Dr. John Mendiburu Appointed

Dr. John Mendiburu Appointed

  • May 11, 2023

At a Kern County Board of Education special meeting held on the evening of May 11, the publicly elected Board appointed Kern County Associate Superintendent Dr. John Mendiburu as the next Kern County Superintendent of Schools effective July 1, 2023. This comes after current Kern County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Barlow announced her retirement earlier in the week.

During the monthly Kern County Board of Education meeting held on Tuesday, May 9, Dr. Barlow announced her retirement to the Board by saying, “my husband Steve is retiring at the end of May, and I have decided to join him a month later, after completing more than 29 years in public education and 16 years in telecommunications business. It has been my great honor and pleasure to serve as your Kern County Superintendent of Schools these past seven years, and as Associate Superintendent for three years prior to that. I have been blessed to serve with a phenomenal team of county office and district leaders who always put children first.”

Board President Mr. Ronald Froehlich, on behalf of the board, praised Dr. Barlow for her outstanding leadership during her tenure with KCSOS.

“It is important that the excellent work of KCSOS continue without interruption, and Dr. John Mendiburu is uniquely positioned to lead us into the future. He has the experience and knowledge needed for the job and has a passion for improving the community,” he said.

Dr. Mendiburu joined KCSOS in 2019 as Deputy Superintendent, and has served as KCSOS Associate Superintendent since 2020, a position in which he has helped lead the day-to-day operations of our office. He has overseen statewide efforts such as KCSOS’s Geographic Lead regional initiative aimed at helping County Offices of Education implement a model of support for school districts, especially related to students with disabilities. He has helped provide leadership to the Kern Education Pledge and related Kern Integrated Data System (KIDS), and the Community Schools Initiative, which has brought millions of dollars in funding to local districts. He also leads the work of the Safer Schools Coalition, which brings together local school districts and law enforcement to provide a strategic and coordinated approach to school safety.

Prior to joining KCSOS, Dr. Mendiburu worked for more than 22 years with the Rosedale School District, the same district he attended as a student. He served as a classroom teacher, Principal of Almondale Elementary School, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, and from 2009 to 2019, as Superintendent of the Rosedale Union School District.

A packed house of educators and community members came out to thank Dr. Barlow for her leadership over the past seven years and to show support for Dr. Mendiburu to succeed her.

“Tonight, I am honored and humbled by the opportunity afforded to me by the Kern County Board of Education to lead the Kern County Office of Education into the future,” said Dr. Mendiburu as he accepted the appointment during the meeting. “I am grateful to Dr. Barlow for her leadership, and I look forward to continuing the great work of this office serving more than 200,000 students throughout Kern County.”

Dr. Mendiburu brings an extensive background in student and instructional services, business and collaboration to his role. He has served on the KCSOS County Advisory Committee, SISC I & II Boards, and the Kern County SELPA Board. In 2018, he received the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Superintendent of the Year Award, and under his leadership, the Rosedale Union School District was named as a “District on the Move” by Innovate Ed in 2019.

Dr. Mendiburu earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of La Verne in 2010, and an Administrative Masters/Credential and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Bakersfield. He is a graduate of the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) Business Executive Leadership Program and is a member of Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), and the California School Boards Association (CSBA).

He is the proud son of immigrants who moved to Kern County to live the American Dream, is married to Shelby, a teacher, and is the proud father of two amazing children.

Dr. Barlow’s last day will be June 30.