Ed DeMello came to the Kern High School District in 1941, teaching Social Studies and English. Ed served as Principal at McFarland and Arvin High Schools before returning to lead West High. He spent the 1964-65 school year preparing for the opening of West High in the fall of 1965. Ed assembled and led one of the finest team of teachers and staff members, building the foundation for West’s success in all educational and athletic areas.
Tom Jones teaching career began in 1961 in northern California at Mountain View High School teaching U.S. History and coaching track. He returned to Bakersfield the following year to teach social studies and coach track at North High School. In 1964 he joined the opening staff at West High under Principal Edwin De Mello as the Social Studies Department Chair. He taught U.S. History and Government at West until 1969 when he became an administrator and followed Ed DeMello as West High’s second Principal.
Darrell Roberts played varsity football for three seasons at West High. In 1977, Darrell became a two-way started playing right guard on offense and linebacker on defense. West was an undefeated SYL Champion once again and became an undefeated Valley Champion defeating the Mount Whitney Pioneers for a perfect 12-0 season. Darrell was selected to the All-City football team, was awarded the Lineman of the Year and selected to the All-Northern California football team. Darrell was also on the Track and Field team throwing the shot put and discus.
Michele Aguilar Carlin is the Executive Vice President of the HR Policy Association, a Washington, DC based organization representing the interests of Chief Human Resource officers of America’s largest employers on federal policy issues. She also serves as the CEO of the American Health Policy institute. Michele graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Political Science in 1983 from UCLA, she was a 4 Year starter on the UCLA Softball team earning Academic All-American Honors and was a member of the 1982 NCAA Championship team.
Kermita Myers graduated from Bowling Green State University and accepted a position at South High teaching PE, coaching tennis and as an advisor to the drill team. After 2 years she transferred to West High School where she spent 23 fun-filled years. During that time she taught PE, was the cheer advisor, coached track, basketball. softball and volleyball. Two of her volleyball teams won the Valley Championship. She enjoyed the opportunity to work with students and athletes, watching them grow athletically and personally into strong young adults was one of the most rewarding aspects of her career.
Kevin Sneed was an exceptional athlete. He played quarterback all four years at West High. His senior year was filled with accolades. Kevin continued to excel in football at Bakersfield College and San Diego State. He started both years at BC and was recognized as Homecoming MVP, Team MVP, Captain, and All-Metro Selection in 1973. At San Diego State, he led the team to a Pacific Coast Championship with a record of 10-1-1 and was ranked 19th nationally. Kevin was named Sports Illustrated’s Player of the Week while at San Diego State. Kevin was an assistant coach at West under Dallas Grider before taking the head coach position in 1983 to 1992. Kevin also coached at Centennial, B.C., Foothill, Ridgeview. Kevin coached in seven CIF Valley Championship games and two Potato Bowls.
Mike Bhone was a teacher and administrator for 40 years and the band director at West High for 16 years. He and Gordon Mehling started the first CSUB Jazz Band and in 1986 Principal Ann Cierley hired him to be West’s band director. Initially, there were only 39 students enrolled in the marching band, however, the band eventually grew to 220. He is featured in the book “The Other Music of Bakersfield” and is the founding father of the Kern County Honor Jazz Band. Mike started the Showcase of Bands at West, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary.
1977 Valley Champion Football Team was the West High Vikings’ first ever. A major coaching change for the Vikings was made and Dallas Grider became only the second head coach in West High’s relatively short history. When Coach Grider took the helm he instituted a rigorous weight training program. His goal was for the Vikings to become bigger, faster, and stronger. Grider and his staff didn’t stop there, however, as they also focused on building team pride, team unity, a new-found work ethic, and respect for each other. Grider’s staff also had a key ally in the West High Athletic Booster Club. The Booster Club built the first modern weight room in Kern County. The combination of all of these things helped the 1977 Football team accomplish its goal of winning the Valley Championship. With an undefeated 12-0 season, West High became the first SYL School to capture a Valley football title under the playoff format initiated in 1968. Coach Grider was quoted as saying “This was a great group of kids. We asked extra out of them and they responded. They deserved the Valley Championship, although you could say that for both teams.”