Who was Bernice Harrell Chipman?

Mrs. Chipman was a witty and intelligent writer. Bernice Harrel Chipman for many years contributed a weekly column, “What Do You Think?” to The Bakersfield Californian.

The daughter of publisher Alfred Harrell and his wife, Virginia, Chipman was born in Bakersfield in 1887. Following her marriage in 1911 she made her home in San Francisco, where she was a civic leader, but retained strong ties with her hometown and took an active interest in the newspaper until her death in 1967. As president of the corporation, she furnished leadership and vision, editorially.

Mrs. Chipman attended Bryan School, one of Bakersfield’s first elementary schools. She attended Kern County Union High School, graduating with the class of 1905. She was enrolled at Miss Murison’s School for girls in San Francisco when the 1906 earthquake interrupted her schooling.

“She certainly was a woman ahead of her time,” said Lawrence Weill, one of Chipman’s contemporaries. “In those days, women did not participate as they do now, but she always did.”

Chipman served on the boards of all the major arts groups in San Francisco and was president of such civic organizations as the Family Welfare Agency and the League of Women Voters. Earl Warren, then the governor of California, appointed her to a two-year term on the state Welfare Board.

She was instrumental in the creation of a replica of the Havilah Courier office at Pioneer Village and in 1966 was named honorary chairman of the Kern County Centennial celebration. “Bernice was sophisticated with a sense of what was right at the right time,” said her friend Marie Clerou Barnett. She was sort of New Yorkish, sort of Paris, and sort of Havilah.”

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Chipman Junior High
2905 Eissler Street
Bakersfield, CA 93306
Phone 661-631-5210
Fax 661-871-7007


Russell Taylor

First Day of School
August 16, 2017

2-Hour Late Start Dates

Aug. 24, Sept. 14,  Oct. 19,
Nov. 30, Jan. 18,
Feb. 15, Mar. 15,  Apr. 12

What We Offer

Chipman Junior High School offers multiple and diversified educational experiences for approximately 850 students. Chipman supports and nurtures the learning of all students.

Our Mission

Chipman’s vision is to become an exemplary model of academic and behavioral excellence where the adults inspire all students to achieve academic excellence and become well-rounded productive citizens who value education.

Mission Statement
Chipman’s mission is to ensure a safe, nurturing, engaging environment in which all students receive an effective, world-class, comprehensive education that prepares them for high school, career, college, and beyond.

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.