State Senator Scott Wilk, second from left, presents a resolution to Board member Steve Sturgeon, left, Hart District Superintendent Vicki Engbrecht, second from right, and Board President Bob Jensen to congratulate the The Hart School District which was named an Exemplary District by California Department of Education in the Hart District Board Room in Santa Clarita on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Hart District celebrates Exemplary School District award

In celebration of being one of only 18 school districts in the state named an Exemplary District by the California Department of Education, the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board and faculty held a celebratory news conference Friday.

“Performance on one or both of the following criteria were evaluated to make the selection: one, a positive culture in school climate and, two, exceptional student achievement,” said Superintendent Vicki Engbrecht. “I’m happy to report the Hart school district was nominated for both categories.”

Hart District Superintendent Vicki Engbrecht displays the award to announce that The Hart School District was named an Exemplary District by California Department of Education in the Hart District Board Room in Santa Clarita on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Engbrecht went on to say during the gathering that the Hart district had been nominated by Los Angeles County for making continued academic progress in both English and math, and was the only district within the whole county to receive the distinction from the Department of Education.

“In fact in 2018, the Hart district performed more than 50 points higher than the standard in English language arts and maintained its already strong performance in math,” the superintendent said. “Perhaps the most notable, and the thing I’m most proud of, is the Hart District has one of the highest graduation rates in the state.”

Hart District Board President Bob Jensen, right, speaks to attendees to announce that The Hart School District was named an Exemplary District by California Department of Education in the Hart District Board Room in Santa Clarita on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Engbrecht said 96 percent of students walk across a stage at the end of the academic year to receive a diploma.

In addition to Engbrecht, Board President Bob Jensen praised the work being done by the district’s teachers, saying that for the last decade of serving on the board it has been his goal to make the Hart district not only the best school in the state of California, but also the best in America.

“The population of Los Angeles County is greater than 41 states in the country, so we’re the equivalent of the 9th largest state in the country,” said Jensen. “So, if you were the top school district in 41 states, then you’d kind of be right where we are.”

Assembywoman Christy Smith congratulates the The Hart School District which was named an Exemplary District by California Department of Education in the Hart District Board Room in Santa Clarita on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

After the ceremony, the government leaders and representatives from community leaders’ offices then presented the board members and Engbrecht with certificates from their own office, in commemoration of the achievement.

In attendance at the 10 a.m. conference were a number of board member, State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, and Mayor Marsha McLean. Representatives from offices of Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, and 5th District County Supervisor Kathryn Barger were in attendance, as well.

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