BY Colby McCoy
Abby Bolt is an elite firefighter, workplace justice advocate, public speaker, podcaster and candidate for the Kernville Unified School District Board whose aim is to inspire the next generation of students and tackle tough problems in her district.
Bolt grew up on a small ranch in Havilah in the Kern River Valley. Her parents, Red and Terry Bolt, have deep roots in the district’s educational system, having served over 22 years at Wallace Elementary School, where they “taught us the importance of duty, respect, integrity and courage along with a strong work ethic,” Bolt said.
Her first job, as a white-water raft guide on the Kern River, ignited a fire for adventure, leading her to become a wildland firefighter. Originally, she planned to use firefighting as a path to get her through college, but that quickly changed.
“I fell in love with the culture when I dug fire lines as a hotshot crewmember and slid down ropes as a helicopter rappeler into some of the most breathtaking landscapes the U.S. has to offer. Before I knew it, I accepted a career position with the USFS, and the journey continued with many exciting stories along the way,” Bolt explained.
Today, she is the proud parent of a son in the fifth grade attending Wallace Elementary School, and the aunt of two other students in younger grades. Since her son began attending kindergarten in the KUSD, she realized how many amazing opportunities the district provides for its students, leading her to run as a candidate for the district board.
“I have observed not only the amazing opportunities the district provides for our children, but also concerning incidents and administrative practices,” Bolt said. “I am a firm believer that if you see something that needs improvement or assistance, you don’t only say something, you step up in any way you can. That is exactly why I am running for school board. I believe in choosing the hard right over easy silence, and it is my duty as a parent and KRV community member to volunteer my time in a way that can help all of our kids have a better future. I also want to be a part of ensuring the district staff is getting the resources they need to be successful.”
For Bolt, the ultimate goal is to get students excited about going to school in her district.
“I know it will be a challenge, but I look forward to my contribution of building a bright future for our children,” she said.