Skip Navigation LinksKHSD Home > Office of Superintendent > KHSD Education Foundation > Donors of Note
KHSD Educational Foundation Donors of Note
Support for education in Kern County is so strong and so widespread among individuals and organizations that there is not enough space in this publication to document all those who have donated to the KHSD Educational Foundation. The Foundation would like to express its appreciation for the contributions of all but, in particular, make special note of those whose donations in the past year have been particularly beneficial to KHSD students and programs. They include:

Chevron executive Adam Alvidrez, left, presented KHSD Superintendent Don Carter a check from Chevron in support of the KHSD Superintendent's First In Class Award Scholarships.

Harry & Ethel West

The Harry & Ethel West Foundation has been for almost 20 years a consistent source of generous support for a wide array of KHSD endeavors.
In particular, the success of KHSD students in a variety of academic competitions at the state and national level would not have been possible without the ongoing support of the Harry & Ethel West Foundation. These programs include “We, the People,” Academic Decathlon, Virtual Enterprise and History Day competitions.
Harry West was born in 1885 and moved with his family to Kern County in 1894. He attended Kern County Union High School (now Bakersfield High) and played on a championship Driller football team. Mr. West later met Ethel Mae Hare who graduated from KCUHS in 1907. The couple married in 1914.
Harry West died in 1953, Ethel in 1987. Richard G. McBurnie serves as the Foundation's President and CEO, Silver Sack as Treasurer and Mary Means as Secretary. All are graduates of the KHSD.


Chevron, the largest producer of oil in California, has a long history of supporting education in Kern County.
“Chevron proudly supports the KHSD Educational Foundation through financial contributions and employee involvement,” notes Carla Musser, Policy & Government & Public Affairs Manager. “We are investing in education locally and throughout California today to help build tomorrow's workforce,” Musser added. “Education is the key to success for both students and companies.”
Chevron has been a continuous supporter of the KHSD Educational Foundation since the Foundation was created in 1989 and has helped fund many important projects, including: Project BEST, the KHSD Superintendent's First In Class Awards, Virtual Enterprise programs and Principal Partners' Day.

Jim Burke & Family

The contributions to Kern County education by Jim Burke, his wife, Bebe, and his daughter, Michele extend far beyond their considerable financial donations to the KHSD.
In particular, Jim Burke was instrumental in forging a bond between the business and educational communities. It was Burke who first proposed a Principal Partners' Day that would bring together school and business leaders for meaningful interaction. Burke's support was vital to the development of the KHSD's award-winning Project 2000. The KHSD established in 2003 its annual Jim Burke “Light and Liberty” Award for service to Kern County education. Mr. Burke passed away in 2006.

Klassen Corp.

Klassen Corporation is a private, family-owned architectural firm headquartered in Bakersfield. Owners Robert, Phil and Jerry Klassen have often demonstrated their commitment to the Kern County community through financial donations and personal involvement. Klassen Corp. has been very supportive of the KHSD through significant donations to a wide array of programs.

Ben & Gladys Arkelian

The KHSD has benefitted greatly for many years from the generosity of the Ben H. and Gladys Arkelian Foundation.
The Arkelians owned a farm in the Lerdo area and grew grapes, cotton and olives. Ben died in 1950, Gladys in 1963. The Foundation to which their remaining assets were distributed has been a major asset to Kern County.
Most notably, the Arkelian Foundation in 1987 provided $250,000 to finish the Children's Wing of Kern County “Beale Memorial” Library.

Stella Fiorelli

Stella Fiorelli was a long time Kern Valley resident and supporter of Kern Valley HS students and athletes. Stella passed away recently and her husband Roy established a foundation in her name. A donation from her foundation was made this year which yields yearly a scholarship for a Kern Valley HS student.

James Alford

West High received this year a donation that created a James Alford Army JROTC Memorial Scholarship. The donation provides scholarships for students in the school's JROTC program. James Alford served in the US Army from 1942 to 1945. He was the leader of a machine gun squad and served in the Aleutian Islands, France and Germany. He was wounded by gun fire twice. Medals he was awarded include the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

Kern High School District|Privacy Policy|Disclaimer|About Us|Contact Us