Look­ing at mem­o­ries

Lo­cal school dis­trict of­fi­cials gather to honor re­tir­ing board mem­ber

The Signal - - News - By Bren­non Dix­son Sig­nal Staff Writer

Prom­i­nent fig­ures from each of the Santa Clarita Val­ley school dis­tricts gath­ered along­side mem­bers of the com­mu­nity at Fair Oaks Ranch Com­mu­nity School Wed­nes­day to bid a farewell to long­time board mem­ber Kerry Clegg, who is re­tir­ing af­ter 29 years of com­mu­nity ser­vice.

Prior to this week’s dis­trict meet­ing, Su­per­in­ten­dent Cather­ine Kawaguchi joined par­ents, Clegg’s fam­ily and Sul­phur Springs Union School Dis­trict trus­tees to cel­e­brate and rem­i­nisce on a few of Clegg’s many ac­com­plish­ments.

As a slideshow in the back­ground de­tailed Clegg’s achieve­ments and showed pic­tures from years past, Clegg’s peers stepped to the dais to share a kind word and present awards of recog­ni­tion.

Judy Umeck has had the plea­sure of know­ing Kerry Clegg for decades, the Sau­gus Union School Dis­trict trustee said from the dais Wed­nes­day as she shared sto­ries of Clegg dur­ing their chil­dren’s time to­gether in AYSO soc­cer.

“Twenty-three years ago when I started on the Sau­gus board, Kerry was one of my men­tors,” Umeck said, men­tion­ing the “huge in­flu­ence” Clegg had on many cur­rent board mem­bers. “I credit him with some of the things that Sau­gus has done, (but also) what Santa Clarita Val­ley trus­tees have done as a whole.”

Af­ter shar­ing sto­ries of sushi, soc­cer and note­wor­thy dis­cus­sions that have oc­curred through­out the years, Hart Dis­trict board Pres­i­dent Steve Stur­geon, who was en­cour­aged by Clegg to be­come a trustee, said, “I ap­pre­ci­ated all of your ideas. I ap­pre­ci­ated all of your en­cour­age­ment then, (and) I’ve missed you at the del­e­gate assem­bly ta­ble ever since you left. Thank you for your 29 years.”

Sue Solomon, a Ne­whall School Dis­trict trustee, was also in at­ten­dance at the cer­e­mony, where she men­tioned that Clegg’s 29 years as a board mem­ber doesn’t in­clude the count­less hours he spent as a par­ent ad­vo­cat­ing for ed­u­ca­tion.

“You are the face, heart and soul of the Sul­phur Springs school dis­trict,” Solomon said as she thanked Clegg for the time, care and love that he of­fered to the chil­dren of the com­mu­nity and the Santa Clarita Val­ley as a whole. “So on be­half of the Ne­whall School Dis­trict, we want to say thank you for your in­spi­ra­tional lead­er­ship and all that you have done for pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion through­out Cal­i­for­nia.”

By the end of the re­cep­tion, Clegg would joke that he’d need an­other wall to hang the ta­ble full of plaques that lay be­side him.

When the last of the recog­ni­tions were pre­sented, Clegg’s grand­chil­dren led the pledge of al­le­giance be­fore trus­tees set­tled into their fi­nal board meet­ing with “Dr. Clegg” be­side them.

The meet­ing be­gan with the gov­ern­ing board mem­bers who were up for elec­tion last Novem­ber tak­ing their oaths of of­fice. Ken Chase, who served as the dis­trict's board pres­i­dent this last year, was the first to com­plete his oath, with Lori McDon­ald and Brenda Martinez, who will fill Clegg's seat, con­clud­ing theirs soon af­ter­ward.

"Farewell Kerry," trustee De­nis DeFigueiredo said. "Wel­come Brenda."

Cory Ru­bin/The Sig­nal (See ad­di­tional pho­tos at sig­nalscv.com)

Board Mem­ber Kerry Clegg opens a scrap­book at his re­tire­ment party at Fair Oaks Ranch Com­mu­nity School Wed­nes­day night. Clegg is re­tir­ing af­ter 29 years of serv­ing the com­mu­nity.

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