Past Redwood Foundation president Karen Loebbaka steps up to the TUHSD board

Alli Runnfeldt

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Courtesy of Karen Loebbaka
Karen Loebbaka, new TUHSD board member.

As the start of the 2019-2020 school year commenced, Karen Loebbaka stepped down from her position as the Redwood High School Foundation’s president to take a position on the board of trustees for the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD). Loebbaka’s decision to step down stemmed from several important reasons.

“The president position on the Foundation is a big, busy job, and it’s really meant to be a two-year position for a lot of reasons. One is there’s a high rate of burnout. Secondly because [I believe]that it’s always good to get new people in with fresh ideas,” Loebbaka said.

The new president of the Foundation is Judy Seales, who had been on the Foundation board for a year before she was offered the position from Loebbaka and was voted in by the Board of Directors. 

“Anytime I can help with the school, or the students, I will do so. I have loved working on the Foundation and all the people and I truly believe the Foundation makes such a big difference,” Searles said. “I think Karen has done a fantastic job. I really would just like to further what she’s started.”

 Although Loebbaka is sad to see this chapter close, she is excited for her next one as a board member. She is one of the five board members who act as a unit. Together, they help set the strategy for the district. 

Kevin Saavedra, a fellow board trustee, believes Loebbaka is a great fit.

“We put out that submission and got six applications, I think [they] were really good, qualified candidates that came at us. I’m happy with [Loebbaka] … she comes with an expertise that is really additive to the rest of the board members,” Saavedra said.

Saavedra explained that the majority of high school districts in California are not financed the way the TUHSD is and because of that, it is essential that they plan accordingly. Likewise, Loebbaka touched on that issue separately in mentioning the budget crisis. 

Photo by Alli Runnfeldt
The district office is now the place of meetings for Loebbaka.

 

“Certainly the biggest challenge ahead is the budget and getting it to stabilization,” Loebbaka said.

Although both positions bring different amounts of stress, Loebbaka is also looking forward to see what Searles does with her past position.

“[Searles] is fantastic. Incredible energy, a real can-do attitude. She is going to continue to bring more professionalism to the board and continue with the outreach to the community,” Loebbaka said.

Photo by Alli Runnfeldt
View of the district office from Redwood grounds.