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Kern County Board of Education

Budgetary and specific student issues are governed by the seven-member Kern County Board of Education. Board members are elected to four-year terms by voters of the several geographical regions of the county. Staggered terms of office allow the board to work continuously with the superintendent. The board makes major policy decisions in the areas of budgeting, property acquisition and development. Pupils expelled by a local school district may appeal the expulsion to the county board of education. The board also reviews inter-district transfer appeals. The Kern County Board of Education meets the second Tuesday of each month in room 1A of the City Centre Building, 1300 17th Street – CITY CENTRE, Bakersfield, CA 93301-4533

Board Members by Area

  • Area 1 – Ronald G. Froehlich

    Ronald G. Froehlich – Vice President

    Ronald G. Froehlich

    AREA 1
    View Area Map

    Community service plays an important role in Ronald G. Froehlich’s life.

    He was a trustee on the Rosedale Union School District before joining the Kern County Board of Education. He has served on the County Board of Zoning Adjustment, been a member of Lions International and been an advisor to 4-H.

    A successful farmer and businessman, he freely admits that education was not an important part of his life when he attended high school. That changed after he left school and saw that, in an ever-changing world, education is not an option but a must. Today he is the first to say that “. . . kids are my top priority.”

  • Area 2 – James L. Bartleson

    James L. Bartleson

    James L. Bartleson

    AREA 2
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    James L. Bartleson is a retired educator and spent nearly 40 years in the Delano Joint Union High School District. During his career he taught physics and chemistry, computer literacy, data processing and computer programming. He also served as associated student body dean, data processing coordinator/computer programmer for the attendance and counseling office.

    Outside the classroom, he served as chair of documentation on former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin’s Hispanic Advisory Task Force. In addition, he assisted in writing the Mandate for Excellence, A call for Standards Assessment and Accountability in the Education of California’s Hispanic students.

    He is a director of the Kern Environmental Education Foundation board and served on the Delano Airport Commission.

  • Area 3 – Mary M. Little

    Mary M. Little

    Mary Little

    AREA 3
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    Mary M. Little works in a demanding career in addition to serving on the Kern County Board of Education. Since joining the board, Mary has been active in the Kern County School Boards Association which plays a role in state and locally-related educational initiatives. After raising her children, Mary returned to college, earned her degree and then joined the Kern County Department of Human Services. In this capacity, she manages numerous cases involving dependent children and adults.

  • Area 4 – Jose Gonzalez

    Jose Gonzalez, Vice President

    Jose Gonzalez

    PRESIDENT, TRUSTEE – AREA 4
    View Area Map

    Jose Gonzalez is a self-employed accountant and father of four children. Prior to his appointment on the Kern County Board of Education, he served on the Lamont School District for 10 1/2 years. He also is a member of the Kern County Committee on School District Organization. State statute directs this committee to hear and prepare recommendations on school district annexations, unification proposals and related boundary changes. His volunteer involvement and interest in public education stems from his goal to make children realize that they have the opportunity to learn and schools an obligation to each and every student.

  • Area 5 – William F. Barnes

    William F. Barnes

    William F. Barnes

    AREA 5
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    William “Billy” Barnes is a farmer, community college agriculture instructor, national livestock judge, and a former high school Ag teacher. Prior to his appointment to the Kern County Board of Education he served on the board of trustees of an elementary school district. As an advocate for children and community leader, he spends countless hours mentoring students in the classroom and in the field.

     

  • Area 6 – Michael J. Butcher

    Michael J. Butcher

    Michael J. Butcher

    AREA 6
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    Mike Butcher has devoted his life to public education as a teacher, coach and school district superintendent. Since his retirement, he served as an interim superintendent at several Kern County school districts, until the replacement was recruited. Many of these interim posts required dealing with complex operational and personnel matters. During his long career, he has been a mentor to countless students and adults which he has helped establish and advance their careers. Prior to his appointment to the Kern County Board of Education, he was one of three members of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Personnel Commission.

  • Area 7 – Donald P. Cowan

    Donald P. Cowan

    Donald P. Cowan

    PRESIDENT – AREA 7
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    Donald P. Cowan spent 18 years on the Mojave Unified School District board of trustees before joining the Kern County Board of Education. He also has spent many years on the Kern County School Boards Association and the Kern County Committee on School District Organization. Outside of public education, he is a member of the board of directors of the Antelope chapter of the American Red Cross. He is a Vietnam veteran and Air Force retiree. After leaving the Air Force he worked many years as an environmental and program safety officer.

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