About Me

Michael Shanahan

A track record of education management

Student Success. Fiscal Responsibility. Public Accountability.

Four years ago, I ran on those three principles and you elected me to the Ojai School Board. As a member of this Board, I’ve kept those principles in front of me and they have guided my decisions.

The last four years have seen significant accomplishments, including the smooth transition to a new superintendent.  But the OUSD still faces mounting challenges ranging from declining enrollment to fickle funding. We need to keep bond construction on pace. We need to resolve the effective but sensitive use of surplus District property.

We’ve done well, but we can do better.

I have the honor of serving as Vice Chancellor of Human Resources for the Ventura County Community College District.  Previously, I headed the Los Angeles Community College District Human Resources Division.  I’ve been a union attorney and have over thirty years of experience in human resources in a variety of environments.  From multinational corporations to community organizations, I know how to ask hard questions and collaborate for good answers.

I’m asking you to return me to the Board, to continue to put my experience and expertise to work for the OUSD and our students.

For every decision that comes before me, I will ask:

  • Does this enhance student success? Increase graduation or achievement scores? Improve school culture?
  • Does this demonstrate fiscal responsibility? Showing concern for both the long and short term?
  • Does this increase public accountability? I support a Board that is open and transparent; that is responsive; that listens.

A Record of Improving Schools

Current Member of the Ojai Unified School Board, elected in 2014.

An experienced college administrator. 

I have eleven years of college administration. I’m  currently the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources for the Ventura County Community College District.  Previously, I spent ten years with the Los Angeles Community College District Human Resources division, the last four years as division head.

As a college district administrator, I’ve developed professional relations with unions, effective organizational management, a balanced approach to accountability, and the ability to see many sides to an issue.

I’m known for supporting leadership and  professional development programs.

Bringing people together to solve problems.

I am an attorney, earning my doctorate from Loyola Law School.  I’m a trained mediator.  I spent two years as a union attorney representing classified employees of the State of California. This gives me a perspective unique among the candidates.  I have successful collective bargaining experience in an academic environment.

I’ve been on both sides of the negotiating table so I can more easily understand both union and management positions.

I support the principles of interest-based bargaining and making decisions based on real data.  I am experienced in forging solutions with varied stakeholders.

I will bring those skills to all District decision making, and the District will benefit.

A History of Improving Organizations

In addition to improving schools I’ve spent twenty years developing and improving organizations from large multinational corporations to small neighborhood non-profits.

I have restructured world-class research organizations, and developed training for major employers in Southern California.  I’ve designed management bonus plans, conducted market salary surveys, consulted on employee performance improvement, and handled employee discipline.

Through all, I remain committed to integrity, inclusivity, equity, fairness, and consistency.

I will bring that focus to the Ojai School Board.

That’s why I’m asking for your vote on November 4th.

I believe the Board’s responsibility is to set goals and objectives for the District that:

  • Develop and support a culture of improvement
  • Encourage innovation and creativity in achieving improvements
  • Require data collection and analysis to assure real improvement
  • Allocate funding to encourage and reward successful improvement


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