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.


Rincon Valley Union School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Jeff Gospe

Jeff Gospe

8,454 votes (22.2%)Winning
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

  • Support teachers and staff with needed resources to improve academics for all students and narrow the achievement gap between subgroups.
  • Hire new superintendent to lead the District and ensure every child has access to a high-quality, well-rounded education in a safe, supportive environment while being responsive to the values and priorities of our many stakeholders.
  • Ensure strong fiscal guidance and oversight to safeguard the District's financial health and reputation, continuing to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars.



Profession:Incumbent, Financial Advisor, Parent
Financial Advisor, Planner & Investment Manager, National Brokerage & Investment Firm (2005–current)
Trustee, Board of Education, Rincon Valley Union School District — Elected position (2014–current)
Community Representative, Budget Advisory Committee, Santa Rosa City Schools — Appointed position (2017–current)
Community Representative, Seismic Monitoring Advisory Committee, County of Lake — Appointed position (2004–2016)
Trustee, Board of Education, Rincon Valley Union School District — Appointed position (2013–2014)
President & Chief Operating Officer; VP, MIS; VP, Operations; Consultant, E-Myth Worldwide (1993–2005)
Development Specialist, Sonoma County Economic Development Board (1992–1993)
Consultant, Soviet & East European Division, Ernst & Young (1990–1992)


Stanford University Bachelor of Arts, Political Science (1990)

Community Activities

Board Member & Treasurer, Santa Rosa French-American Charter School Foundation (501c3 nonprofit) (2012–current)
Member and Former Board Director, Rotary Club of Santa Rosa (2006–current)
Member & Newly Ordained Elder, First Presbyterian Church (2005–current)
School Volunteer/Donor, Madrone PTA, RVCS Parent Association, Rincon Valley Education Foundation, SRFACS Foundation, SRHS Foundation, Friends of ArtQuest (2005–current)
Founder & President, Anderson Springs Community Alliance (501c3 nonprofit) (2001–2016)


It has been an honor to serve these past five years as your representative on the Rincon Valley Union School District’s Board of Education.  I know first-hand as a Rincon Valley student AND as a Rincon Valley parent that we are very fortunate to live in such a great district with excellent schools and wonderful teachers and staff. 

I was born and raised in this district, attended Madrone Elementary, Binkley Elementary, Rincon Valley Junior High School, then Santa Rosa High School before leaving Santa Rosa for Stanford University.

I returned to the district in the early 1990s to work locally and eventually start and raise my family---like so many, the quality of Rincon Valley schools was central to my relocation decision.  My two daughters (Natalie & Sophie, 18 & 16) also attended Madrone Elementary, then Rincon Valley Charter School - Sequoia from Kindergarten through 8th grade.  I also have a 9-year-old son, Jacob, who is a 4th grader at the Santa Rosa French-American Charter School, a unique education opportunity that wasn’t available within the district, and whom I hope will return for our outstanding middle school.

I care deeply about our local community and public education as the great equalizer, which is why I’ve devoted more than 1,000 hours these past 5 years on the Rincon Valley school board, regularly visiting all 8 campuses, attending most back to school nights, open houses, and school events, and meeting frequently with parents and staff.

With almost 30 years as a business & financial professional, I have brought valuable experience and skills that complement our school board and district administration. 

I have a proven track-record of hard work and care for our students, teachers and staff, taking the time to be prepared, asking thoughtful questions, and making every effort to support ALL of our schools, while also being a good steward of taxpayer dollars for the over 40,000 people who call our district home.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (1)

  • Rincon Valley Union Teachers Association

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

While school boards are nonpartisan, the role of trustees who sit on locally elected school boards is to ensure school districts are responsive to the values and priorities of their communities, while also providing fiduciary oversight of taxpayer dollars and ultimately being the place where “the buck stops” for their compliance with a myriad of local, State & Federal laws.

Our public schools are one of the few places where we have visibility and local control over our tax dollars and board members fulfill this role by setting the direction and priorities for the district, including hiring the superintendent, adopting policies and budgets, allocating resources, setting direction for curriculum, planning for facilities, bargaining with labor unions, and ensuring accountability for student achievement, program effectiveness, school safety, and financial health of the district.

Some have suggested that it is most important to choose candidates for school board who currently have children in Rincon Valley schools, and while I’ve certainly been informed by my experiences as a parent and having kids in our schools, this job is primarily about providing direction and oversight for other people’s children and schools my children don’t attend, as well as being a steward of taxpayer dollars for most who don’t have children in our schools (though many once did).

If we are doing our job, we are focused not only on the near-term through the next five years, but also on the next 25 years and beyond.  We need to care about the success of our current students, as well as consider and plan for the needs of the children and grandchildren of our current students and residents.

As an advocate for public education in Santa Rosa, it has also been beneficial to Rincon Valley schools that I maintain positive relationships with other local districts and schools, including serving the past year on Santa Rosa City Schools Budget Advisory Committee to help navigate $14-million budget cuts in a neighboring district to remain solvent (including the high school district where our Rincon Valley students will soon attend).

My experience and skills as a business and financial professional, as well as my long history of diverse community involvement---as demonstrated for the past five years as a trustee on the Rincon Valley school board---uniquely qualify me to earn your vote, so I can continue providing guidance and oversight for the district and its many stakeholders.

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