Newhall district welcomes new board members, bids farewell to two


Newhall School District administrators swore in three members to the district’s board of trustees and recognized two members, who stepped down, for their many years of service to the district as part of its organizational meeting Tuesday evening. 

Newhall district Superintendent Leticia Hernandez swore in Ernesto Smith, Rachelle Haddoak and Donna Robert, who will serve four-year terms on the board of trustees.  

Haddoak was elected by voters to represent Trustee Area No. 2. Former board member Donna Rose announced she would be retiring from the position and she decided not to pursue reelection.  

Rose will be acting as interim assistant superintendent of business services for a brief period as Sheri Staszewski, who holds the current position, will be leaving the district. 

“And each of the governing boards has been a better version of their predecessors because they have that love and commitment to the Newhall School District, and tonight is no different,” said Suzan Solomon, who represents Trustee Area No. 5. 

“Tonight, we’re going to be losing two very valuable governing board members who with their own talents brought so many things to the district,” she added.  

Robert was elected by voters to represent Trustee Area No. 1. She won the seat from long-time board member Brian Walters after a tight race in the General Election.  

Rose and Walters were able to take a few minutes to express their gratitude for serving on the governing board.  

“It’s truly an honor when you get elected to represent the people of your community, and this is my community,” Rose said. “It’s been my community for now, close to 40 years.” 

According to Rose, what makes the Newhall district special is the close relationships that they create with one another. The district is a family, she said through a few tears. 

Walters thanked the people who supported him, especially his wife and kids. He took a moment to recognize the work accomplished and relationships built with his fellow board members.  

“We’ve taken some controversial positions over the years and did things that not everyone’s been happy with, but over time, it’s proven right,” Walters said. “The reason why it’s proven right is because we decided to do it because we wanted the best for students.” 

“I’ve got a first grader and a third grader here,” he added. “I hope to be a resource to some people. I’m grateful to have served in this privileged opportunity for the last 13 years.” 

After Rose and Walters spoke, the governing board elected Smith as the presiding officer of the board, Isaiah Talley as the clerk and Solomon as the clerk pro tem for 2023. Board members also appointed themselves to various committees.  

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