Kern High School District welcomes women trustees for first time in decades

The addition of both Cynthia Brakeman and Janice Graves to the KHSD Board of Trustees marks the first time in twenty years that two women will be on the board.

Miranda Defoor, Web & Social Media Editor

The Kern High School District (KHSD) Board of Trustees welcomes former teachers, Cynthia Brakeman and Janice Graves, as Trustees.

Their addition to the board marks the first time in twenty years that two women will be on the board. Both now retired from teaching, Brakeman in 2015 after teaching at Arvin High for 20 years, while Graves has only been retired a few months.

Brakeman and Graves are set to replace Mike Williams and Phillip Peters. Williams was previously asked by community advocates to resign after his negative response to community members of color, according to a Sept. 2017 Bakersfield Californian article. The Californian also explained Williams had a difficult and angry relationship with their publication and called on the KHSD and Trustees to cut contracts with The Californian. The Californian also reported he believed incumbents offered information and experience not found elsewhere but Williams did, however, wish his successor luck during the election.

Both women were supported by financial contributors from the Kern High Teachers Association.

Trustee Jeff Flores said in a statement that the education experience from both women will give the board an advantage. Their dedication and service to students adds value to the entire Trustee Board, according to Flores.

Common goals shared by the women are small class sizes, better and revised disciplinary policies and actions, and an expansion of the Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. Brakeman hopes to place additional safety officers on high school campuses.