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October 18
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rhondidurandThe principal of Arroyo Seco Junior High School was arrested on a DUI charge after a crash Wednesday night, according to Sheriff’s Station officials.

Rhondi Durand, 56, of Canyon Country, was arrested Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m., said Detective Brad Thompson of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Durand was stopped at the corner of Jakes Way and Sierra Highway, after the two-door Lexus she was driving hit a parked car near that intersection, Thompson said.

“There was a crash at 7:15 (p.m.),” he said. “It was a vehicle into a parked car.”

Durand had a clean record prior to Wednesday night’s arrest, according to Sheriff’s Department records, Thompson said.

“I don’t see anything on her driver’s history that shows any kind of priors or anything like that,” Thompson said.

An official with the William S. Hart Union High School District said district officials are still gathering information on the incident and did not want to rush to judgment.

“We have to make sure we follow the letter of the law before we make any assumptions,” said Hart district board President Joe Messina.

“In some cases, we can put people on leave until we can find out what’s going on, but we able to be careful as to how we handle it,” Messina said.

The Hart district oversees junior highs and high schools in the Santa Clarita Valley, and has approximately 23,000 students.

“We have been in contact with the SCV Sheriff’s Dept regarding the arrest of one of our junior high principals for an alleged driving violation,” according to a statement by Rob Challinor, Hart district superintendent.

“The district can confirm that this alleged incident occurred after hours and is not connected in any way to a school or district event or activity,” the statement read. “This is a personnel issue currently under review, and we will provide updates as information becomes available.”

Durand was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and her bail was listed at $5,000.

Arroyo Seco Junior High School, which is located at 27171 N. Vista Delgado Drive, is a seventh- and eighth-grade school that has approximately 1,200 students.

It had an API score of 863 in 2012, which exceeded the state’s goal of 800 for all schools. The scale, which is a state metric for measuring school achievement, is based on a scale of 1-1,000.

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  1. PO'd parent says:

    She was busted with a DUI, why is the District Superintendent “alleging” or questioning the charges? Especially when she hit a parked car while driving drunk? Really Joe Messina? Just like Joe covered up the Cheer coach at WRHS who was dating her student a few years ago, and then married him. He covered that up too. Good job Hart District! Keep on protecting those employees that get paid by our tax dollars.

  2. Dave W says:

    We do not even know what her BAC was, as she chose to have a blood test, and not a field test. The arrest report says that she “Smelled of alcohol”. That is a long way from actually being drunk. Let wait and find out what the full story is,before we start throwing stones.

  3. Guest1 says:

    This woman is a moron and doesn’t deserve to be considered an idol by any of her students. Shame on you! What message are you sending to the kids?!

  4. Guest 2 says:

    What does the API score have to do with the incident? Unless the reporter was going to draw a comparison (which I highly doubt), the information is irrelevant and merely a space filler. Poor journalism. Ask some questions for more pertinent information–e.g., how far from home was she, was she going home or coming from, etc.

  5. Jeff says:

    Not a good week for Santa Clarita educators. Thankfully, nobody was injured. Now if we can only do something about the alleged Nazi school board member…….

  6. iyamlady415 says:

    This women is the reason that so many parents turn to home schooling when their children Hit the Jr. High level. For YEARS her campus has been a very unsafe place for kids. Arroyo Seco Jr, High is not the pretty campus WM. S. Hart School Dist. would like to paint. Get over it, She needs to be removed from her position. For God sake she hit a parked car and the. Hart school Dist. still wants to wear blinders. I’m not going to go into the many other allegation’s that school has had over the past years But I REALLY think the Dist. needs to start cleaning up our schools before we make more news stories like the LUSD. Durand I think you have over stayed your welcome as Principal and If you truly had any self respect after all this YOU would do the honorable thing and STEP DOWN before being asked to leave. And to think the kids she is setting an example for aren’t that far away from getting their licenses . wouldn’t it be nice if they all thought well heck My principal made the papers after she drank and drove and hit a parked car and she’s still here. Why cant I be just like her. Thank God I pulled my kids out of her school when I had the chance. Nice to see that even now 9 years after the fact she still remains oblivious to things around her.

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