Bakersfield City School Board Races: Incumbent Lillian Tafoya up against Michael Eggert for the open seat in Area One

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Incumbent Lillian Tafoya is going up against Michael Eggert for a spot on Bakersfield City School Board in Area One.

Bakersfield city school district serves over 30,000 elementary and middle school students across 44 different campuses. It’s the largest elementary school district in the state. Lillian Tafoya is one of five members on the BCSD Board of Trustees. She has held this seat for the past 24 years.

“Im a lifetime educator I kind of think this has been my calling,” Tafoya said.

Tafoya has a long career in education. She worked in bakersfield for 27 years, starting out as a teacher. She then served as a principal at three different elementary schools.

“I had great experience because I worked at one of the most deprived schools, and one of the most affluent schools, and it gave me a wide range of knowledge,” Tafoya said.

Tafoya became an adjunct professor at Sal State University and later became an educational consultant. Now she’s retired, and has made bakersfield city school board her priority. She says the district has made a lot of progress since she began.

She wants to continue expanding on social and emotional services, parent-community engagement, and the safe return to school. But her primary goal is academic success.

“Right now under that particular goal, we have to look at learning loss, equity, closing the digital divide. And supporting our educators especially now in the period of transition.”

Challenging her is Michael Eggert. Eggert served on the state board of directors for the California School Employees Association. He was President of the association’s local chapter for 12 years

“I was exposed to many different aspects of the educational arena, not just here in Bakersfield, but also in Washington,” Eggert said.

He has worked as a BCSD Custodial Supervisor for 25 years. He recently retired and helps out at his daughter’s business in downtown bakersfield.

“I just feel I bring a new insight,” Eggert said. “I have two new grandchildren coming into the system in five years and I just want them to be provided the same education as everybody else’s and that there’s opportunity for the children of bakersfield.”

His top priorities are student achievement, fiscal responsibility, vocational training, staff engagement.

“Offer equal opportunity for every student, that a student who goes to William Penn and a student that goes to Martin Luther Elementary receives the same level of service, the same level of technology,” Eggert said.

He also says he wants to bring back wood and metal shop in junior highs along with home ec.

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