Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Tuesday November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Invest in unbiased information

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.


Tamalpais Union High School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Barbara McVeigh

Barbara McVeigh

21,912 votes (19.53%)
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

  • Foster collaboration
  • Curriculum priority
  • Fiscal responsibility



Profession:Producer, Educator, Environmentalist
Doc Film Producer of The Man Behind The White Guitar, Self (2015–current)
Author of three books, Self (2015–current)
Doc Film Producer of Racing with Copepods, Self (2014–2015)
Production Sr Manager, Restoration Hardware (2005–2007)


Dominican UC MA, Humanities (2017)
San Francisco State University BA, Language Studies (1994)

Community Activities

Producer/Host, Jimmy Carter Jamboree (2017–current)
Producer/Host of People's Environmental News, Community Media Center of Marin (2017–2018)
Producer, KALW (2016–2016)
Youth Director/Outreach Director, Sailing Education Adventures (2012–2014)
Educator/Nature Educator, Independent (2010–2014)


Life is a journey and it certainly has been a fanstastic one for me, though not without challenges which have helped season my perspectives and outlook about education and politics. I faced hard politics growing up, and I am grateful for those early lessons as they allow me today to offer big questions at times when we are facing new times.  

As a child I had dreams to travel and explore the world, which I did extensively, including countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America. I always did so with the intent to meet the people and understand their point of view.  I appreciated connecting to farmers, artists and educators,  to understand their history and their struggles. I also lived in China where I learned their point of view about America as they were opening up and embracing our values and economic standards. I backpacked through Mexico and Guatemala, connecting with Indigenous people and other wanders, like me, who wanted a better understanding of each other and possessed a deep yearning to learn and question everything.

I put myself through college at San Francisco State University, a result of my parents' financial difficulties following the 1981 union strike.  I worked 30 hours a week at a lawfirm with a lawyer who had been with the Carter Administration. I graduated without a penny of debt even if I had holes in my shoes. I was determined to get an education, the first one in my working class family to do so. My passion for literature and language inspired me those six years, as it also enriched my love for humanity.

I pursued a teaching position in China at Nanjing University and taught English and grammar, work that earned me the Teacher of the Year award. When I returned to the US, I was not inspired by public education, as I originally thought I'd become a teacher. But after one year of being free to teach how I would naturally teach, I instead pursued media and became an intern at KQED radio where I had the honor to work for Michael Krasny and top national reporters in the KQED News Room. I learned so much about the movers and shakers of American culture, politics and education. I also had the liberty to ask hard questions which helped shape my entire world view and especially that about our own democracy and identity. Asking hard questions keep us all honest.

A few years later I moved to corporate work with managing creative content for life style magazines and for the first time was able to afford living, traveling and saving like a middle class person could do. Sadly a class of people disappearing in this country, as we are at conditions similar to 1923.

I married and insisted on raising my two young children, so we decided to live very frugally in Marin County. During that time, we got heavily involved in nonprofit work and, with unreasonable passion, did the unthinkable and risked much of what we had to uplift a nonprofit sailing organization that stemmed from the Oceanic Society. We found a sense of freedom unlike any other place where people come together and work together to enjoy the beauty of our waterways, teach kids vital responsibility on the water and connect to our oceans. One passion led to the next as I began to understand the horrific state of our oceans. With the help of the Schmidt Family Foundation, I produced my first film with a team of children and international scientists, including Dr. Sylvia Earle, to help educate and inspire everyone to take responsiblity of our oceans which are facing horrific ocean acidification and pollution. During this time, I also wrote and published three books and prepared another film to help inspire harmony and unity, recognizing story tellers and artists are a vital link to culture and our future. I have never been to film school and if my story can serve one purpose, it's to never allow anything to stop one from doing what one wants to do and what is most important. Both films are international collaborations with very tiny budgets, another message to never allow money to stop you.

I was fortunate to homeschool my daughter and son for a few years recognizing that there are many powerful unconventional forms of education. Some of these pedagogies have served communities for decades and are even international, including Waldorf education. These findings help me today to think outside the proverbial box and maybe inspire others to do so as well. Charter schools were our lifeline for many years, and I seek to inspire respect for other forms of education outside of what our public schools may be offering in order to address diverse needs, support our teachers on the highest level and ensure fiscal responsibility. I am a firm believer of public education and the responsibilty that we have for it. I also believe in good collaborative values of respect.

