BCSD Appoints Three New Principals

August 24, 2016 – The Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) is pleased to announce that the Board of Education has appointed three new principals for the 2016-2017 school year:

    • Lemuel Kwon, Casa Loma Elementary School
    • Brooke Smothers-Strizic, Cato Middle School
    • Jennifer Santillan, Pauly Elementary School

In this role, the new Principals will be responsible for the planning, organization, and direction of educational operations, activities, instructional programs and services at their assigned school.

Lemuel KwonMs. Kwon has been with BCSD for 12 years and has served in various instructional capacities. She taught fourth grade at both Ramon Garza and Longfellow Elementary Schools. From 2011 to 2014, she served as an Academic Coach at Noble Elementary, and as an Academy Site Lead for the BCSD Migrant Program in 2014. In 2015, she served as a Summer School Principal at Harris Elementary School. During the 2015-2016 school year, she served as Dean of Students at Munsey Elementary, and this past summer, as Summer School Principal at Casa Loma. Ms. Kwon replaces former Casa Loma Principal, Alex Mira, who resigned at the end of the 2015-2016 school year to pursue an opportunity out of state.

BrookeMrs. Smothers-Strizic has been with the District since 2007 when she joined the team as a substitute teacher. In 2008, she became a Special Education Teacher, and from 2012-2014 served as an Instructional Specialist for the District’s Curriculum and Instruction Department. She served as a summer school principal at different schools three years in a row, while working full time during the school year at Cato Middle School as an Outreach Specialist in 2014-2015 and Dean of Students in 2015-2016. Mrs. Smothers-Strizic replaces former Cato Principal, Mike Havens, who was appointed as an Area Administrator for BCSD in July.


Jennifer SantillanMs. Santillan has been employed by BCSD for 17 years. She first joined BCSD in 1999 and served as a teacher at various schools for eight years. In 2007, she became an Academic Coach at Pauly Elementary School, a position she held for six years. In 2013, she took on her first administrative role at that same school as Dean of Students. This past summer, she served as Summer School Principal at Chavez Elementary School. Ms. Santillan replaces former Pauly Principal, Rachelle Montoya, who was appointed to BCSD’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction in July.

“These three individuals bring a wealth of educational experience to our schools,” said Mr. Mark Luque, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at BCSD. “We are very much looking forward to their leadership at their school sites as we work towards increasing academic achievement and accelerating student performance across the District.”

The three new principals will take on their new roles on September 1, 2016. The District congratulates them and welcomes them to the BCSD Leadership Team.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Bakersfield City School District programs, activities, and practices shall be free from unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived characteristics of race or ethnicity, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identifications, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information or any other characteristic identified in Education Code 200 or 220, Penal code 422.55, or Government Code 11135, or based on association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, you should immediately contact the school site principal and/or the District’s Human Resource Administrator, at 661-631-4663, or at 1300 Baker Street, Bakersfield, California 93305. A copy of BCSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures and Non-Discrimination policies are available by clicking here and/or upon request.