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Tuesday November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Special District

Cabrillo Unified School DistrictCandidate for Trustee, Trustee Area D

Photo of Sophia Layne

Sophia Layne

1,589 votes (61.3%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Equity and justice - Systemic improvements to ensure all students, particularly 'at promise' students, are provided the highest quality education possible
  • Sustainability - Managing resources to ensure success of our students over the short- and long-term, including financial solvency and social-emotional well-being
  • Continuous improvement - Infrastructure and culture to continuously improve planning and execution, resulting in improved academic and social-emotional outcomes for all students



Profession:Incumbent; Former Biotechnology Director
Trustee, Cabrillo Unified School District Governing Board — Elected position (2016–current)
Global Product Development Clinical Operations Business Manager (rotation), Genentech, Inc. (F. Hoffmann La-Roche) (2015–2016)
Global Product Development Medical Affairs Pipeline Director, Genentech, Inc. (F. Hoffmann La-Roche) (2014–2015)
Oncology Global Publications Associate Director (prior roles Sr Mgr/Mgr), Genentech, Inc. (F. Hoffmann La-Roche) (2004–2014)
Consultant/Senior Market Research Analyst, WWMR, Inc. (Worldwide Market Research) (2002–2004)
Project Manager and Managing Editor, GeneSage, Inc. (1999–2001)


New York University Masters' Degree, Biology
Rutgers University Bachelors' Degree, Biological Sciences and Journalism/Mass Communications (double major)


Born to Greek immigrants and raised in the NY/NJ area, I was fortunate to grow up in a family where hard work and learning, including different languages (e.g., Spanish and Greek) and what we now call ‘STEAM’, was at our core and our education was always a top priority.

My own time as a student in public schools taught me the importance of fostering a lifelong ‘learning mindset’ as a foundation for long-term success in school and beyond.

After graduate school, I made the big move to California and moved to the Coastside in 2002 – and haven’t looked back since. My husband, Joshua, has been a true partner throughout our many years of career and family, and we are proud to be raising our two boys, Rowan (14) and Oliver (11) as part of the next generation of Coastsiders.

During my 17-year career in biotech, including 12 years at Genentech/Roche, I gravitated toward roles, mostly in business and communications, where I could help innovate ways to deliver science for the benefit of patients with serious unmet medical needs.

Kids grow up fast – and there is still so much to learn about our world! – so I shifted gears from my biotech career to focus on my family and our community in 2016, succeeding that November on my first run for our local school board.

Over the past four years as a school board member, I've been actively engaged on a broad range of topics and activities, including overseeing district leadership changes; significant budget cuts; major progress in deepening collaboration across our school community, including educators, parent groups, community non-profit groups, and Latinx community leaders; and now navigating schooling during a global public health pandemic, social unrest, and economic recession.

​I've aimed to bring evidence-based, contextualized decision-making and spirit of collaborative leadership needed to appropriately balance the short- and long-term needs of our school community.​  In being realistic but hopeful, and in approaching 'challenges' as 'opportunities,' I hope to continue helping our school community maximize its resources to benefit all our students and in particular, those who need our support the most.


In my 'free' time when not volunteering for our schools in this role or caring for my family, I enjoy spending time adventuring in our incredible beach trails, redwood forests, local museums, and my own backyard (birding, beekeeping, raising chickens, gardening, and more!).


I'd be honored by the opportunity to apply my skills and passion for our community in serving a second term on the Cabrillo Unified School District Governing Board!

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • California State Senator Jerry Hill, 13th District
  • San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy McGee
  • San Mateo County Democratic Party

Organizations (3)

  • San Mateo County Democratic Party
  • San Mateo County LatinX Democratic Club
  • Dem Fems Silicon Valley

Elected Officials (6)

  • San Mateo County Board of Education Trustee Susan Alvaro, Area 1
  • San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy McGee
  • California State Senator Jerry Hill, 13th District
  • California State Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, 22nd District
  • San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley, 3rd District

Individuals (26)

  • Lisa Zanette, Cunha Intermediate School PTO VP and Acting President
  • Rachel Sage, Cabrillo USD Teacher
  • Amber Stariha, Coastsiders For Better Education Funding Founding Board Member
  • Breanna LaFontaine, Coastsiders for Better Education Funding Board Member and El Granada Elementary PTO President
  • Mathew Haugen, Cabrillo Education Foundation Board President and Element Real Estate Owner
  • Virginia Perry, Perry-D'Amico & Associates President
  • Kelly Hoffman-Davis, Mavericks Foundation President and Former Friends of Farallone View PTO President
  • Brigid O'Farrell, Author and Democratic Activist
  • TJ Glauthier, Citizens Committee for School Solar Energy Member
  • Lenny Mendonca, Former California Chief Economic and Business Advisor, McKinsey & Company Senior Partner Emeritus
  • Susan Vana, Cabrillo USD District Nurse
  • Katie Aschero, Coastsiders for Better Education Funding Co-Founder and Cabrillo Education Foundation Board Member
  • Mike Alifano, Mavericks Foundation Board Member and Alifano Technologies Co-Owner
  • Corrine Bucher, Cabrillo Education Foundation Executive Director
  • Jeanne Vargas, CoastPride Founder/President​
  • Dr. Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga, Ayudando Latinos a Sonar (ALAS) Founder/Executive Director and University of San Fran
  • Amy Broome, Half Moon Bay High School PTO President
  • Kendra Holland, Hatch Elementary PTO President
  • Megan Wilson, Friends of Farallone View PTO Co-President
  • Pati Ramirez, Ayudando Latinos a Sonar (ALAS) Board Member
  • Leigh Ann Koelsch, Spanish Immersion Parent Association President
  • Darleen DeRosa, Former Coastside Children’s Programs Executive Board Member
  • Monique Nicoll, Cabrillo USD Parent and Genentech, Inc., Life Cycle Leader
  • Stacy Owens, S.E. Owens & Company Principal
  • Christine Mendonca, Cabrillo Education Foundation Director Emeritus, Former President Mavericks Community Foundation
  • Enrique Bazan, Ayudando Latinos a Sonar (ALAS) Board Member and USF Associate Dir. of Int'l Initiatives

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