Academy Leadership


Board of Directors

Marianna Buoni, Clean Harbors, Buttonwillow, LLC
Jess Frederick, WZI, Inc.
Jamie Thornberry, Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas
Jim Varley, Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office


Michael Turnipseed, Academy Director
Marlene Heise, Communications Director, Founder, Chief Strategic Officer, Heise Media Group

Faculty 2022

Romeo Agbalog, Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government
Juan Avila, Garden Pathways
Michael Burroughs, Ph.D., Kegley Institute of Ethics
Mark Evans, Ph.D. California State University, Bakersfield
Vince Fong, 34th Assembly District
Steve Gamboa, Ph.D., California State University, Bakersfield
Richard Gearhart, Ph.D., California State University, Bakersfield
Lisa Gilbert, Ed.D., Kern County Superintendent of Schools
Jessica Grimes, Ph.D., Kern Community College District
Marlene Heise, Heise Media Group, Communications Director
Barry Hibbard, ASU Associates
Jenny Holtermann, Water Association of Kern County
Scott Hurlbert, City of Wasco
Ariana Joven, Government Affairs Manager, The Wonderful Company
Stacy Kuwahara, Kern County Behavioral Health Services
Anna Laven, Ed.D., Bakersfield Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative
Elsa Martinez, Kern County Administrative Office
Kallee McCullough, Ph.D., California State University, Bakersfield
Nyakundi Michieka, Ph.D., California State University, Bakersfield
Nate Olson, Ph.D., Kegley Institute
Lorelei Oviatt, Kern County Planning and Natural Resources
Amanda Ruiz, Kern County Administrative Office
Richard Ryan, Ph.D., California State University Bakersfield
Bryon Schaefer, PhD., Kern High School District
Michael Turnipseed, Kern County Taxpayers Association, Faculty Director
Kristen Beall Watson, Ed.D., California State University, Bakersfield
Keith Wolaridge, Panama-Buena Vista Union School District
James L. Zervis, County of Kern