ABOUT

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 my undergraduate studies at Rutgers University (B.A., Biological Sciences and Journalism/Mass Media double major) and graduate school at NYU (M.A., Biology), 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.  Working in a complex, highly regulated professional environment with cross-functional, collaborative teams; objectively analyzing data for both short- and long-term planning; and an 'end user' (in this case, patient) focus, were all skills these opportunities allowed me to hone.

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 experience, skills and passion for our community in serving a second term on the Cabrillo Unified School District Governing Board!

Last updated:  September 23, 2020

© Sophia Layne for Cabrillo Unified School Board 2020 - FPPC# 1432264