School Board Candidates

Candidates for Carpinteria Unified School District Board of Trustees are, top row from left: Craig Cook and incumbent Rogelio Delgado, and bottom row from left: Jaime Diamond, Aaron Smith and Jeff Weinbender.

In this year’s election for Carpinteria Unified School District Board of Trustees, incumbent Rogelio Delgado faces four challengers in a race for two seats on the school board. In this first installation of a three-part Q & A series with the candidates, we learn why Delgado seeks a second term, and why Carpinterians Jaime Diamond, Aaron Smith, Jeff Weinbender and Craig Cook are ready to fight for a chance to serve on Carpinteria’s school board. 


This week: Introduce yourself and tell us why you are running for the Carpinteria Unified School District Board of Trustees.

Craig Cook

Hi Carp! I’m Craig Cook and I am running for CUSD School Board. I am a proud parent of a seventh grader and two kindergartners in CUSD. Since arriving in 2012, I have been active in our community. I consistently volunteer in my child’s classroom every year; whether it be presenting on the Chumash or MLK, doing science experiments, chaperoning field trips or assisting our amazing teachers in whatever is needed during my class visits. Last week, I was elected to the CMS Site Council. I also have been a youth coach each year for basketball, soccer, volleyball and softball where I am able to share my passion for sports and where I have molded and shaped future athletes as they strive to reach their full potential. I find my volunteerism very rewarding and it’s been a real pleasure to see all the talented youth we have in our community thrive and grow over the years! 

As an educator and Professor in the American Ethnic Studies department at SBCC, I have been proud and inspired to serve as an educator for students of various backgrounds. I am running to give voice to all, especially those who have been historically neglected. Moreover, my goal is to advance student learning, achievement and success of all students while supporting our stellar teachers and parents. ALL means ALL.

If elected, I promise I will always advocate for all our student populations and their families. I will also continue to support our teachers in pushing for more equitable practices in education. I am an optimist who thrives on challenges, leads by example, and readily adapts to situations. I am confident that you will find that I exhibit intelligence, determination, dedication and that I am eager to make a positive contribution to the CUSD and our community!


Rogelio Delgado

My name is Rogelio Delgado, an educator, a U.S. citizen. My life has been dedicated to education. I graduated from CHS, SBCC, LMU and UCLA. I have been on the CUSD School Board since 2016. My political platform was transparency, supporting students, teachers and parents. Money not spent wisely should be spent on our kids. Our cash reserves would be higher.

My 2020 platform is the same as in 2016: transparency, protecting students, parents, teachers and stakeholders. This support I will provide in English and Spanish.

Regarding the school agenda, I double check legal fees and expenses, Measure U and warrants, to ask questions and get answers from the school district for the sake of transparency. My biggest satisfaction was the passing by our Board of the Multicultural Literature Course. I thank the Diversify Our Narrative group for taking action immediately. You have all made history at CHS.


Jaime Diamond

Carpinterians, YOU, our children, our community are why I am running for CUSD School Board Trustee. I am Jaime Diamond, and I have called Carpinteria home since 2003. My husband Jason and I have three children—Matthew (14, eighth grade, Carpinteria Middle School), Molly (10, fifth grade, Canalino) and Max (3 and hopefully a future DLI student). My husband and I own Stardust Sportfishing in the Santa Barbara Harbor and enjoy being outside with our family. 

I have been an active participant with our schools since we made the choice to join the Carpinteria public schools when my oldest entered kindergarten at Canalino. Starting with VP Parents for Canalino, current President Parents for CMS, Parent Advisory Council and more school board meetings than I can remember. I coached basketball and indoor soccer at the Boys & Girls Club, and I advocate for student access to opportunities many of our students would never otherwise have via school field trips. I point out problems within the district and school board, always followed up with solutions. I have worked tirelessly on reducing food insecurity among students and families. I get things done, and done well.

Board member character and integrity is of the utmost importance to me. You will not see me deferring to a “party line.”  I am deeply invested in student character. We need to create a district that invests in an environment to foster our students’ critical thinking, truth seeking and rigorous academic opportunities. One that promotes resiliency, encourages leaders’ growth, ensures equity for all students, provides a safe place for growth by both success and failures and creates global citizens led by integrity and humility. I want our schools, students and community to be better. More than that, I want our best!  (Not too much to ask for, right?!)  


Aaron Smith

It is no secret that I love all things Carpinteria. I feel so fortunate to have grown up here, attended public schools, and raised my family here. Both my wife Sarah and I feel immense gratitude to the community for the support we received as students and then as parents in this school district.  

I was born and raised in Carpinteria.  My parents were both local educators.  My father, Ron Smith, taught math at Carpinteria Junior High School during the late ’70s and early ’80s. My mother, Julie Smith, was a professor and department chair of the Early Childhood Education Department at Santa Barbara City College for 27 years. My brother Ramsey Smith is currently a math teacher at Carpinteria High School. I have three children in the district, Asher, a freshman at Carpinteria High School, and Holiday and Lucia, both fifth graders at Canalino. I received a bachelor’s degree in history from California State University Northridge and have worked for Channel Islands Surfboards for 23 years.  

As a school board member, I will do the research, listen to all sides, and make educated decisions. I’m a collaborator and problem solver, and I will bring these skills to our school board. We all need to work together to safely get our children back in the classroom so we can repair the achievement gap that has widened during the pandemic. We need to look at our curriculum and find ways to make it culturally relevant. We need to make creative, fiscally responsible decisions that put every student on a personalized path to success. 

I am committed to putting in the hard work to ensure high quality education for each of our local students.  I am ready to give back to the community that has given me so much. 


Jeff Weinbender

My wife and I have been blessed to live in Carpinteria for the past 20 years. I have dedicated my vocational life to education. I have spent the last 25 years as a teacher in Santa Barbara. My wife, Justina, is an English teacher and our daughter is an eighth grader. We care greatly about our schools. I believe I am exceptionally qualified for the position. I am a listener and a learner. I enjoy working with people together on tasks. I believe our students need us now, more than ever. When a person is able to serve their community, they should offer to do so. I want to be an example of that.



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