BOHS Alum Barnes (’12) Runs for BOUSD Board of Education


Photo courtesy of Lauren Barnes

2012 BOHS graduate Lauren Barnes in an undated photo. The 26-year old Barnes is the youngest candidate running for a position on the BOUSD school board in the Nov. 3 election.

Lauren Barnes, 2012 graduate of Brea Olinda High School, and current Brea resident, is officially on the ballot for BOUSD Board of Education Trustee Area 5 for the Nov. 3 election.

The 26-year old Barnes is the youngest candidate to be running for a position on the board. “As someone who is younger than other candidates, I’ve taken the time to consider what new ideas I can bring to the board. I bring 13 years of experience attending Brea’s schools, a STEM background, and a new perspective and the forward thinking of my generation,” Barnes said.

This year is the first year that she is running, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, spreading the word about her candidacy was a challenge at first. To navigate this, Barnes has relied heavily on technology, and especially, social media.  

Barnes said, “I’ve never run a large-scale election before. Over the last few weeks I’ve taught myself how to create and launch a website, and consider ways in which to brand myself and how to utilize social media platforms to get my message out. I’m looking forward to the next few months of campaigning.”

According to Barnes’s campaign website, she explains her reasons for running: to expand the STEM curriculum; collect student feedback; diversify and include more history into the curriculum; allow for more mental health services; improve transparency; and push for safe and effective planning. 

“I believe it is important to provide students with a safe way to provide feedback and in a method which allows them to feel comfortable. This could be done through an online survey system, and also allow for students to submit feedback anonymously if they prefer. Hearing from students directly would also allow the board to have a better understanding of which resources and programs are most needed,” Barnes said. 

I am excited to hear more from the community and students about what changes they would like to see in our schools.”

— Lauren Barnes ('12)

Additionally, Barnes wants to use local resources to help the community learn more about the city of Brea and its long history. She wants to use her recent experience volunteering and being involved in the community to push for better education and services for the entire Brea community — students, staff, and parents included. 

One of these local resources is California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). “CSUF’s Lawrence de Graaf Center for Oral and Public History has over 50 recorded oral histories about Brea, many of which are from people who lived here when it was first incorporated. We have so many educational resources just down the street at [CSUF] that can allow students to get a better understanding of the city we live in,” Barnes said 

Amidst COVID-19 and the challenges that have impacted education, Barnes said, “I’m sure it will pressure me to get out of my comfort zone, and provide a lot of opportunities for personal growth. I am excited to hear more from the community and students about what changes and enhancements they would like to see in our schools.”

After graduating from BOHS, Barnes attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and majored in Biomedical Engineering. At Cal Poly, Barnes served as orientation leader for new freshmen; led efforts to better the college’s safety; and tutored students through Cal Poly’s Educational Opportunity Program that specifically focuses on helping educationally and economically disadvantaged students. 

Ultimately, Barnes hopes to bring a new and younger, albeit experienced, perspective to the Brea Olinda Unified Board of Education.