Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, announced Kern County students and teachers who are this year’s recipients of the 23rd Congressional District of California Merit Award and Inspirational High School Educator Award.

McCarthy praised the students in a May 13 news release. 

“In a year when many students and teachers have taken on the challenging task of remote learning, this year’s awards really stand out," McCarthy said. "Our students have displayed tenacity and discipline — staying on task with assignments while fostering relationships with their classmates virtually.

"Teachers have shown innovation and heart — creating new ways to engage with their students to ensure they are receiving the best educational experience possible under unprecedented circumstances. All, however, have been a shining example of what it means to persevere in the face of adversity, and I congratulate them on this impressive achievement today."

Recipients from Tehachapi included Makenna Kephart, a student at Tehachapi High School, and Ned Maino, a teacher at Tehachapi High School.