Westside Small School Districts Collaborative provides quality training for teachers in 14 small, rural Kern County districts

August 10, 2017  |   Comments Off on Westside Small School Districts Collaborative provides quality training for teachers in 14 small, rural Kern County districts

Train with NO Excuses and Teach with NO regrets!!

By Dr. Julie Boesch
Maple Elementary School District

Westside Small School Districts Collaborative just wrapped up an incredible three full days of training for over 212 Kern County educators! This collaborative is made up of a group of 14 small school districts on the west side of Kern County. The superintendents from each district meet monthly to share best practices, tour classrooms, hear presenters and find new ways to leverage resources by working together as a team. This year, with over 212 participants from the majority of these districts, administrators and special guests, the collaborative surpassed our vision of providing quality training and collaboration opportunities to teachers who often feel isolated among our small, rural districts.

We kicked off our three-day extravaganza with nationally known speaker Julie Adams who shared her expertise on brain science, cognitive growth, developing as a leader and implementing common core standards with students. That day ended with a highly engaging session from our own Joost Demoes on cultivating wonderment and excitement around the world of mathematics! We also had three incredible technology sessions including presenters from Kern County who shared their expertise on student engagement, Google and Stop Motion Film Festivals.

Our second day was an amazing opportunity to increase our skill set for supporting and teaching our English Language Learners with Dr. Jill Hamilton-Bunch. Dr. Hamilton-Bunch advanced our knowledge of teaching methods, philosophy for serving students’ needs, and principles of language acquisition. Our teachers were able to collaborate and work in teams with support from an expert as we get ready to serve each of our students with high quality teaching.

To cap off this amazing training we were honored to have Dr. Joe Sanfelippo guide us on a journey through finding ways to share our story using technology. Each and every one of our schools and districts are working hard every day to serve students and Dr. Sanfelippo provided tools and encouragement for sharing the great work that we do by having students and staff create a positive social media presence – helping us tell our story. The afternoon sessions were self-selected sessions created by local area educators from across the county who guided their colleagues as they explored all things Google from tips, tricks, ideas and hacks, Slides and Docs to organizing a paper- free environment, the resources and practical application were invaluable to our teachers who eagerly participated in each session.

Helen Keller said “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Together we were able to provide our teams with truly high quality learning and we can’t wait to demonstrate what we have learned as we serve the students of our districts!

West Kern Educational Leadership Award Nomination Form

March 5, 2017  |   Comments Off on West Kern Educational Leadership Award Nomination Form

West Kern Charter will again present the Educational Leadership Award at the annual end-of-the-year dinner on Thursday, June 8, 2017. The nomination form should be received no later than Wednesday, May 17, 2017. For questions or more information, contact Ruscel Reader by phone at 661-871-7158 or by email at


Ambassador Program helps new members navigate through all the wonderful things ACSA has to offer

February 22, 2017  |   Comments Off on Ambassador Program helps new members navigate through all the wonderful things ACSA has to offer

The Ambassador Program helps new members navigate ACSA’s vast structure, while providing that first and very necessary human contact — giving the organization a face and a name. Region XI has seven Charter Ambassadors:

• Tulare Charter: Tom Giampietro and Robert Aguilar
• Kings Charter: Bill Black
• West Kern Charter: Terry Wolfe
• East Kern Charter: Elaine Janson and Beverly Thompson
• Inyo/Mono Charter: Don Clark

Starting in January, each Charter will hold a monthly raffle for new members. Winners of the $25 Gift Card in January are West Kern Charter’s Adan Robles, Assistant Principal in McFarland and Kings Charter’s Ed Larking, Corcoran Unified.

