The Bakersfield City School District is California’s largest primary school district, according to Kern County’s Superintendent of Schools. The district has 44 schools and serves more than 30,000 students. School district officials say one of their top priorities right now is to safely plan the return of students and staff to campus.
This year, the seats for trust areas 1, 3, 4 and 5 are available for election. Areas 1, 3 and 5 are full-time 4-year seats, while Area 4 is short-term 2-year seats.
Now meet the candidates running this year.
In Fiduciary Area 1, Lilian Tafoya is the incumbent. Tafoya has been a member of the school council since 1996 and was a former headmaster of three different elementary schools. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the National School Board Association and President of the NSB National Hispanic Council. Tafoya says children will always be at the heart of their agenda.
Lilian Tafoya, candidate for trustee area 1
BCSD Trustee Area 1 candidate Lilian Tafoya
“My focus has been on creating conditions that maximize the potential of all of our students. Making sure they have equal access and the opportunity to achieve excellent education and fulfill their dreams.”
Now meet the candidate who runs against her, Mike Eggert. He has built a 25 year career as a custodian in the BCSD district and has retired as a custodian. Eggert says he has 4 main priorities that guide his campaign. Check out his video to hear more.
Mike Eggert, candidate for trustee area 1
BCSD Trustee Area 1 candidate Mike Eggert
“Number one is financial responsibility. Number two is student performance. Number three is professional opportunity for all students and number four is employee engagement.”
Next up is Area 3, where Ralph Anthony is the current CEO, who is standing for re-election. He is also the Assistant Pastor of the Christian Ministries of the St. Peter Restoration Community. According to a press release from his team, Anthony hopes “… to continue advocating just solutions and implementing effective policies that put all children first.”
Ralph Anthony, Candidate for Trustee Section 3
BCSD Trustee Area 3 candidate Ralph Anthony
“During our trip, we opened wellness centers, expanded award-winning music programs, opened parenting centers and enabled all employees to enjoy high-quality professional development.”
His challenger Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone has over a decade of teaching experience. According to her professional website, she is currently a professor at Bakersfield College. According to Cruz-Boone, her platform is a candidate for social justice, the arts and higher education.
Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone, Candidate for Trustee Section 3
BCSD Trustee Area 3 candidate Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone
“Granted, I’m a newcomer to politics. But I think my experiences in our ward, with my church, with my research, with education have prepared me for the challenges we face both as a ward and as a district.”
Here is a look at the candidates in the fiduciary area 5.
First and foremost is Bethany Bachman, a full-time volunteer who says her volunteering has reached her positions as Chair of the District Advisory Committee, Member of the Superintendent Parent Advisory Committee, and Member of the District Committee on Culture, Climate, and Safety.
Bethany Bachman, Fiduciary Candidate 5
BCSD Trustee Area 5 candidate Bethany Bachman
“My primary focus will be on school safety, social and emotional learning, and parental engagement. These issues are more important today than ever. Students’ staff and parents need a school council member who actively listens to their concerns and provides them with justice treated. “”
Shannon Zimmerman, who has been a teacher for almost 20 years, is also running for the seat. Zimmerman says she wants to promote 21st century teaching and learning.
Shannon Zimmerman, Fiduciary Candidate 5
BCSD Trustee Area 5 candidate Shannon Zimmerman
“While distance learning is a reality, we know that students learn best when they are with their teachers. I fight to ensure that our students return to school safely. I believe parents need to have a greater say in their child’s education , and I encourage parents choice. “
Brooke Malley Ault is another candidate for Trustee Area 5. She is a former teacher and current high school counselor. Their campaign website states that their core values are Children First, Wellbeing, and Safe Return to School.
Brooke Malley Ault, Candidate for Trustees 5
BCSD Trustee Area 5 candidate Brooke Malley Ault
“I have found that a student who has difficulty studying often struggles to meet their basic needs. I know exactly what is going on in the BCSD schools because I work with these students’ older siblings on a daily basis am endorsed by the Bakersfield Elementary School Teachers Association because they know I will put students first. “
Rounding out the list of candidates is Ian Journey, a former BCSD student who is now a local mechanical engineer and business owner. According to his campaign website, he believes “… the best results come when parents, schools and industry work together to develop and implement the core curriculum.”
Ian Journey, Candidate for Trustee Area 5
BCSD Trustee Area 5 candidate Ian Journey
“We need school councils who are technically capable of moving up on day one, serving all children and not being influenced by outside organizations. I’m not a teacher or an administrator, I’m not a union member, I’m not a career politician. I’m Ian Journey and respectfully ask for your support. “
23ABC reached out to all three candidates in Fiduciary Area 4 three times. According to Kern County Elections website Laura Guerrero-Salgado, incumbent trustees Benny Valdez and Miguel Juarez are candidates on the ballot. However, none of the three candidates submitted a video in time for broadcast.