers University BA (Bachelors), Dual Major - Biological Sciences and Journalism/Mass Communications (current)

Community Activities

Youth soccer coach (U10 boys), American Youth Soccer Organization (2016–current)
Volunteer - classroom art instruction, library support, fundraisers, Hatch Elementary School PTO (2010–current)


As a parent of two young students in our school district, a long-time resident of the Coastside, and passionate supporter of public schools, it would be my honor to serve as a Member of the Cabrillo Unified School District Governing Board.  I believe in supporting every child to reach his/her fullest potential, and I'm running for the School Board to help achieve that goal.

Raised bilingual and trained as a biologist, my lifelong passion for learning has come through across every stage of my career and personal life. I have built a 17-year career in the biotech industry, primarily in business and communications including 12 years at Genentech/Roche. Through this experience, I developed leadership skills crucial to a school board district board member role, including data-based decision-making, collaboration, and innovation – all in a highly complex and often cost-constrained environment.  I enjoy spending my 'free time' with family and friends and exploring nature – hiking, birding, beekeeping, and making art rank among my favorite hobbies.

Recognizing the opportunity to apply my professional experience and to my local community, I recently shifted gears to to take a break from my corporate career track to spend more time with my family and ‘give back’ to our Coastside. I am willing and able to dedicate the substantial time and energy required for a school board member to truly engage in supporting district staff and teachers, strengthening community partnerships, and fostering an innovative culture and ‘learning mindset’ in our district, per my priorities for our schools.  

I'm proud to have the support of a broad coalition of Coastside parents and community leaders (full list available at

Together, we can accelerate our progress in preparing today’s Coastside students for the future!

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Don Horsley, San Mateo County Supervisor, Third District
  • Rick Kowalczyk, Half Moon Bay Mayor and City Council Member
  • San Mateo County Democrats

Organizations (1)

  • Coastside Democrats Club

Elected Officials (2)

  • Deborah Ruddock, Half Moon Bay Vice Mayor and City Council Member
  • Brigid O’Farrell, San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee Member, District 3

Individuals (13)

  • David Aliamus, Coastside Children's Program (CCP) HMB School Age Site Supervisor
  • Humphrey Lu, Coastside pediatrician
  • Linda Meyer, Hatch Parent-Teacher Organization President (PTO)
  • Lenny Mendonca, Children Now Board Chairman and Coastside community leader
  • Darleen DeRosa, Coastside Children's Program (CCP) Advisory Board Member
  • Charlotte Lee-Smith, American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) Region 1099 Regional Commissioner
  • Nancy Stern, former Senior Coastsiders Board of Directors President
  • Brian Colucci, HMB Little League Board of Directors Vice President
  • Abby Foster, Coastside teacher
  • Corrine Bucher, Coastside community leader
  • John Ediger, Coastside community leader
  • TJ Glauthier, Citizens Committee for School Solar Energy

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 Sophia Layne:

The district has recently initiated a program to improve communications internally and with students' families, including user-friendly communications regarding our local control formula for school spending and outcomes measurement.  I would like to use the leadership role presented by district governing board membership to further pull through and expand upon this information to other leaders and key stakeholders in our community (e.g., explaining impact of LCFF to our CUSD schools and programs), as well as to collaborate with district staff to stay in touch with evolving key stakeholder information needs and ensure these needs are effectively addressed.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

As trends in globalization and technology accelerate, so, too, will the need to further expand our efforts in education of our children – and future workforce – from a focus on imparting knowledge to teaching essential academic, social, and emotional skills. Students across our diverse community have a wide variety of needs. While Cabrillo Unified School District (CUSD)'s vision of 'every child...every day' is an ambitious one, it is critically important we maximize our efforts to achieve it, however challenging it is to do so.

To this end, should I be elected to the CUSD Governing Board Member role, I would prioritize support for the following:

  • Recruitment, retention, and empowerment of the best teachers and staff
  • Strengthening of community partnerships
  • Bolstering of early reading support
  • Accountability for excellence in execution
  • Fostering of an innovative culture and ‘learning mindset’ in our schools

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