April 15, 2019 - Issue: Vol. 165, No. 65 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 1st Session
RECOGNIZING ERNIE BELL'S LIFELONG COMMITMENT TO SIERRA SANDS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 65
(Extensions of Remarks - April 15, 2019)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E467] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] RECOGNIZING ERNIE BELL'S LIFELONG COMMITMENT TO SIERRA SANDS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT ______ HON. KEVIN McCARTHY of california in the house of representatives Monday, April 15, 2019 Mr. McCARTHY. Madam Speaker, I rise today in recognition of Mr. Ernest ``Ernie'' M. Bell Jr., who retires this year after an extensive career in education from his position as the Superintendent of the Sierra Sands Unified School District (SSUSD), which serves the Indian Wells Valley in my congressional district in California. Born and raised in Ridgecrest, California, Ernie graduated from Sherman E. Burroughs High School and attended Bakersfield College before receiving a degree in Biology from the University of California, Davis, and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration at California State University, Bakersfield. He then returned home to Ridgecrest, beginning a career in education at Murray Middle School, where he taught and coached for ten years, then served as the school's Vice Principal for four years, and finally as Murray Middle's Principal for ten years. Throughout his career as an educator, Ernie achieved extensive knowledge of the interworking and importance of education through his participation on SSUSD leadership committees and peer review panels. And it was by tackling issues critical to the district, such as student safety, collective bargaining, budgetary issues, and accreditation, that Ernie seamlessly transitioned from the classroom to SSUSD administration. In 2014, Ernie accepted the position of Superintendent of Sierra Sands Unified School District, a position that capped a lifelong career dedicated to education in the Indian Wells Valley. As Superintendent, Ernie led and successfully pushed to renovate and modernize Murray Middle School and Burroughs High School, and spearheaded the effort to secure funding for the construction of Richmond Elementary School. Ernie's legacy will be defined not only by his esteemed career as an educator to countless students, but by the fruits of his tireless advocacy for quality education in the Indian Wells Valley on future generations of students. I know Ernie Bell as a man of his word and as a public servant who tirelessly advocated for the needs of our community's students and teachers better than almost anyone. I know that despite his retirement, he will remain just as active in the Ridgecrest community as ever. On behalf of a grateful community, I wish Ernie, his wife, Deanne, and their children, Jacob, Zachary, and Rebecca, all the best as they begin this new chapter of his life. ____________________