New administrators encouraged to take advantage of ACSA’s Mentor Program

February 22, 2017  |   Comments Off on New administrators encouraged to take advantage of ACSA’s Mentor Program

ACSA’s Mentor Program is in its second full year of operation. The Mentor Program is one of the many professional development opportunities offered by ACSA, and, during the past year, our Regional Facilitators were responsible for establishing approximately 50 Mentor/Protége relationships. Feedback from participants has been very positive, and it is our hope that even more new administrators will take advantage of the program this year. We began with superintendents and have now moved on to include site administrators, especially principals, and district office staff. Basically, the program is open to all first and second year administrators that are new to their position.
Within the Association of California School Administrators, our goal is to improve the effectiveness of administrative leaders, thereby increasing the success of their students, and protecting the investment that is administrative personnel. District and school administrators are expected to be great leaders from the very beginning of their careers, but the framework to hone their leadership skills primarily occurs prior to their gaining practical experience. Mentoring is an excellent way to provide on-the-job, confidential, practical support for new administrators, and possibly the best aspect is that the service is absolutely FREE to ACSA members. Each and every time a district hires an administrator, the district is making a substantial investment. It simply makes sense to develop and protect that investment, and the Mentor Program is a great starting point.
You may wonder how ACSA can offer the Mentor Program at no additional cost to members or school districts. Thanks to the efforts of ACSA staff, we also have developed a budget with a funding source through our Legal Alliance which includes: Atkinson, Anderson, Loya, Rudy & Romo; Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP; Dannis, Woliver, Kelley; Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost, LLP; and Lozano Smith. Funds provided by these firms have provided the support for the development and maintenance of the program. We are extremely thankful to these legal firms for their on-going support.
For all ACSA members who have recently taken on a new position, it is very easy to sign up for the Mentor Program. Simply go to the ACSA website, click on Member Services, and then click on the Mentor Program. This link will take you directly to an application where you can sign up to be a mentor or a protége. It’s that simple, and, remember, it’s free! Upon completion of the application form, you will be contacted by your Regional Facilitator. Questions? Contact Regional Facilitator Mike Berg, 559-906-4100.


Kern County Board of Education names Dr. Mary Barlow new county superintendent of schools

February 10, 2017  |   Comments Off on Kern County Board of Education names Dr. Mary Barlow new county superintendent of schools

MaryBarlowThe Kern County Board of Education has appointed Dr. Mary Barlow as Kern County Superintendent of Schools following the retirement of Dr. Christine Lizardi Frazier, whose last day was January 31, 2017. Barlow was sworn into office in January and will complete the remainder of Frazier’s term, which ends in 2018. The announcement was made during the Board’s December meeting, after Barlow received resounding support from a large cross section of the private sector, educational community and various partnering agencies.  

“Dr. Barlow has proven herself as an extremely effective leader who is passionate about the services that KCSOS provides to students and in support of Kern’s local school districts. She is a champion for collaboration and the best person to lead KCSOS into the future,” said Donald Cowan, President of the Kern County Board of Education.

Dr. Barlow has spent the majority of her career in education, serving as a teacher, Director of Children and Family Services, and a district superintendent. During her tenure as Superintendent of the Kernville Union School District, she successfully modernized all district schools and constructed a new middle school while focusing on increasing student achievement. Under her leadership the district was named a California Distinguished School, Title 1 Academic Excellence District, and was recognized at the state level for its nutrition and wellness programs promoting student health.

Barlow joined the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) in 2009 as the Deputy Administrative Officer for the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT), an agency that provides fiscal intervention for school districts, county offices of education, charter schools and community colleges throughout California. In 2012, she was appointed as Assistant Superintendent of Administration, Finance & Accountability for KCSOS, leading the fiscal oversight and support for Kern’s 47 local school districts. Barlow was appointed Associate Superintendent of KCSOS in 2014, a role in which she has provided daily operational oversight of the county-run programs as well as the divisions that support 47 Kern County school districts serving more than 180,000 students.

Barlow attended Cerro Coso Community College at the Lake Isabella and Ridgecrest campuses before transferring as a junior to CSU Bakersfield where she earned her bachelor of arts in psychology in 1994. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Educational Management and an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from the University of LaVerne.

Barlow serves the community in different capacities including the Association of California School Administrators, Kern County Treasurer and Tax Collector Advisory Committee, the Kern County Emergency Management Care Advisory Board, the Rotary Club of Bakersfield (Downtown), and past Co-Chair of First Five Kern Commission. She is a proud founder of the Kern River Valley Collaborative, a network of county, private and nonprofit agencies dedicated to delivering direct medical, dental, and social services to Kern River Valley children and their families.

