Lafayette Parish School Board candidate Kathleen Espinoza said she is very "driven by her connection to Lafayette Parish."

Espinoza--who attended S.J. Montgomery Elementary, Lafayette Middle, and Lafayette High, and who is a professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette--announced last week she will seek to unseat Greg Awbrey in District 6.

"Education is personal," Espinoza said.

"Everybody has a personal interest in the business of education and I think that naturally makes it a contentious situation," she added, alluding to the rocky relationship between board members and the school system's superintendent, Dr. Pat Cooper.

Espinoza was quick to blame the "heavy-handed" "state bureaucracy" in Baton Rouge for creating an atmosphere in which it was possible for that contentious relationship to exist and for putting a "wedge between central office administrations and their school boards."

"I would love to see the Lafayette Parish School Board and the system think more creatively about ways to kind of loosen up those mandates that we see from the state and think creatively about how we can assert some independence from Baton Rouge in a lot of different ways," Espinoza added.

To listen to the full interview with Espinoza, click on the 'Play' button below.