Strickland Named New Board President
Newly re-elected Governing Board member Paul Strickland was sworn in, then elected Board President for the coming year by his colleagues. The trustees named Gloria Mercado-Fortine as clerk and newly elected Bob Jensen, Jr., as assistant clerk. The formal election followed a series of tributes to retiring Board members Dennis King (20 years of service) and Pat Hanrion (16 years). Taking over the reins are newly elected Bob Jensen and Joe Messina, who were sworn in along with Paul Strickland.
The Board also elected a number of its members to represent the Hart District on other committees. They include Paul Strickland, SCV Facilities Foundation; Steve Sturgeon and Gloria Mercado-Fortine, Hart District Growth Committee; Steve Sturgeon and Bob Jensen, Audit and Finance Committee; Paul Strickland and Joe Messina, Citizens’ Oversight Committees Membership Selection; Bob Jensen and Joe Messina (alternate), L.A. County Committee on School District Organization; Gloria Mercado-Fortine and Bob Jensen (alternate), Special Education Board Liaison Committee; and Gloria Mercado-Fortine and Joe Messina (alternate), L.A. County School Trustees Association.
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Outgoing CSEA President Lauded
Pam Castagna, outgoing president of the Hart District chapter of the California School Employees Association (CSEA), was recognized for two years of outstanding service to the Hart District and its classified employees. She was lauded for her professionalism, her global perspectives, her advocacy for classified employees, and her ability to lead during challenging times.
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Foundation Donates $120,000 for Scholarships
The Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation has donated $120,000, with $20,000 earmarked for scholarships at each of the Hart District’s six comprehensive high schools. Each school will receive one $6,000, one $4,000, two $3,000 and two $2,000 scholarships. The Governing Board formally accepted the donation at the Dec. 9 meeting, and winners will be announced in June.
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District Files ‘Qualified’ First Interim Report
Through numerous cost-cutting measures, the Hart District expects to finish the 2009-10 school year with a positive balance of $19.3 million, according to the First Interim Report of financials covering the period through Oct. 31, 2009. With expenses continuing to exceed income, the District expects to finish the 2010-11 school year with just $1.5 million ending balance, and will encounter a deficit of $13.5 million in 2011-12 without further cost-cutting measures. The District was required to file a “qualified” report indicating that it cannot currently meet its operating expenses for the three-year period. The District is looking at further cost-cutting measures, many of which are subject to employee negotiations, and is exploring the feasibility of some measures such as creating a non-profit Foundation or proposing a parcel tax to increase revenues. The Board was warned that the District may face further funding cutbacks when Governor Schwarzenegger presents his State of the State address in January.
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Project to Replace Hart High Roofs
The Board awarded a contract for roof replacements on three buildings at Hart High School, paid through District maintenance funds. At the time modernization planning took place in 2007, the roofs were in fair condition and, as a result, were not included in modernization plans.
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Developer Fee Fund Growing at Reduced Rate
The District collected only $155,226 in developer fees last year, according to an annual report of Reportable Fees issued by the District. At the same time, the District added $4.3 million to the fund in other income, including sale of unused portable classrooms, a refund from purchased land, interest earned and repayment of loans from the general fund. The District spent $2.9 million from the fund last year for leased portables and classroom equipment at overcrowded campuses, leaving a $7.2 million starting balance for the 2009-10 school year.
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Youth Project Receives Funding
The SCV Youth Project, which reports service to 3765 students on 13 Hart District campuses, received $50,000 to support its peer mentoring and support services for at-risk youth. The item was originally on the consent calendar, but was pulled for discussion and a separate vote. The Governing Board approved the funding, but directed the Superintendent to explore the possibility of alternate means of funding that would not affect the District’s general fund.
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Task Force Combats Gangs
The City of Santa Clarita’s Anti-Gang Task Force reported to the Board on its efforts to combat gangs by offering alternatives to at-risk youth. The Task Force has been in existence since 1991 and sponsors such programs as Hero of the Week and graffiti removal. The group works in partnership with such agencies as ACTION, the SCV Youth Project, the Sheriff’s COBRA team and school resource deputies. Members asked the Hart District to control hats, the latest mode of gang identification apparel. The discussion will be continued with principals at the next Administrative Council.
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Congratulations and welcome to the following staff members:
December 9, 2009 Regular Governing Board Meeting
Certificated Position - Site
Herracia Brewer, Nursing - ROP
Erin Bach (change of status), English - Hart
Classified Position - Site
Kimberly Downing, Textbook Clerk - West Ranch
Telma Dale (change of status), Biling. Instruct. Asst. I - Placerita
Ana Valverde (promotion), Secretary - La Mesa
Maria O’Connor (change of status), Dist. Translator - Admin. Center
Best wishes and congratulations to Karen Moore (Bowman HS Campus Supervisor) on her retirement after 21 years of service.