Valencia High principal to step down Friday; Getz to begin following Monday

Pete Getz. Photo courtesy of the William S. Hart Union High School District.

The WIlliam S. Hart Union High School District named an interim principal for Valencia High School in order to temporarily replace the departing principal Steve Ford.

Pete Getz, who was recently named the Hart District director of student services, was selected to temporarily fill the position. Getz had been named to the district office job earlier this year, but has served as the principal for Sequoia, Learning Post and Academy of the Canyons. 

Ford’s final day at the school will be Friday and Getz’s first day at the helm is slated for the following Monday, according to Superintendent Mike Kuhlman. 

 “Dr. Getz is a well-respected instructional leader with an excellent reputation as a principal at multiple sites in our District,” said Kuhlman. “I’ve asked Dr. Getz to focus on communication, visibility and team dynamics at the school.”

The plan, according to district officials, is for Getz to continue on with his primary role as director of student services, but the position will be based at Valencia High School until a more permanent solution can be found. 

Ford had announced his resignation from the position on Aug. 3 following a social media post of his spurring an online petition. The post, according to the petition, compared Holocaust victims to people who are blindly obeying what’s going on during the COVID-19 pandemic, under the words: “OBEDIENCE IS NOT A VIRTUE.”

The district has said that Ford decided to leave “of his own accord.” 

“We will be looking for someone who can embrace the exceptional history and tradition of this school, while also establishing a vision that invites everyone to be a part of building a better future for the students, the staff and the families of our community,” Mr. Kuhlman said of the search to find a permanent replacement for Ford.

“There are many reasons to be proud of Valencia High School,” Kuhlman added. “I would like the new principal to be one of them.”

Kuhlman said Ford was stepping down at the end of next month and taking a position outside the district. Kuhlman did not state where Ford was headed.

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