District 2 (2018-2022)
Serving Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, Stanton, Sunset Beach, Westminster, and portions of Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley and Garden Grove.
Mari Barke, a long time resident of Rossmoor, was elected to the Orange County Board of Education in June 2018 to represent the second district.
She graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Finance Degree. Mari spent much of youth and college years selling Levi's at Starlite Drive-in in El Monte as part of a family business.
After she graduated CSUN, she then spent a dozen years in the Insurance Industry, progressing from underwriter to commercial business unit manager. Even though she enjoyed her career, she decided to return to the family retail business in order to be able to spend more time raising her children.
Since 2016 Mari has spent a lot of time doing community work to discover what her next chapter might look like. While volunteering at the California Policy Center, she discovered a passion for education. Mari wanted to make sure that every child in Orange County had the same educational choices that her children enjoyed. She became very interested in public charter schools, parent unions and parental choice. Mari believes that every child deserves access to a great education, and they should be able to choose whether they want to attend a traditional public school, a public charter school, a private school or be homeschooled. Every child is unique and therefore should have choices. She feels parents and family members are in the best position to decide what is best for their children. She started helping the Parent Unions in Santa Ana by teaching ESL to adults and supporting their events. At about the same time Mari decided she could really make a big impact on Education in Orange County by running for the Orange County Board of Education.
Mari is very involved in her community. She is an Ambassador for the Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce and sits on the board of directors for the Cypress Chamber of commerce. Mari also serves on the board of directors for the New Majority and she is an active member of the Lincoln Club of Orange County. She also donates time to Fisher House in Long Beach and National Charity League.
She and her husband Jeff, who are high school sweet hearts, have two children. Allie is a recent graduate of DePaul University in Chicago. She still resides in Chicago, works for a digital media company and has her own fashion blog she started while in high school. Sam spent a year Hillsdale College before being hired by Secretary Perdue of the USDA. He is continuing his studies on line with ASU as he travels the world doing advance work for the Secretary of Agriculture. He lives in Virginia just outside of Washington DC.