Election expected for Hart board this November

The William S Hart Union High School District office. Dan Watson/The Signal

While there hasn’t been an election for a Hart district Governing Board member in about three years, that’s likely to change in November.

Hart district board member Joe Messina recently announced intentions to seek re-election and over the weekend, a challenger has appeared for the upcoming November 2018 school board race.

Messina, who’s seeking a third term on the governing board for the William S. Hart Union High School District, ran unopposed in 2013. (The district approved electoral changes that moved the election to line up with the general election in November, put the school district’s trustees in their own “areas” and added a year to everyone’s term. November will feature the first election that will line up with the general election in November of even years.)

The Hart district educates more than 22,000 public junior high and high school students, covering all of the Santa Clarita Valley. The district has five separate areas, each with its own trustee. Messina currently represents area No. 5, which covers much of Saugus and is mostly in the northern half of the Santa Clarita Valley. (The map can be viewed here.)

Kelly Trunkey announced her intention to run against Messina. Trunkey is married to Chris Trunkey, president of the Saugus Union School District’s Governing Board. (SUSD educates about 11,000 K-6 students who primarily live on the west side of the Santa Clarita Valley.) A former art director for The New York Observer, Kelly Trunkey has been a resident of Santa Clarita since 1997.

A filing for Trunkey for Hart School Board 2018 was available and active on the Secretary of State’s website as of Monday.

“I am running to bring a much-needed fresh perspective to the Hart board,” Kelly Trunkey said in a statement to The Signal. “As a parent of a current student in the district, I’m acutely aware of the new realities facing our students and teachers every day. From safety and security to diversity and inclusion, our students deserve to be represented by a trustee that accepts them as they are, and embraces inclusion and diversity instead of mocking it. As the next Hart trustee, I will proactively seek student, parent, and staff input for solutions that will help them feel supported and safe at school.”

Messina said Wednesday he was looking forward to the challenge and appreciated there would be more involvement in the election this time around.

“I love when people exercise their freedoms and their rights,” Messina said. “If someone thinks they have something to add to help their kids, then God bless ’em — go for it.”

Messina said Castaic High and making sure the project stays on track because “that’s been a major 24-7 project because of the challenges we’ve had there,” state funding and career tech education programs were his three biggest priorities.


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