“I’m humbled to be given this opportunity to continue to uphold the Kern County office of education’s unwavering commitment to being advocates for children in our community, “Barlow said. “I look forward to continuing to support our districts as they implement outcomes-based Local Control and Accountability plans, expanding our partnerships with the private sector around innovative Career Technical Education and college / career pathways and moving the educational community forward in terms of innovation and technology in the classroom.”


Kings Charter’s fall conference a big hit

November 8, 2016  |   Comments Off on Kings Charter’s fall conference a big hit

Bakersfield Principals Academy draws great interest

November 7, 2016  |   Comments Off on Bakersfield Principals Academy draws great interest

On September 16, 36 principals and aspiring principals began the first session of a 70-hour, seven-weekend Principals Academy in Bakersfield. The widely popular academy, which has not been previously offered in Bakersfield, filled so quickly it required a waiting list. The enthusiasm for the academy encouraged co-directors Dr. Kevin Silberberg and Dr. Blanca Cavazos to increase the class size to accommodate demand.

The Principals Academy focuses on the leadership and management skills needed by administrators in order to be successful  principals. The list of academy presenters reads like a “Who’s Who” of notable educators and practitioners from Region 11 and ACSA.

Region 11 President David Bowling and West Kern Charter President Richard Morosa attended the first session to congratulation participants on their decision to continue honing their administrative skills and encourage their membership and active participation in ACSA.

Co-directors Silberberg and Cavazos emphasized that each of the presenters had “walked the walk” and could share from first-hand experience how he or she had successfully put their skills into practice. “That was easy to create a list of presenters who were highly regarded in the profession because of their proven success with all children” said Cavazos. “On the flip side, the depth and quality of experience we have in our Region made it a difficult task to narrow the list of presenters.”

Terri Rufert running unopposed for State VP of Legislative Action

November 7, 2016  |   Comments Off on Terri Rufert running unopposed for State VP of Legislative Action

terri-rufert-for-postcard-2The Region 11 contingent to the State Leadership Conference, recently held in Los Angeles, returned with great news. Terri Rufert’s nomination for State Board was accepted and she will be running for Vice President of Legislative Action unopposed. After the election in May, Rufert will be the first Region 11 representative to sit on the State ACSA Board.

Following is her position paper:

“The work required of the Vice President of Legislative Action is an area that I am passionate about. Whether it is state and federal legislators, Superintendent Torlakson, the State Board of Education or the Governor, I have helped lead our regional and state work to gain support of our positions for 16 years.

I bring the skills and experience of being Vice President of Legislative Action for my region for four years, as well as one year on the Legislative Policy Committee, and two years on the ACSA State Board. Currently, I am the Region XI representative on the ACSA Small Schools Committee, in my second year on ACSA’s State Board Advisory Group, and a member ACSA’s Women’s Network Group. I am extremely committed to promoting ACSA as the leading advocate for our state’s 6.2 million students. On many occasions I have been asked to speak on behalf of ACSA, students, and administrators at state hearings because I’m a trusted leader who understands the nuances of issues, from budget to curriculum and student services to principals.

As State Vice President of Legislative Action, I believe it is important to support and encourage each region’s Vice President of Legislative Action in the work they to do back home. We all need to empower other administrators to be part of the "One Voice for Students." It is absolutely crucial for us to make sure our voices are heard and our communities represented. Together let’s continue to make a difference. I would appreciate your vote.”

John Snavely presented with Itzenhauser/Schlagel Award

August 5, 2016  |   Comments Off on John Snavely presented with Itzenhauser/Schlagel Award

Tulare County Office Of Education / ACSA Summer Institute

August 5, 2016  |   Comments Off on Tulare County Office Of Education / ACSA Summer Institute
Keynote Speaker Joel Zeff and Bob Mayo, Principal, Exeter Unified High School, during an improve exercise at the 2016 Tulare County Summer Institute.

Keynote Speaker Joel Zeff and Bob Mayo, Principal, Exeter Unified High School, during an improve exercise at the 2016 Tulare County Summer Institute.

