The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted to approve the appointment of Joanna White to become the new director of special education during its Thursday night meeting.
White takes over for Sharon Amrhein, who is retiring after 16 years with the district.
“We are thrilled to have Joanna White join us as the new director of special education for the Hart District,” said Mike Kuhlman, deputy superintendent for the District, in a press release issued Thursday. “Joanna has already established herself as an individual who knows policy and understands how to work collaboratively with families to meet the needs of our special education students. We are looking forward to this new era of leadership in the department.”
Across both junior high and high school, the district has over 550 full-time equivalent employees who serve over 3,000 special education students, whose ages range from junior high to 22 years old, according to the release.
“I’m honored to be able to continue serving the students and families of the Santa Clarita Valley and provide inclusive environments,” White said. “We recognize the student’s individual needs and make every attempt to give them an opportunity to thrive.”
White was mostly recently the supervisor for Individual Education Program Compliance at the district, following two years as a program specialist. She spent 11 years at the Saugus Union School District as a resource specialist and teacher, and was named the district’s Teacher of the Year for the 2013-14 school year.
She began her career as a fifth and sixth grade teacher at O’Melveney Elementary School, part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. White earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, Northridge and a Master’s Degree from Concordia University.