Kevin McCarthy announces local recipients of 23rd Congressional District merit awards

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks to reporters outside the White House after a meeting with President Joe Biden, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON D.C. (KGET) — Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy announced the Kern County students and teachers who are this year’s recipients of the 23rd Congressional District of California Merit and Inspirational High School Educator awards.

McCarthy released the following statement:

“In a year when many students and teachers have taken on the challenging task of remote learning, this year’s awards really stand out,” he said. “Our students have displayed tenacity and discipline – staying on task with assignments while fostering relationships with their classmates virtually. Teachers have shown innovation and heart – creating new ways to engage with their students to ensure they are receiving the best educational experience possible under unprecedented circumstances. All, however, have been a shining example of what it means to persevere in the face of adversity, and I congratulate them on this impressive achievement today.”

Here are the winners:

2021 Merit Award Recipients for Kern County

  • Miss Lauren Buetow – Bakersfield Christian High School
  • Miss Elyse Wong – Bakersfield High School
  • Miss Daniella Park – Centennial High School
  • Mr. Mariano Santillano – East Bakersfield High School
  • Miss Abigail Freeman – Foothill High School
  • Miss Kaleigh Ray – Frontier High School
  • Miss Carissa Sales – Garces Memorial High School
  • Miss Victoria Huley – Highland High School
  • Miss Aubrey Olsen – Independence High School
  • Miss Aislynne Chappell – Kern Valley High School
  • Miss Lexington Russell – Liberty High School
  • Miss Harris Darcie Shugart – North High School
  • Mr. Kevin Esparza – Ridgeview High School
  • Miss Shanon Lee – Stockdale High School
  • Miss Judith Lopez Figueroa – Taft Union High School
  • Miss Makenna Kephart – Tehachapi High School
  • Mr. Zackary Jones – West High School

2021 Inspirational High School Educator Award Recipients for Kern County

  • Mr. Steven Chai – Bakersfield Christian High School
  • Mr. Don Wilmot – Bakersfield High School
  • Mr. Joseph Biron – Centennial High School
  • Mr. Salvador Diaz – East Bakersfield High School
  • Mr. Vernon Clark – Foothill High School
  • Mr. Christopher Larson – Frontier High School
  • Mrs. Jennifer Kloock – Garces Memorial High School
  • Ms. Kristin Savage – Highland High School
  • Mr. Robert Polski – Independence High School
  • Mr. Brian Christianson – Kern Valley High School
  • Mrs. Brooke Slayton – Liberty High School
  • Ms. Natalie Ryan – North High School
  • Mr. Marc Donez – Ridgeview High School
  • Mrs. Lea MacLean – Stockdale High School
  • Ms. April Conners – Taft Union High School
  • Mr. Ned Maino – Tehachapi High School
  • Mrs. Meagan Holmes – West High School

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