Portrait of Ian

Let’s make more than letters on the wall.

I am a life-long resident of Bakersfield and am passionate about improving the quality of life for everyone in our community. I am a past BCSD student, graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and most importantly, a father of two young children currently enrolled in the district. Upon graduation from Cal Poly with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I dedicated my time outside of my career to mentor and coach the youth of our community.

I look forward to providing a new level of leadership to the current school board to benefit the community it serves. As a local Professional Mechanical Engineer, I understand that the best outcomes occur when parents, schools, and industry work together to develop and implement core curriculum. I will use my experience to ensure fiscal conservatism, transparency, and clear communication with parents.

With your vote, I will work to improve the performance of our schools as well as the opportunities and outcomes for all students. 

  • 10+ years of K-12 education facility design and construction throughout the State of California
  • Instructor, Kern High School District Energy Academy at Independence High School
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate, CASA of Kern County
  • Board Member, Workforce Development Board (W.D.B.) for Kern, Inyo, & Mono Counties
    • Member, W.D.B. Youth Committee
  • Mentor, C.S.U.B. Runner Alumni Mentorship Program
  • Talent Committee Member, Kern Initiative for Talent & Entrepreneurship (K.I.T.E.)
  • Co-owner of local small business, Baker’s Outpost, est. 2017
  • Graduate, Kern Leaders Academy, Class of 2013

Values

Without a doubt COVID-19 will have lasting effects for many decades to come.  Long-term school closures have significantly exacerbated longstanding inequalities in our education system.  This is especially true when it comes to equitable internet and technological access.

I believe that a high-quality public education should be a constitutionally protected civil right.

As a school board member, I will minimize the harm to marginalized students as long as COVID-19 continues to disrupt in-person learning by ensuring:

  • Equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities, English learners, foster youth, and migrant youth.
  • Funds are targeted to marginalized students
  • Students have access to nutritional supports.

I believe equity is a lot harder than access and will use this recognition as an overarching aspect of every decision I make.

It takes a special type of person to become a teacher.  A person with passion, creativity, intuition, optimism, and humor, just to name a few.  As a society, we need to put education on a higher pedestal. 

I believe teachers know what to do when given the opportunity and resources.  I believe rigid government requirements and time constraints have hindered teachers from embracing the idea that the world is our classroom.  Teachers autonomy is essential for ensuring a learning environment addresses children’s diverse needs.  In the same way a student needs space, freedom, flexibility, and respect, I believe the teacher also requires the same.  This could not be truer than in today’s day and age of the virtual learning environment.

As a school board member, I will push for policy that lets our teachers shine!  I will fight to give teacher’s flexibility to do what is best for the child.  Principals also need to be allowed to lead their teachers and community with an open mind, without fear of retribution. 

My experience serving on the Workforce Development Board for Kern, Inyo & Mono Counties has given me the experience to understand public grant funding, department management, and adoption of budgets in the public sector.  We must be transparent and accountable to the community we serve.

I believe that to fully fund our teachers and classroom projects, it is critical that the school board is always on the lookout for duplicate services and unnecessary administration.  I am proud to say that I am not affiliated with special interests and will not succumb to pressures applied by any group that seeks to take away for the success of B.C.S.D. 

I believe expenditures of public funds should always be prioritized based on what will provide the greatest return to our community. Tax dollars are not supposed to benefit individuals but, instead, to benefit the whole of society.

As a school board member, I will focus on long term strategic planning which includes partnering with the superintendent to implement a vision.  I will take a top-down look at administrative expenses.  I will not be afraid to stand-up to the superintendent’s recommendations and will fight for what I believe to be just and right.

Since becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (C.A.S.A.), I have learned the importance of promoting resilience in young people.  My experiences with our foster care youth have shown me that the best way to teach resilience is by strengthening caring and supportive relationships within and outside the family.  Relationships that create love and trust, provide role models, and offer encouragement & reassurance. We should be deliberate in mentoring our students to acquire knowledge and skills through active engagement and self-reflection inside the classroom and beyond. 

As a school board member, I will promote a culture of “Positive Youth Development” where we identify at-risk youth and focus on building strengths and assets instead of on negative behaviors.  Utilizing hand-on teaching techniques not only enforces the learning process, but also develops self-esteem and confidence among our youth.  I believe this is key to help our children thrive, especially during adolescence.

We must educate our children to think critically, understand different cultures, and look outside their small microcosm. Through the regional Workforce Development Board Youth Sub-Council, I have worked to strengthen the capacity of education, youth development and training programs to provide high quality services that are aligned with workforce skills required for employment and civic success in Kern County.

I believe learning should not occur with one teacher talking at students in a stuffy classroom without other forms of stimulation. I believe the best educational outcomes for our children are achieved when they are physically in school. I believe that attentive hands-on opportunities are at the core of the learning experience. I believe in providing academic enrichment opportunities to all students so that none of our children lack the preparation they deserve to succeed as productive members of our community.

As a BCSD Board Member, I will encourage children to use their creativity and critical thinking skills for more than just a test score. Some of the most successful and self-fulfilled small business owners I know were horrible students in the traditional classroom. Thru a “Learn by Doing” teaching approach, we will actively show kids the real-world application of their core curriculum. Our children should be exposed, early on, to the world-class businesses and variety of industries we have here in Kern County. This exposure to a variety of careers should be done within the classroom and beyond.

I believe family and community engagement is a key component to ensuring lifelong success for all children. I believe the best outcomes occur when parents, schools, and local business work together to develop and implement core curriculum. We need to increase transparency and communication between parties to serve and support students, while creating a united front to tackle county-wide challenges.

We need private businesses to provide industry mentors to come into the classrooms and present real-life demonstrations of applicable curriculum, give perspectives on learning and how its applied in the real world, and give children a dream career to aspire towards. Businesses should view such opportunities as being in their own best interest in ensuring we have an educated local workforce. Programs such as C.A.S.A., Cal State Bakersfield Runner Alumni Program and Kern High School District Energy Academy have given me the experience of coaching children from all ages and walks of life. Sharing the knowledge that I wish I had when I was a child is paramount to me. I have seen firsthand the power of a good mentor relationship has on a child.

A child cannot be what they cannot see.

As a BCSD Board Member I will work diligently to promote a culture of education within our community that supports lifelong learning for the benefit of all members of society. I will work to understand low parent participation and strive to meet parents on their terms to benefit the child.

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