John Boston | Those Secret Squirrels at the Hart District

John Boston

Recently, Mike Kuhlman — if that’s his real name — was appointed as the new superintendent of the William S. Hart Onionized School District. The vote was 5-zip. Or so sources within the Hart District say.

It was a Secret Squirrel vote.

You know. Like the Illuminati?

I don’t know what went on at the ceremony. Not many do. We don’t know if Hart’s governing board met in a dark room, a topless bar or at the bottom of an abandoned swimming pool so the five could skateboard, smoke cigarettes and say things like, “Whoa, dude…”

My buddy, Vicki Engbrecht, supposedly announced her retirement. Again, it was a top-secret meeting so there was no proof if the retirement was at gunpoint or maybe Vicki simply lost a beer-chugging bet.

After all.

Vicki worked at Canyon.

Voted Cutest Principal, too.

I can say that.

I went to Hart.

Why did the Vickmeister quit? Was she a Climate Change Denier? Had old-fashioned ideas, like wanting to move all the campuses into one room, with one teacher? That annoying habit of taking three parking spaces at the district office?  

Why on earth would you have a secret meeting to pick one of the terribly most important and influential posts in the entire SClarita Valley, next to the weekend bouncer at Mabel’s Roadhouse? Were the five heads of the SCV’s campus mafia afraid if they let the media know, we’d misspell Superintendent Mike Coleman’s last name? Is Mike related to the Coleman Lantern fortune? Lovechild of character actor Dabney Coleman and astronaut Catherine Coleman?

OK. So we actually know how to spell Mike’s last name.

It’s Coleman.


But what frightened so the governing board? Did Señor Kuhlman not have the proper flu and cootie shots? Did he promise to bring back disco to the district, and, if so, damn him? 

Were nudity and towel snapping involved at the swearing-in ceremony?

And what’s the deal with Hart’s board of governors? Have you noticed? They don’t even go by names anymore. They refer to themselves as numbers now.

Like SMERSH, the evil secret criminal empire in the James Bond novels.

I could probably get tortured, shot and forced to repeat 11th-grade chemistry for this, but No. 2 is actually Bob Jensen.

I’m guessing Bob’s Italian.

No. 3 is Cherise Moore. Cherise is a doctor.

Or is it “veterinarian,” Cherise?

No. 4 is Steve Sturgeon. Not the Great Lakes fish. The guy who votes “ABSTAIN” every session. No. 5 is Joe Messina. Joe suffers from M.H.H. (Male Helmet Hair), which isn’t bad if you’re a Marvel superhero. There is no No. 1. It should be Storli. No first name. Just “Storli.” She and Messina exchange hair on alternate weekends.

Truly, I expect something a little more creative from the people who oversee the lives of tens of thousands, perhaps billions (counting illegal aliens), of our children and who are in charge of an annual budget well over $755. You think they could have just showed up at a regular board meeting with Kuhlman’s appointment on an … oh, cripes.

What’s that word I’m looking for?


That’s it. They could have written out an agenda. Actually, they did. It was written in 3-point-type. Someone coughed into the microphone and announced, in Pig Latin, “…in order to make these meetings more, well, fun and kooky, we’ve hidden the agenda somewhere in the Mojave Desert. First one to find it gets an old mimeograph sheet to smell during the old business segment of the meeting.” 

What would be the problem in having a trained and plucky member of Santa Clarita Valley’s print media on hand? Were the governors and their consiglieres afraid a Signal reporter would loudly cough “KIDNAPPER!!” into his or her hand when Kuhlman’s nomination came up?

Were they terrified that The Signal’s own current version of Patti Rasmussen would raise a timid mitt and inquire: “Wait a second. Did you say, ‘Suleiman?’ Mike Suleiman? You’re appointing Mike Suleiman as the next superintendent? Wasn’t he the 16th-century sultan of the Ottoman Empire? What does he know about wasting thousands of study hours preparing our brain-dead gum-snapping high-on-life offspring for useless government-mandated achievement tests?”

Another reporter, from the Wall Street Journal, blurts out: “Will this new Turkish tyrant force faculty into wearing those really stupid giant marshmallow hats and do whirling dervishes?”

These are tough question that somebody needs to ask.

Is this Sneaky Pete format the New Normal at the Hart District?

How will Lord Suleiman/Kuhlman and the five SCV godfathers conduct future secret district confabs?

At Taco Tuesdays, will they meet to scrap high school football and replace it with group safe-space slow motion interpretive dance?

Well, Jensen, Storli, Messina, Moore and Sturgeon, honorable governors and governor-ettes of the Hart District — have you had enough?

What’s it to be, guys?

You can let the public know what’s going on at THEIR public meetings and we in the media can go back to writing homerically boring stories no one wants to read that include the words “mitigate” and “disquisition.”

Or, you can try another Secret Squirrel Meeting.

We’d be happy to kick your butt until no one in town serves you food.

John Boston is an award-winning local writer and, up until press time, a Hart High graduate.

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