TEHACHAPI — Lori Cisneros is a trainer.
She’s also just one of these persons who someway handle to make lemonade when a load of lemons is dropped on them.
When the Kern County Superintendent of Educational institutions place of work place her on unpaid leave in Oct 2021, she introduced Cisneros Farm Workshops and began web hosting students on her family’s tiny farm in Tehachapi’s Alpine Forest neighborhood.
Then she made the decision to throw her patriotic cowgirl hat in the ring to operate for a seat on the Kern County Board of Instruction in the Nov. 8 election. She won, capturing approximately 60 p.c of the vote in a contest with appointed incumbent Ernie Bell of Ridgecrest. On Tuesday she was sworn in at a meeting of the board, alongside with one particular other new member — Joe Marcano, a supervising deputy district lawyer for Kern County who was prosperous in his obstacle of incumbent Joan Smith. Two other incumbents — Ronald Froelich and Mary Minor — held on to their seats in the election.
Customers of the Board of Training are not employees but do acquire a conference stipend, mileage and some positive aspects. In accordance to Robert Meszaros, spokesperson for the Superintendent of Schools office, users acquire a stipend of $80 for each conference and a full well being gain bundle which includes medical, prescription drug, vision and dental for the board member and eligible dependents. A everyday living insurance policy policy for the board member is also provided.
The Superintendent of Schools office oversees Valley Oaks Charter School, exactly where Cisneros labored — first in Bakersfield and then in Tehachapi — prior to dropping her work past 12 months.
“After nearly a yr of conferences and mediations I was fired from my placement of training,” she reported in a assertion during the election. She reported she was pressured to comply with mandates that she could not concur with since of her deeply held spiritual beliefs.
When questioned to either exhibit proof of COVID-19 vaccination or check for the virus on a regular basis, Cisneros asked for lodging because of to her spiritual beliefs. She explained the Superintendent of Educational facilities place of work denied her ask for and that her pleas to the county Board of Schooling fell on deaf ears.
Meszaros on Thursday confirmed her termination, noting that her “employment with KCSOS was terminated for failing to comply with state-mandated COVID vaccination or weekly testing as outlined by the California Section of General public Wellness Vaccinate or Test Buy dated Aug. 11, 2021.
“I are unable to comment even further particularly linked to Ms. Cisneros, but what I will incorporate is that KCSOS offered employees saliva testing and testing by means of their very own medical supplier as a realistic lodging to people requesting exemption from vaccination or nasal swab testing,” he claimed.
Valley Oaks was chartered by the county Board of Training, a 7-man or woman elected physique that is effective carefully with the Superintendent of Faculties office environment. Cisneros will signify Region 7 on that board.
With help from spouse and children and close friends — and an organization termed Kern Citizens for Liberty — she hit the road throughout the election, carrying patriotic outfits that captivated attention as she attended local community occasions from Ridgecrest to Frazier Park. She did not knock on doors, but she did demonstrate up at faculties in the course of college student select-up time, keeping in general public regions to fulfill mother and father and share her belief in the worth of empowering them to help their little ones.
Before she commenced battling for her position, Cisneros said she experienced incredibly minimal understanding of the Superintendent of Educational facilities office environment or the county Board of Education and learning. She before long uncovered that the Superintendent of Schools is an elected posture and that in Kern County the Board of Education and learning is also created up of elected officers. According to the California County Boards of Instruction Affiliation, amongst the obligations of county boards is to create and oversee county constitution colleges.
As she acquired additional, Cisneros claimed she was appalled by how hard it is for the public to get details or interact with the county board.
Its site, managed by the Superintendent of Universities Workplace, is tricky to navigate. An agenda for the future board meeting is offered, but not minutes, so individuals have no way of being aware of what is talked about or what action is taken except if they attend conferences in human being — and there are no on the web archives. The agenda posted on the internet does not contain the product that will be provided to board associates. The doc advises the general public that they need to be current in individual to comment and that “any supplies demanded by legislation to be made obtainable to the community prior to a assembly … can be inspected in the course of standard business enterprise hours” at the Superintendent of Educational institutions Office in Bakersfield. Board policy does allow folks to pay for a membership to acquire board packets by mail.
“I didn’t know how to get included, I just knew a little something was completely wrong with the procedure,” Cisneros explained of what she figured out as she attempted to understand extra about the underpinnings of community faculties.
For starters, she believes the county board requirements ways to let people today to show up at conferences nearly. And in her new position she ideas to find ways to link with the community.
“I want the men and women to generate what I do, or else I’m just a heat body in the seat,” she mentioned.
The pandemic made difficulties that no one particular envisioned and even though Cisneros shed her task, she does not think she was by itself in objecting to the vaccine and testing.
“Some were being much too fearful to say no,” she claimed.
She believes there may perhaps be long term pandemics with identical troubles.
“I really don’t know what the solution is, but I know we want to communicate about it,” she mentioned, including that she hopes to inspire transform on the Board of Schooling so that a lot more community involvement is inspired.
“It is in my coronary heart to set the similar travel and willpower I experienced in hoping to save my job into shielding the little ones and doing almost everything in my ability to provide a beneficial modify in our college system,” she reported.
Claudia Elliott is a freelance journalist and previous editor of the Tehachapi Information. She lives in Tehachapi and can be achieved by e mail: [email protected].