[KHTS] – The William S. Hart Union High School District welcomed in two governing board members, one new and one returning, at its meeting on Wednesday evening.
Newcomer Linda Storli and re-elected Steve Sturgeon were sworn in on Wednesday by Vicki Engbrecht, the district’s superintendent.
Storli will be taking over Gloria Mercado-Fortine’s seat in Trustee Area 1, while Sturgeon kept his seat in Trustee Area 4 after being challenged by 19-year-old Andrew Taban in the 2015 election.
While this is the first year Storli will be serving on the Hart School District Governing Board, she is not a stranger to the district; she was a teacher at Canyon High School for 30 years.
“I’m excited and humbled that I was able to go from a teacher in the district to (a board member),” said Storli. “I think I have a unique perspective but that doesn’t mean I’m not open minded.”
Surgeon kept his seat for Trustee Area 4 of the Hart School District. He was previously unchallenged before the 2015 election, where he was challenged by Taban, a Canyon High School graduate, who may have been “the youngest person to ever run for a position on the Hart school board,” according to a previous news release.
“I’m looking forward to the next four years,” Sturgeon said. “We have a lot of exciting things to accomplish.”
Mercado-Fortine described the night as “bittersweet,” adding that the Hart School District held a reception for her.
“ I was humbled, touched and honored by the outpour of community support,” said Mercado-Fortine. “It was really nice (to hear from) supporters who care and who know me… 16 years and it was just an honor.”
Mercado-Fortine was also given a number of recognitions from various organizations, including the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, Valley Industry Association, as well as College of the Canyons, among others.
Dave Perry on behalf of Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s office also presented Mercado-Fortine with a recognition. She described Antonovich as “a true friend of education.”
“I’m a lifelong resident of the (Santa Clarita Valley),” Mercado-Fortine said. “I will not stop doing what I’m doing and I will continue to serve my community, that is important to me. I’m very excited about new opportunities.”