About the Committee

  • The Closing the Achievement Gap Committee was established on September 27, 2021.  The Bakersfield City School District Board of Education established the committee to work with the Superintendent and provide ongoing advisory input from stakeholders who can identify and recommend best practices and ways to focus resources to better meet the educational needs of underperforming student groups in the District.

    The Closing the Achievement Gap Committee is charged with the following: 

    • Through the use of academic achievement data, identify underperforming student groups within the District.
    • Identify challenges that may impede success for underperforming student groups.
    • Advise the Superintendent regarding best practices and ways to focus resources to address challenges that may impede success for identified underperforming student groups.

    The committee meets four times (quarterly) per year.  The committee’s efforts may require additional meetings on an as-needed basis. The committee shall remain in existence until such time as the Superintendent and Board determine that the committee has completed its charge.


    • Mr. Anthony Fuentes, Member, Board of Education
    • Mr. Mark Luque, Superintendent, BCSD
    • Mrs. Laura Orozco, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services, BCSD
    • Dr. Tim Fulenwider, Executive Director, Instructional Support Services, BCSD
    • Mr. Lewis Neal, Youth Services Coordinator, Instructional Support Services, BCSD
    • Ms. LaFleasha Owens, Academy Program Specialist, BCSD
    • Ms. Kotanya Kimbrough, Coordinator IV, Family and Community Engagement, BCSD
    • Mr. Steven Watkin, Associate Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Officer, KCCD
    • Ms. Marisa Marquez, Dean of Student Success & Counseling, Bakersfield College
    • Ms. Natasha Harris, Transfer Center Coordinator, CSUB
    • Mr. EJ Callahan, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, CSUB
    • Mr. Leo Holland, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, KHSD
    • Mrs. Brandi Ball, Director of Equity and Inclusion, KHSD
    • Mr. Manuel Carrizalez, Founder/Executive Director, Stay Focused, Inc.
    • Mrs. Essie Davis, Vice President of Programs, The Links Inc. Bakersfield Chapter
    • Rev. Dr. Oscar Anthony, Pastor, St. Peter RCCM Missionary Baptist Church
    • Rev. Wesley Crawford, Member
    • Mrs. Gwen Johnson, Member
    • Mrs. Laura Cruz, Parent
    • Mr. Tyler Jordan, Parent