Four years ago I pursued a Masters in Humanities from Dominican UC in order to ask big questions about our state of humanity, education and culture, as I was recognizing we are experiencing a crisis that is hurting our children both now as well as their future. Our children are facing a disaster that we created ecologically and we must begin thinking creatively and collaboratively and question the values that have been leading us for the last forty years. I was inspired by the Damapada and the Tao Te Ching, both 2000 year old works of literature, that can humble us today and remind us of the power unity, collaboration and humility.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Heirs to Our Oceans

Organizations (1)

  • Ocean Conservation Research

Individuals (1)

  • Peter Coyote

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I come from a very powerful political background. I learned hard politics at age 13 waiting at night for the FBI to come arrest my father. He was taking a stand for political honesty against the Hero of the Republican Party, Ronald Reagan, and was willing to lose his job, along with 13,000 other union members across the country. My father, who had also served in the US Navy, believed deeply in doing the right thing. He was fired in 48 hours and we nearly lost everything those following years. I watched fake media carry news that was not honest or fair and favored a popular president whose policies have devastated our country economically, environmentally, labor and even the media. I carried that childhood trauma for years. It wasn't until recently I understood the value that my father taught me about life.  And I feel blessed to have had parents who believed that I could endure those lessons at an early age. Those early lessons have today enriched my views as to how policy, whether its federal or from a school board, can shift culture and make an impact on lives.

I value education highly. During those years of political trauma I lost my college funds to study oceanography at Santa Barbara UC. Being a child of the working class, I was the first of my family to go to college and I had to support myself in those efforts, which I did. It took me over six years to complete my degree, but I did it without a penny of debt. After college, I went to China to teach at Nanjing University where I received Teacher of the Year award. I returned to the US to teach but I was very uninspired by public education and how the tight public school curriculum and policies would limit myself to someone's else's idea of education. I followed up pursuing public radio and later pursued creative design/publications in a corporate setting. I got married and had two wonderful children when my journey of today's education really began and awakened to the crisis we are facing which requires big thinking, courage and vision. 

We are not taking our environmental challenges seriously enough. And our schools need to step their responsibility.  It begins with cooperation and collaboration, as well as vision understanding that we are in new times and our children will have challenges unlike any generation before ours. American values and community strength are at an all time low. And we continue to pursue ideas that were instilled in the 1980s when a cultural shift happened in our country resulting in a lack of empathy for more vulnerable people. I believe such is a sign of bad education. 

My travels have fostered the love I share for diversity within our communities. One such is the Guatemalan community in Marin County. I was horrified this past summer of the violence on our borders. I teamed up with two local Guatemalan families and was sponsored by a SF immigration nonprofit to fly to Guatemala and meet extended families there. I value deep relationships more than blame and anger. I also value honesty with our history, much of which is not discussed in our very own schools, and we need to take responsibility for our horrific foreign policy in Guatemala that fostered the immigration issues. I believe that is education. We have great opportunity even within our own high schools to bridge strong relationships with our immigrant community which, I see, as not only a responsibility but an absolute gift. We can show the rest of the country how a caring, compassionate community can uplift the most vulnerable with grace and respect.

It all starts with education, but that is an education of responsibility, not just the idea that education is about getting jobs and making money. And such is the spirit I'm bringing to the table as I pursue this governing position. We need to ask hard questions of our schools, teachers, administrators, parents and ourselves and think outside the proverbial box as we craft a new path for the sake of our children's future. These are exciting times because we have a big duty, and I believe we can do it.

My inspiration is President Jimmy Carter, a leader who has proven himself with energy and conservation values that we are now recognizing were ahead of our times. Carter set the stage for honesty, modesty, peace and collaboration, as well as the value of sacrifice. As a person who always owned up to his own shortcomings, his spirit can guide us now to not follow ego, but embrace humility and muster confidence for a new age.

We fail to remember the anger and outrage during the early Reagan administration. His own daughter protested against her father. What we can learn now is that more anger, outrage and fear do not lead us to the right path. We need to find vision and be positive as we unite on a level unlike ever before. Let's start with our schools.

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