BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Incumbent Ralph Anthony is going up against Chris Cruz-Boone for a spot on Bakersfield City School Board.
Bakersfield City School District is the largest elementary school district in the state. It serves over 30,000 elementary and middle school students across 44 different campuses. Area 3 holds eleven of those campuses. Incumbent Ralph Anthony has represented area 3 on the school board for the past two years. He also served two terms in 1992 and 94.
“We were rudely interrupted by COVID 19 and when I start a project I’d like to see it through,” Anthony said. “So I’m just trying to finish up the work that we as a team have been doing.”
Anthony is an assistant pastor and has done a lot of community work in support of equality. He joined the national association for the advancement of colored people in the 60s at the height of the civil rights movement.
“A lot of the things was trying to improve school conditions for students because there was a lot of racism still around. And I know that it was important that negative experiences needed to be dealt with so the students wouldnt drop out of school.”
His commitment to equity extends to his work on school board. He helped start the African American Academic Achievement program to close the achievement gap.
“Letting our children know that their learning future is very important not only now, but being contributors to society and being good students and citizens,” Anthony said.
Challenging him is Chris Cruz-Boone. She’s a mother of two and has been a teacher in bakersfield for the past 15 years.
“I really want a stronger parent voice on the school board and for my family I decided that I would run,” Cruz-Boone said.
Cruz-Boone is the only candidate who’s been endorsed by both bcsd staff and teachers.
She has a doctorate in education and multiple publications on distanced learning.
“Im excited about running during the pandemic because I think we have an opportunity to transform the district,” Cruz-Boone said. “I think instead of focusing on things like attendance numbers and standardized testing, we can actually talk about how to serve our communities better.”
She’s a first generation college graduate and wants to a be voice for the underserved.
“Neither of my parents finished high school and I have a doctorate and a house with three toilets, my life is incredible,” Cruz-Boone said. “So you can do anything.”
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