Meet Barbara Cargill, the SBOE's Latest Chief

As Barbara Cargill details the menagerie she keeps to teach schoolchildren about science, the new chairwoman of the State Board of Education wants to make something clear: There’s only one snake in her house.

“There are a couple of lizards, I have turtles, I have salamanders, tree frogs, I have a toad, only one snake — I don’t want to freak people out — it’s a corn snake, and bunny rabbits,” she says.

Cargill’s skills as an animal wrangler may serve her well in managing the fractious group whose ideological debates over the state’s education curricula in ...

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