The William S. Hart Union High School District’s governing board conducted its organizational meeting Wednesday night and members elected Bob Jensen, representative of Trustee Area No. 4, as the new presiding officer for 2023.
Jensen, who voters recently reelected to serve another four-year term on the governing board, is a certified public accountant.
In addition, governing board members elected Linda Storli, representative of Trustee Area No. 1, as the clerk and James Webb, who represents Trustee Area No. 4, as assistant clerk for the incoming year.
Governing board members Jensen, Cherise Moore and Joe Messina were also sworn on the board after being reelected by voters in the General Election. Moore and Messina, like Jensen, will serve another four-year term.
The governing board and district administration took a moment to recognize Messina for his service as the presiding officer of 2022.
“I wanted to commend you for your fierce commitment to ensuring that parents have a voice in this important example of local government,” said Hart district Superintendent Mike Kuhlman. “And as well, we’ve had many conversations, even today, about your unwavering focus on career and technical education.”
Each of the other board members shared a few words expressing their gratitude for Messina’s leadership.
“What I love about this board is that we can disagree and still end up being friends,” Webb said. “And I consider you a friend. I consider this board a very well-put-together and balanced board that seems to be able to work through many issues.”
Messina said, in the last year, a large focus of his was addressing fentanyl.
According to Messina, every year there’s word of a new drug or a new thing that students might be smoking or doing. Five or six years ago, educators talked about how students were smoking bath oil beads, he added, and now it was about this drug fentanyl.
“It wasn’t that it was just another drug. It’s totally different than the surgical drug being used,” Messina said. “But the information really wasn’t out there. We made sure our kids know about it. We’re going to continue to make sure our kids know about it.”
Messina thanked everyone for supporting him and the staff for all the work they do.