Wrapping up May 2023

Definitely the week before a major transition.

On Sunday, I headed out to Lake Tahoe with the Kern Community College District Team for ACBO’s spring conference.

I spoke to the group about upcoming priorities for California Community Colleges, given that the state will be dealing with some financial difficulties in the next couple of years.

Kylie Campbell and Mike Giacomini presented on Dual Enrollment at the District, and did a fantastic job showcasing the work that the District has done in expanding this program.

Statewide, only 6% of 9th graders are participating in dual enrollment in CA, which means we have a huge opportunity with the remaining 94% of 9th graders that we can reach as early as this Fall. I am excited to support this work throughout the California Community College System, and work to provide opportunities for students across this great state. And of course, Kern is at the forefront of this work.

Our time is now!

Also, check out the article by Emma Gallegos of Ed Source.

Christian believes that community colleges, which serve California’s “most vulnerable students,” have the potential to not just change the socioeconomic fortunes of its students but to help the state address issues such as health care and climate change. She wants to see colleges make the bold changes their communities need.
“We just make things happen,” said Christian. “We don’t look for something external to give us permission to do what is right.”

You can read the full piece here: https://edsource.org/2023/enroll-every-9th-grader-in-a-college-course-says-californias-incoming-community-college-chancellor/691065

Whenever I talk about Dual Enrollment, I find myself thinking about how this work began with a partnership with Wonderful Academy, and then McFarland went wall-to-wall because of the bold leadership of Superintendent Aaron Resendez. The beautiful moments of our lives become wonderful memories to enjoy. Here are a few.

Early College team


As I flew into Reno for this work, what a view as we were landing:

The Truckee River, which flows through Reno on its way from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake, was full and flowing fast.

As I took time to walk around a bit to check out the sights and sounds in Reno, I stumbled upon the musical Anastasia playing at the Pioneer Center. The music of “Anastasia” features a blend of catchy, Broadway-style show tunes and heartfelt ballads. It includes well-known songs from the original film, such as “Journey to the Past” and “Once Upon a December,” as well as new songs specifically written for the musical. The music captures a sense of romance, adventure, and longing, reflecting the emotional journey of the characters. Thought would give you a taste with this piece from Youtube “Once Upon a December.” The cast of characters at the Pioneer center were different … the song and the setting the same. Just beautiful!

Back in Bakersfield I was enjoying taking time at home, though I headed to KCCD to wrap up some transition work. The garden is bursting with springtime blooms which seem to be plentiful because of the heavy rains this past winter. In 2013 as BC’s new president, I purchased about 20 Renegade Red and White rose plants that were bred specifically to commemorate the centennial year. Those plants are now 10 years old and they flower with a vigor and intensity that is indescribable. The sheer number of roses have been weighing down the plants so I have been regularly clipping them for vases indoors. Thank you Lindsay Ono and BC’s Ag department for the Renegade Red and Whites. #WeAreBC

And when my busy schedule resumes in June, I will miss hanging out with Neo in the backyard.

Good morning friends.
It is May 27, 2023. Memorial Day.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Memorial Day – Let’s Remember.

Three years after the end of the Civil War, the Grand Army of the Republic – an organization of Union veterans – established Decoration Day as a day for the nation to put flowers on the graves of those killed in the war. Major General John A. Logan declared the commemoration should be May 30, likely because flowers would be in bloom across the country.

That year, an observance was held at Arlington National Cemetery, with speeches and flowers strewn upon the graves of soldiers.

The practice spread throughout the country, with many state legislatures passing proclamations designating May 30 as Decoration Day. After World War I, the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.

In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday, with the date placed on the last Monday in May.

I was browsing my previous post and saw this message from Paul Beckworth Memorial Day 2018

Wow…  Let us take a moment and reflect on these handwritten lists of BC students killed or MIA in action from World War II. Paul mentioned one of them died in a POW camp after being captured and these lists may or may not be comprehensive. But regardless, these lists are very telling — they are our history.

Read more in the blog post:

In the News

LTCC, El Centro High partnership celebrates first justice-involved college grad

LTCC’s Rising Scholars Program for the justice involved & its partner, El Centro High, are celebrating its first college grad.
Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

Twins graduating from ‘Adult High School’ program after dropping out 50 years ago

This week, a set of twin sisters – Carol Baker and Carolyn Baker-Lowery graduated from MiraCosta College’s Adult High School, 50 years after they dropped out.

Check out the story from 10news in San Diego!

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

President of Bakersfield College, Pastor Steve Watkin, did the opening prayer at the Bakersfield City Council.

Kylie Campbell shared this post during our travels this week:

“Look what @sonyachristian and I found at @flyLAXairport! A 20+ ft tall sign promoting the opportunity for high school students in CA to earn college credit through #DualEnrollment! Great work, @CalCommColleges! Made my day! @IcangotoCollege

In honor of Classified School Employee Week, a few of the photos I’ve seen celebrating our California Community College classified employees:

And to my classified colleagues and friends with whom I have worked side-by-side for a long time. Thank you!

Catherine Rangel, Sonya and Jo Ellen Barnes
Eric Carrillo and Dylan Wang and sonya christian
Graphic designers Eric Carrillo and Dylan Wang receive a 2019 President’s Leadership Award.

And from the Home of the Renegades…

CAPK Graduation

On Friday, May 19th, Bakersfield College in collaboration with CAPK (Community Action Partnership of Kern) celebrated the first cohort of graduates who completed the BC Applied Leadership Program in the BC Fireside Room. 17 CAPK administrators and leaders on every level committed themselves to the rigorous and innovative program born from Bakersfield College’s very own Dr. Maria Wright, former Senator Dr. Jean Fuller.

This will be the first of many cohorts to come!


That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

joyful and grateful


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