When Rep. Kevin McCarthy got the opportunity to nominate someone to a new federal commission, he turned to his hometown to find the man for the job.
On Wednesday, McCarthy, R-Bakersfield announced that Marshall Dillard, principal of William Penn Elementary School in the Bakersfield City School District, would serve on the Committee on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys.
According to a press release from McCarthy’s office, the Congressman, as the House Republican leader, was able to appoint a member to the commission seeking an expert on issues affecting black men and boys in the United States.
McCarthy said he met Dillard at Bakersfield High School about 30 years ago. After graduating from Stanford University, Dillard returned to Bakersfield and dedicated his career to “helping generations of young minds dream and achieve their educational potential,” McCarthy said in the press release.
“When I think of educators who go way beyond that, Marshall is one of the first people that comes to mind,” McCarthy said. “He has spent decades in the classroom and has served as an invaluable role model for countless students in our community. He’s never been afraid of doing what it takes to reach out to his students, even if it means he’s a little less than serious. He has even gone so far as to shave his head and paint it blue to encourage his elementary students to do kind acts in their school. That’s because Marshall knows that moments of joy like these will affect students’ relationships with education. “
The Congressman added that Dillard’s “Driller Grit, along with his passion for creating positive change in our community, will be a huge asset and I am proud to have named him.”
In a statement, BCSD said it was excited to have one of its principals recognized in such a capacity, adding that “Headmaster Dillard is a leader in our district and provides valuable insight and attention to the plight of black men and boys in our district will bring community. “
Aside from his primary position at BCSD, Dillard is vice president of the Driller to Driller Foundation and chairman of Kern County’s African-American network, the press release said. He previously worked as an administrator at the Sandrini School in the Panama-Buena Vista Union school district.
The Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys was incorporated into the law in August 2020. According to the press release, it was set up to conduct a systematic study of the conditions affecting black men and boys, including poverty, violence, fatherhood and murder and incarceration rates, income and school performance.
The commission will then make a series of recommendations to alleviate or remedy the underlying causes of these conditions. The recommendations are then presented to Congress and the President in an annual report.