BCSD Honored with Golden Bell Award for Family & Community Engagement

Wednesday December 13, 2023

The Bakersfield City School District’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) department was selected as one of 60 recipients of California’s leading educational honor, the Golden Bell Award. Golden Bells are awarded annually by the California School Boards Association to promote excellence in public education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices. This year’s Golden Bell winners demonstrated that they are addressing student needs through areas such as equity and access, school climate and safety, technology, and wellness.

FACE received the award for its “Parents As Leaders” program, also known as PALs. The program partners parents in the district with educational opportunities and monthly leadership workshops to strengthen family goal setting while building leadership and parenting capacity through positive home-school relationships. Through peer-to-peer modeling, families learn how to become leaders and advocate for their families.

From left: Patty Silva, Paulina Mora Fernandez, Antonia Serrano, Dee Dee Harrison, Hugo Heisler, Susie Gallardo, Christine Meza.

A judging panel composed of experts from school districts and county offices of education across the state reviewed written entries and made initial recommendations. On-site validators then reviewed the recommendations and assessed the programs in action.

“As we wrestle with the aftermath of the pandemic and address longstanding issues related to student success, it’s important to highlight school districts and county offices of education that demonstrate promising practices for closing opportunity and achievement gaps and supporting student wellness,” said CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. “This year’s Golden Bell winners have developed remarkable programs that can serve as an example for schools across the state as they work to accelerate learning recovery and foster healthy school environments for all California students.”

By Robert Meszaros

By Robert Meszaros

Rob Meszaros is Director of Communications for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, where he has served since 2012. In his role, Meszaros oversees media relations, internal and external communication strategies, publications, Marcom, branding, and multi-media content creation. Before joining KCSOS, Meszaros was the PIO for CSU Bakersfield and earlier worked for seven years at The Bakersfield Californian.