Leading the way to improve learning and teaching conditions
Jesse Aguilar, a veteran high school visual arts teacher and union activist in Kern County, is serving his second three-year term on the CTA Board, which expires June 25, 2023.
A teacher for 22 years at East Bakersfield High School in the Kern High School District, Aguilar’s District H CTA Board district is expansive. He represents thousands of educators in Kern, Tulare, Kings, Inyo and Mono counties, as well as teachers in the High Desert, the northeastern portion of Los Angeles County.
“Teachers played a big part in my life. I grew to admire and respect the profession. I became a teacher to make a difference.”
He chose East Bakersfield High School to inspire and to be a role model to Hispanic students there.
Aguilar’s union roots run deep. His service with the Kern High School Teachers Association included six years as the KHSTA vice president, and countless years as bargaining and grievance chair, as well as a member of the executive board. He served for many years as a delegate and activist to the CTA State Council of Education, serving on several key workgroups over the years dealing with teacher evaluations, the CTA Long-Term Strategic Plan, political involvement and high school restructuring.
He earned his bachelor’s in art from San Francisco State University and his teaching credential from CSU-Bakersfield.
He is an advocate of restorative justice and of “dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline,” and is a member of the Kern Education Justice Collaborative, funded by the California Endowment and facilitated by the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
Aguilar lives in Bakersfield.