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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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November 8, 2016 —California General Election

Del Mar Union School District — ” Stephen Cochrane, Candidate for Board Member

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Stephen Cochrane

Teacher Education Professor
6,707 votes (28.13%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY--move the DMUSD into 21st century learning using technology in the classroom, including implementation of a Learning Management System across the district to boost student learning and outcomes.
  • TEACHING SKILLS NECESSARY FOR 21st CENTURY JOBS & HIGHER EDUCATION--most jobs that our children will have in the future don't even exist today and will depend on critical thinking, creative problem solving, abstract thinking, and collaboration.
  • REVISION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES--15 percent of the DMUSD children receive special education services. Rather than continuing to accommodate and modify current curriculum, research shows the benefits of early therapeutic interventions.



Profession:Director, Teacher Education & Credentialing and Masters in Education programs; Education Professor; PTA Board Member
Systemwide Director, Teacher Education Department (Multiple/Single Subject), Alliant International University (2015–current)
Director, Master of Arts in Education Degree Program, Alliant International University (2015–current)
Director, Special Education Credential Programs, Alliant International University (2015–current)
Associate Professor, Education, Alliant International University (2015–current)
Parliamentarian, PTA Executive Board Member, Sage Canyon Elementary — Appointed position (2016–current)
Associate Professor, Special Education Degree & Credential Programs, Azusa Pacific University (2004–2015)
Committee Member, Office of Administrative Hearings Special Education Advisory Committee — Appointed position (2012–2014)
Parent/Community Representative, Special Education Local Planning Area, North County Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE) — Appointed position (2012–2013)
Board of Directors member, Learning Disabilities Association of San Diego — Appointed position (2011–2012)
Board of Directors member, Educational Advocacy for Children — Appointed position (2005–2008)


Cornell University Certificate, Business Leadership in Education (2007)
Cornell University Certificate, Financial Management in Education (2007)
Cornell University Certificate, Proactive Leadership in Education (2007)
Capella University Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) , Education (2005)
Point Loma Nazarene University Master of Arts (M.A.), Special Education (1996)

Community Activities

Classroom volunteer/Dad's Club member, DMUSD (Early Child Development Center/Preschool, Torrey Hills Elementary, Sage Canyon Elementary) (2010–current)
Karate Instructor & CEO, Therapeutic Karate, Inc. (2014–current)
Member, Grace Point Church, Carmel Valley (2004–current)
PTA Exectutive Board Member--Parlimentarian, Sage Canyon Elementary (2016–current)
Treasurer, Home Owners Association (2014–2016)


I am so excited to use my 20+ year career in Education to help serve the families and children of the DMUSD. I am at a point in my career where I really want to give back to my community and can use my educational expertise to advise the board on current and relevant educational issues.

I have taught at all levels of education, so I understand what it is like to be a teacher. I have trained over 1500 local teachers and am in the classroom regularly observing and mentoring current teachers. In my current role as System-wide Director of Teacher Education at Alliant International University, I know about best educational practices and pedagogy. In my research, I am up-to-date on current educational issues, as well as the future direction of education. I understand how to integrate educational technology in the classroom and teach my own students how to utilize educational technology to improve student learning and outcomes. I also know the complexities of special education and believe that research-based early therapeutic interventions can address underlying causes of many learning difficulties, rather than merely modifying the curriculum and making classroom accommodations.

I believe in transparency and open dialogue with the community. I also believe in partnering with the community and utilizing mentors to help train our children in real-world skills and critical thinking. I feel it is important to listen to the needs of the families and children living in our district. I want to hear YOUR voice and I'm here to serve YOU.

I want to continue to support fiscal responsibility by balancing expenditures and reserves. Having spent several years as Treasurer for our HOA, I understand the complexities of budgets and fiduciary decision-making. I also have a unique understanding of education budgets and school finance because of my position in higher education management.

I believe the DMUSD is making great strides in educating our children. I feel my unique educational experience and background can help them further accomplish their mission of forging a path for tomorrow's global and innovative thinkers. Lastly, I offer something more and different than what the current board is comprised of and this can directly benefit YOU and YOUR CHILDREN.

Who supports this candidate?

Individuals (74)

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 Stephen Cochrane:

The DMUSD is doing a good job allocating funding to its schools and is doing so in a way that is fiscally responsible.  The new law requires the District to incorporate community input as part of its priorities.  Through its Strategic Plan process over the past 5 years, the district has been incorporating community input and updates this Strategic plan annually as a result of input from working groups and a series of comprehensive targeted meetings.  This feedback is updated regularly and allows for full progress reports and discussions during the public board meetings, which are held monthly.  The public can also read further about funding issues and budgeting concerns/priorities on the DMUSD webpage, which publishes both the agenda for future meetings and minutes from past meetings on it.  This helps in keeping transparency of school issues visible to the public, which is a practice of good governance.  Transparency and openness is very important to me and is something I would continue to support if elected to the Board.  Also, it is extremely important to me that the public has access to board members, which further emphasizes community involvement and engagement.  I want to hear from the community about what school issues are important to them.  If elected, I would continue this position of being open and engaged with the public and being a sounding board for school issues that are important to the community.

Questions from League of Women Voters of North County San Diego (1)

What is the most significant challenge facing the Del Mar Union School District, and if you are elected, what steps will you take to address it?
Answer from Stephen Cochrane:

The biggest challenge is that the current school board faces is that it lacks a board member with significant educational expertise.  A school board should have someone on it who has a strong education background and someone who understands what it is like to be in the classroom.  I have been in the education field for 20+ years and I am regularly in the classroom mentoring and working with teachers.  As an Education Professor, I have trained over 1500 local teachers during my career.  I have 5 teaching credentials and a school administrative credential.   I have expertise in educational technology and can help the DMUSD accomplish its vision to educate the 21st century student.  I can help implement the online Learning Management System that the district has already purchased, so that we capitalize fully on this investment.  In fact, I am already training many teachers in San Diego County on how to use Learning Management Systems for improved student outcomes.  I have no doubt that, if elected, I would be able to work colloboratlvely and cohesively with the current board and provide a unique perspective that it currently lacks.  Similar skills sets are redundant and do not benefit the community.  I offer something different--a strong educational background which would most benefit all the children in this district.  It is important that the community understands that a school board should be represented by a candidate who knows and understands schools.



Official Statement

Researched by Voter’s Edge
Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters

[Candidates for this position had to pay a fee of $220 if they chose to present a 200-word statement in the sample ballot pamphlet.]

Governing Board Member

Teacher Education Professor

My wife, Aimee, and I have two children--Christopher (3rd grade) and Nicholas (Kindergarten)- who attend Sage Canyon Elementary. We’re both executive PTA board members and actively volunteer in our children’s classrooms. I’ve also been a DMUSD representative to its Special Education Consortium.

I have 20+ years experience in the education field as a teacher, professor of teacher education, university administrator, and academic researcher. Currently, I’m a Teacher Education professor and the System-wide Director of Teacher Education at Alliant International University, leading their Elementary, Secondary, and Special Education teacher credential programs, as well as their Master of Arts in Education degree program.

I have a Ph.D. in Education, M.A. in Special Education, and five teaching credentials, as well as three certificates from Cornell University in Education Management for Business, Leadership, and Finance. I also hold a School Administrative credential. Additionally, I’ve been on the Board of Directors for multiple non-profit corporations, as well as a California State Education Advisory Board.

My level of expertise in Education Technology and Special Education will result in a better-rounded board.

If elected, my background in education will improve our students’ creative, analytical, and critical thinking, as well as their level of emotional intelligence.

Candidate Contact Info

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