June 24, 2017 – The Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) is pleased to announce that Dr. Beatrice Castilleja-Gray has been appointed as the new Director of English Language Learners Services (ELL). Dr. Castilleja-Gray will provide districtwide leadership in the planning, implementation, and improvement of the following programs: language acquisition, English Language Development, and Dual Immersion. She began her new role on July 19, 2017.
Dr. Beatrice Castilleja-Gray brings 27 years of experience in education to this position, including 15 years in administrative roles. In her most recent role, she served as Principal at Palm Elementary of Beaumont Unified School District in Beaumont, California. While in this role, she was instrumental in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards instructional program for TK-5th grade; she led the staff in current research-based collaborative best practices; and she spearheaded the design, implementation and evaluation of the site District World Language Program.
Dr. Castilleja-Gray began her career in education as an elementary school teacher at Bessie Owens Elementary School at BCSD. She continued teaching for 12 years before moving into the role of Assistant Principal at Chavez and Palm Elementary School at Beaumont Unified where she managed disciplinary matters, facilities, and the English Language Learner mandates.
“My desire, as the English Language Learner Director of the Bakersfield City School District, is to lead, empower, and support employees and students with purpose and passion in meeting and improving their academic, social and emotional goals,” said Dr. Castilleja-Gray. “It was at BCSD that I began my educational career as a teacher at Bessie Owens School and I am very happy to be back home.”
As the Director of ELL, Dr. Castilleja-Gray will be responsible for facilitating districtwide change that will enhance services for ELL, monitor the implementation of District Second Language programs, and serve as District leader in assisting individual schools with program development, innovation, and adaptations to meet site and student needs. Dr. Castilleja-Gray will also coordinate the District English Language Advisory Committee meetings and serve as a partner to parents. She will also be responsible for ensuring all sites offer instructional programs and related services that will assist EL to achieve English proficiency and mastery of content standards.
“Dr. Castilleja-Gray will be charged with leading the future expansion of our Dual Language Programs within the Bakersfield City School District,” said Mark Luque, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. “Her vast experience with English Learner and Dual Language Programs will be a tremendous asset to our district.”
Dr. Castilleja-Gray received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara, her Master’s degree in Educational Management from the University of La Verne, and her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership form Brandman University Riverside, California. She is a member of the Association of California School Administrators, the California Association of Bilingual Educators, and the Dual Language California Association of Bilingual Educators. She has received multiple awards, including the Bilingual Educators Succeeding Together District Administrator Award, the Riverside County Models of Excellence Award for the Elementary District Dual Language Program, and the Riverside County ACSA Principal of the Year Award.