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Our Superintendent

Katie Russell, Superintendent

Katie RussellI am honored with the opportunity to serve as your new Superintendent, and proud to be the first woman and first African-American superintendent in the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District’s 145 year history. A district who values family, demonstrates a deep commitment to educational excellence, and who holds high expectations for ALL students, is definitely the place I want to call home. Prior to being appointed superintendent, I served the students, staff and community in the Fresno Unified School District as Assistant Superintendent of School Leadership and Instruction (9 years), Principal (10 years) and Teacher (11 years).

I would like to thank all the wonderful people within the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District, and throughout the community, who have helped make my transition to Bakersfield a success. I am fortunate to join a district who has a long-standing reputation as one of the best districts in Kern County and known up and down the state as a district to emulate. We truly live up to our motto to be the motto of “Excellence in Education.”

As your new superintendent I understand how difficult it is for our students and families to open the school year without in-person, face-to-face instruction, traditional activities and structures we have counted on as part of our educational program. We will begin this year using a trusted Distance Learning model and our staff is committed to providing grade level instruction, differentiated support and social, emotional learning for every student. As soon as our county meets the safety guidelines from our governmental agencies, we are prepared and excited to bring our students back on campus for in-person learning.


Parents are a critical component to the success of our educational program and your partnership and support is appreciated and welcomed. If we work together, value diversity, and promote and ensure a culture of learning with high expectations, ALL students will achieve at high levels and be prepared for high school in pursuit of their college and career choices.


I am ready to serve as your superintendent and look forward to the 2020-21 school year and our future working together side-by-side on behalf of our students.


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