The force was with the Association of California School Administrations (ACSA) and the Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) as they presented the very successful 2016 Tulare County Summer Institute, Wednesday, June 15 at the SCE Energy Education Center in Tulare. With an all-time high of nearly 300 Tulare County school administrators in attendance, the group enjoyed an inspirational day which included Keynote Speaker Joel Zeff, informational breakout sessions, entertainment by the TCOE Theatre Company, and award presentations.

Zeff, workplace expert and author of “Make the Right Choice,” energized the group with a unique blend of hilarious improvisational comedy and essential ideas on work and life. With the help of audience “volunteers,” he delivered a combination of inspiration, essential knowledge and significant ideas to help the leaders reconnect with their own passion and success.

They do a great job in bringing everybody together and every
year they do a great job of bringing in a great speaker to entertain us.
– George Eddy, Director of CTE, Exeter Unified

Dick Schlagel, retiring after 29 years serving as ACSA Newsletter Editor, was recognized and honored. He and David Itzenhauser, long-time fellow educator and charter member of ACSA, presented the Itzenhauser/Schlagel Award to John Snavely, retiring Porterville Unified School District Superintendent, for lifetime achievement.

Gabriela Santillan, 2016 graduate of Mt. Whitney High School, was presented with the Every Student Succeeding Award. She will also be honored at the 2016 ACSA Leadership Summit in San Diego in November.

ACSA Tulare Charter Student Scholarship Awards were presented to:

  • Kelcey Carrasco, Tulare Western High School, Tulare
  • Sydney Garcia, Harmony Magnet Academy, Strathmore
  • Noah Kroutil, Porterville High School, Porterville
  • Breanne Perez, Redwood High School, Visalia
  • Haley Spencer, Tulare Union High School, Tulare
  • Bradley Taylor, Central Valley Christian High School, Visalia
  • Kameron Trevino, Redwood High School, Visalia

Carrasco, Garcia, Kroutil, Perez and Trevino also received a scholarship from ACSA Region XI.

ACSA Tulare Charter Administrator of the Year Awards were presented to:

  • Professor of Education: Miguel Guerrero, Ed. D., Professor of Education, Brandman University
  • Continuation/Ed. Options Admin.: Victoria Porter, Principal, VTEC High School, Visalia Unified School District
  • Curriculum & Instruction Admin.: Tanya Goosev, Asst. Superintendent Curriculum & Program Improvement, Cutler-Orosi Jt. Unified School District
  • Business Services Administrator: Nathan Hernandez, Chief Financial Officer, Business Services, Visalia Unified School District
  • Superintendent/Principal: Jeremy Powell, Ed. D., Superintendent/Principal, Sequoia Union School District
  • Special Ed. Administrator: Joyce Nunes, Asst. Superintendent Business/Psychological Services, Tulare City School District
  • Career Technical Ad. Administrator: Bill Edminster, Director, Tulare Adult School, Tulare Jt. Union High School District
  • Confidential Employee: Alice Galvan, Administrative Secretary, Administrative Services, Cutler-Orosi Jr. Unified School District
  • Secondary Co-Administrator: Joy Naylor, Assistant Principal, El Diamante High School, Visalia Unified School District
  • Central Office Administrator: Lisa Castillo, Director College and Career Readiness, Cutler-Orosi Jt. Unified School District
  • Elementary School Principal: Whitney Avila, Principal, Frank Kohn Elementary School, Tulare City School District
  • Middle School Principal: Angel Valdez, Principal, Pioneer Middle School, Porterville Unified School District
  • Secondary Principal: Rick Hamilton, Principal, Mt. Whitney High School, Visalia Unified School District
  • Superintendent: Tim Hire, Superintendent, Exeter Unified School District
  • Marcus Foster Memorial Award for Administrator Excellence: Frank Chavez, Retired Superintendent/Principal Richgrove School District

Guerrero, Hernandez, Edminster, Naylor, Castillo, Valdez, Hire and Chavez were also honored on the region level; Edminster achieved state recognition, as well.