Hart District superintendent moves up retirement date

Superintendent Vicki Engbrecht in front of the William S. Hart Union School District Office in Santa Clarita. Dan Watson/The Signal

Having previously announced her plan to retire at the end of the 2019-20 school year, Vicki Engbrecht has moved up her retirement date as superintendent of the William S. Hart Union High School District to March 1.

“Starting my career in the district 44 years ago as an English teacher at Sierra Vista, I can truly say that few people have been as fortunate as I to have had a career that is so personally enriching and fulfilling as mine has been,” Engbrecht said Thursday in an email statement sent out to the “Hart District Family.”

Before becoming superintendent, Engbrecht began teaching in the district in 1976 at Sierra Vista Junior High School, and taught there for 17 years before teaching at Saugus High School for a short period of time. During this time, she was named District Teacher of the Year, as well as Los Angeles County District Teacher of the Year.

She became dean of students at Canyon High School in 1991, then eventually moved into the principal position in 1997. From there, Engbrecht began a position as director of curriculum for the Hart District in 2002, then became assistant superintendent of education services before being promoted to deputy superintendent in 2007.

“As a superintendent she’s been amazingly understanding,” said Storli. “If you hire from outside the district, it can take about three to four years to learn the culture and the district, but she already knew it.”

After she became superintendent in 2015, the district attained a graduation rate of 95%, and was named a California Exemplary District in 2019.

Hart District Deputy Superintendent Mike Kuhlman is expected to step into the superintendent position after Engbrecht’s last day.
“I’d like to thank all of you for helping to make our district what it is today! My husband and I intend to remain in the Santa Clarita Valley after my retirement, so I hope to stay engaged and involved in supporting our important work for years to come,” Engbrecht said in her statement.

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