Hart district names four new principals for coming school year

The William S. Hart Union High School District office
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A reshuffling of personnel was required at the William S. Hart Union High School District after Academy of the Canyons Principal Pete Getz was named to a new administrative position at the district office, resulting in four new principals for the district for the coming school year.

Erum Velek, who served as principal at Rancho Pico Junior High School since 2012, will replace Getz at AOC and the Learning Post.

Velek started teaching in 2001 as a math teacher at Canyon High School before moving to Golden Valley High School in 2004 to become the math department chair. Following Golden Valley, she then moved to Early College High School at College of the Canyons to serve as principal, followed by her becoming assistant principal at both Placerita Junior High School and Hart High School.

Catherine Nicholas will replace Velek at Rancho Pico as principal after having been the principal at Sequoia School since 2018. Nicholas has been an educator in the Hart District for the past 30 years, working as a science teacher for the first 20 years.

Nicholas has also been the assistant principal at Rancho Pico, Arroyo Seco Junior High School and then Canyon High School before moving to Sequoia.

Josh McDonald, who has been an assistant principal at Valencia High School, will move to an assistant principal position at Castaic High School as well as taking over as supervisor of Sequoia, which is set to become a program at Castaic, according to officials.

McDonald began his career as a school psychologist at Saugus High School before moving to La Mesa Junior High School to be an assistant principal. While at Valencia High School, where he worked before moving from La Mesa, he oversaw the athletic and special education programs.

Donna Manfredi, who has been an assistant principal at West Ranch High School, will move to the interim principal position at Golden Oak Adult School. Manfredi taught English and theater at both Hart and Valencia high schools before becoming assistant principal at Canyon High School and then at West Ranch.

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