Meet the candidates for the Kern High School District

Katrina Singleton, News Editor

 With numerous positions being up for election this year, it is more critical than ever that the American public remains informed. While the general public is aware of this year’s presidential election, decisions about local elections have taken a backseat. 

 A variety of positions are up for election this year in Kern County’s school districts. The Kern High School District has candidates running for the school board positions Board Member #2 and Board Member #3 and these candidates answered with the following responses when sent a survey from The Runner.

Trustee Area 2

Jeff Flores


Jeff Flores49

Job title: Chief of Staff District 3 Supervisor  

Why are you running for school board?   

  “I believe in the transformative power of education for all of our students irrespective of background. Education is the catalyst for self-improvement and better quality of life for all. 

What is one thing you hope to change and how?  

  “To keep making improvements to the educational attainment levels in Kern County. To position the Kern High School District to be one of the best districts in the state. To foster more career and college pathways for our students. 

What experience do you bring to the role?  

  “I have decades of experience in leadership positions, service in the public, private and non-profit sectors. I pride myself in working collaboratively with parents, teachers and community stakeholders to create better learning environments. 


Dayle Record



Dayle Record,70 

Job title: Retired Teacher, Mother, Grandmother  

Why are you running for school board?   

  “I am running for the school board to positively support student learning, equal spending for each student, equal facilities and maintenance for all areas, and gender equality in hiring practices in this district. The district has 26 schools, 6 female principals, 20 male principals. This means the district is blinded to their gender bias, or worse yet, consciously gender biased. This bias indicates an authoritarian type system, that will engage badly with students that are perceived to be out of line. The United States has always valued the individual, and individual identity, these concepts tend to get trampled in authoritarian systems. Schools are where students learn skills and learn about themselves and how to cope with the world they will move into. We need to give them the tools to make great choices, create their own world, rather than be useful tools in whatever schemes are out there once they graduate. They have to both work in the world, and make the world. They have to save their world. We need to give every student the tools to do this, these tools are intellectual skills, understanding, leadership skills, and the skill of healthy relationships all around. Schools are a version of the world and our schools need to be inclusive of all, young men need to see compassionate and able role models, and young women need to see the same, coming out of leadership positions within schools. If only men are leaders in Kern High School District, how do young women find their role models? 

What is one thing you hope to change and how?  

  “I hope to help equality work in Kern High School District, equality in spending school to school, student to student, equality in hiring and pay, and equality in disciplinary measures. Kern High School District will address hiring bias, based on all factors. KHSD will make sure all management certification for leadership positions is rock solid, no paper mill diplomas, KHSD will figure out why they imagine they need a strong hand, rather than a whole person, to guide their schools. They will examine the culture they are promoting and realize it has to reflect the larger culture of the entire population of the county. 

What experience do you bring to the role?  

  “I have a master’s degree in secondary education, and I worked in mostly lower socio-economic schools. I always found that understanding the students’ needs leads to helping them learn, and enjoy learning. School management, and classroom management are skills; dedicated teachers and administrators are good at. Clear expectations, rules, fair guidelines, work, but hidden bias finally becomes apparent bias when you look at the numbers. I am good at big picture thinking, and solution finding. I hope to serve Kern High School District as a Board member in the Trustee 2 position.” 

Trustee Area 3

Joey O’Connell51 

Job title: Vice President, Kern High School District Board of Trustees


Joey O’Connell

As an involved community member for over 30 years, four year member of the Kern High School District Board of Trustees, current Vice President of the KHSD Board, husband to an elementary school teacher, business owner, and most importantly, parent of children in the Kern High School District, I feel led to provide a voice of common sense and responsibility for our students and parents in Kern County.  


Kern High School District Board members are entrusted with decision-making that affects our future leaders.  I believe our students, above all else, must be physically safe and academically challenged, they must be prepared by highly qualified teachers to enter the 21st century workforce and tackle the responsibility of leading our state in business, finances, and ethics.    

As your Trustee, I seek parental involvement in the educational process, strive for board transparency, ensure the retention of quality teachers, and direct funding toward rigorous curriculum and technical / vocational training.  Our parents, teachers and local officials are steadily losing influence in the classroom, this trend must be reversed. 

With your vote, I will continue to fight to restore a community voice in local education, and work to make a difference. 

The issue at the forefront of Kern County education right now is the return to school of our students and teachers.  I believe the Kern High School District leadership team has placed us in a position to provide a safe return to school that can be implemented in phases as our state government allows.  I have voted for and will continue to champion a full return to school as soon as we are legally and safely able to do so.