HANFORD — Kings County Board of Education President Marlene “Mickey” Thayer administered the oath of office Wednesday afternoon to County Superintendent of Schools Todd Barlow, but before she did so, she spoke about how honored she was to be swearing him in.
“Today is a wonderful day for all of the citizens of Kings County, especially our children,” Thayer said. “Because he is all about his students and Kings County.”
Barlow, who was elected superintendent of the Kings County Office of Education in the June 2018 primary election and began his interim duties sometime around September, was officially sworn in Wednesday before the board’s first meeting of the year.
He took the reins from former superintendent Tim Bowers, who had served two terms for a total of eight years before retiring at the end of June 2018.
Along with Thayer, Vice President Mike Robinson, and trustees Mary Gonzales-Gomez, Glenn Estes and Adam T. Medeiros were all present for the swearing in.
Barlow thanked his family, friends, colleagues and supporters in attendance and told them that they are the reason he has the opportunity to serve the people of Kings County and the educational community, and the privilege to work alongside people who have dedicated their lives to improving the educational system for the county’s children.
“It is a great honor,” Barlow said, adding he wouldn’t take the opportunity and position for granted.
Barlow said the future of education in the county looked bright, and in the year ahead he looks forward to adding to the team of already great people working in the office of education who believe that students are the center of their universe, who lead by example and who have a foundation of trust, respect, responsibility and hard work.
Barlow said he hoped to make the Kings County Office of Education the best place to work because that is what the students, staff and districts deserve.
“It’s a tall order, but no task is too great when done together by all,” Barlow said.
While running for the position, Barlow said he envisioned a county-supported effort to provide resources for character education, ready access to mental health services for students, partnerships with law enforcement and expanded opportunities for students, including continued funding for performing arts and extracurricular experiences in areas like science, math and agriculture.
Previously, Barlow spent eleven years in the classroom as a teacher and two years as a director before serving seven years as the superintendent/principal of Kit Carson Union Elementary School District and Mid Valley Charter Home School.
Born and raised in Kings County, Barlow attended local schools and graduated from Lemoore High School. He attended West Hills College and then Arizona State University, where he earned a degree in history.
He attended Fresno Pacific University to earn his teaching credential and then his master’s degree in education and administrative services.