New faces join SCV school boards

Santa Clarita Val­ley’s ed­u­ca­tion scene wel­comes new of­fi­cials as elec­tion brings lead­er­ship change

The Signal - - Community calendar - By Bren­non Dix­son Sig­nal Staff Writer

Four of the seven school board races that fea­tured mul­ti­ple can­di­dates run­ning in Tues­day’s elec­tion ended with a vic­to­ri­ous in­cum­bent, but three new faces will soon be headed to the gov­ern­ing boards of the Sau­gus Union and Ne­whall school dis­tricts.

De­spite a ma­jor­ity of the in­cum­bents claim­ing their seats, most races were won by less than a few hun­dred votes.


Ann-Marie Bjork­man chal­lenged the long­time in­cum­bent Joan MacGregor, who has served as a trustee on COC’s board for 25 years, in Area No. 5 of the Santa Clarita Com­mu­nity Col­lege District.

When early vot­ing num­bers were re­leased at 8:45 p.m. Tues­day, MacGregor jumped out to a lead over Bjork­man, which she would main­tain through­out the night after se­cur­ing more than 5,000 votes.

“I am re­ally pleased to have the sup­port of the vot­ers in my area and I think they have shown that ex­pe­ri­ence is what’s im­por­tant to them,” MacGregor said. “I look for­ward to hav­ing an­other pos­i­tive ef­fect on the board in the fu­ture.”

Hart district

In the Wil­liam S. Hart Union High School District, six can­di­dates were cam­paign­ing for one of the two seats that were avail­able in the district. Donna Robert would put up fight against in­cum­bent Bob Jensen and chal­lenger Chris Werthe, but Jensen would win by 6 per­cent­age points.

Joe Messina, who also faced two chal­lengers in Jeff Martin and Kelly Trunkey, would also go on to re­claim his spot as a trustee in the Hart District as he had more than 7,300 votes, which equated to 51 per­cent of the to­tal votes cast in the race.

“I’m ex­cited and look­ing for­ward to serv­ing an­other four years,” Jensen said dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s district meet­ing.

Sau­gus Union

In Area No. 5 of the Sau­gus Union School District, where board Pres­i­dent Chris Trunkey took on Shar­lene Duz­ick, only 144 votes sep­a­rated the win­ner from the loser as Trunkey re­ceived a lit­tle more than 51 per­cent of his area’s votes.

It would prove to be the clos­est race in SUSD, but Area No. 1, which fea­tured Je­sus He­nao, David Barlavi and Evan Patlian vy­ing for Paul De La Cerda’s va­cant seat, was a close se­cond.

Patlian would lose by 200 votes as Barlavi claimed vic­tory with 38 per­cent of the vote, ac­cord­ing to Los An­ge­les County records. He­nao trailed close be­hind the pair with 1,250 votes

In the last of the Sau­gus Union races, Laura Ar­row­smith would se­cure a seat in Trustee Area No. 2 of the district. With 53 per­cent of the vote, the Hart District ed­u­ca­tor was able to un­seat long­time in­cum­bent Judy Umeck.

All three can­di­dates were at The Canyon Tues­day night, where they said they are ea­ger to get to work and de­scribed the re­spect they had for their com­pe­ti­tion.

Ne­whall district

In other lo­cal school district races, Donna Rose led in the fight for a seat in the Ne­whall School District’s Area No. 2 with 50 per­cent of the vote. Her 1,891 votes were enough to edge for­mer prin­ci­pal Larry Heath and can­di­date Liz Guardado, who were both also chal­leng­ing for the seat that was left va­cant when Christy Smith an­nounced her in­ten­tions to run for the state’s 38th As­sem­bly District seat.

Rose said she will look to pro­vide sup­port to the district’s new su­per­in­ten­dent, which is some­thing she feels qual­i­fied to do after serv­ing as an as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent in the Santa Paula Uni­fied School District prior to re­tire­ment.

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