It was the beginning for a curriculum and instruction director and the end of a board member's term during Tuesday night's Bakersfield City School District board meeting.

The board appointed Christine Chapman as the district's newest director of curriculum and instruction during closed session. She succeeds Rachelle Montoya, who will be the principal at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School.

"I'm really looking forward to joining the BCSD family," Chapman said. "I'm very excited to get working and serve the students of this district."

The appointment is effective July.

She started her career in the Fresno Unified School District after graduating from Fresno State.

For the past 24 years she has worked in the Delano Union School District, holding a variety of roles including teacher and instructional coach. She was appointed vice principal at Morningside and Terrace elementary schools, and later became principal at Morningside.

She is currently the principal at Harvest Elementary School in Fresno, and a commissioner for the California Department of Education’s Instructional Quality Commission.

The board also bid farewell to Area 4 Trustee Michael Horne, who submitted a letter of resignation last month. 

According to Horne's resignation provided to The Californian from BCSD, Horne explained he is resigning to seek opportunities through his organization, Gifted Minds Academy of the High Intellect Minds and Entertainment, such as "pursuing public speaking, a record label, filmmaking studio, photography, building my own church, creating my own school for gifted and talented children and also to run for President of the United States in 2024," he wrote.

During Tuesday's meeting, he was presented with a plaque and Superintendent Doc Ervin thanked Horne for his dedication and service to the BCSD.

Horne thanked his supporters for voting for him and "giving me a chance to represent ... the people who I am a part of, which is the GATE (gifted and talented education) community and foster youth."

Horne was elected to the board in November 2018 after beating out incumbent Russ Shuppert.

There are three options the board can take to find a replacement:

  1. An appointment by the board that would be open to all interested applicants who live in Area 4. Applicants would be interviewed by the board and then a vote would take place
  2. Hold a special election, which could cost the district an estimated $120,000 to $140,000
  3. Because Horne is newly elected, the board can appoint the second-place finisher, Shuppert

There was no discussion at Tuesday's meeting on what choice the board will take. There is a meeting June 26 where there could be discussion, or the board could hold a special meeting.

Other items

Parents addressed the board to express their concerns regarding the elimination of the director of English Language Learners position, which was held by Beatrice Castilleja-Gray.

Many believe there will be major changes to curriculum that will affect all students, and that the board did not consider English language learners when it made its decision.

"As board I feel you do not value us. You never take us into consideration or inform us until you make your decision," said District English Learner Advisory Committee President Rosa Aguilera, with a translator provided. "When we've started to take two, three steps forward, you make changes and we take four steps back."

Ervin stressed that though "we make organizational changes, the quality will continue." He also said discussions and decisions regarding personnel matters are confidential. 

Public information officer Irma Cervantes Lancaster said Gray will serve BCSD in another administrative role. The ELL department will be placed directly under the Curriculum and Instruction division.

Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic.

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