Hart district releases applications for board candidates 



The Santa Clarita Valley’s public school district for junior high and high schools released the applications for the seven expected to be interviewed by governing board members for the board’s vacant seat. 

James Webb has resigned from his seat as of May 2, leaving an opening in Trustee Area No. 4, which has Sierra Vista Junior High and Canyon High School in its boundaries. 

He was elected in 2020, so the appointment, which the William S. Hart Union High School District is legally required to make within 60 days of the vacancy if there’s no special election, will last until 2024.   

A district official confirmed the applicants listed below all have addresses within the east-side region. The other legal requirements include the person must be at least 18 years old and be a registered voter, as well as being eligible to hold civil office by the Constitution or laws of the state, according to the district’s website. 

The list of applicants, who will be interviewed during a June 28 meeting, includes: John Amneus, Eric Anderson, Thomas Gavin, Donald Rimac, Santa Rivera, Tyger White and Erin Wilson. 

The person selected for the seat is expected to be sworn in July 19. 

Their applications, while largely redacted, indicate the candidates’ background, experience and their listed reasons for applying: 

Candidates in alphabetical order: 

John Amneus 

Amneus listed his occupation as a retired educator and coach. 

“With this diverse background as a classroom teacher, high school administrator and university instructor, I have an extreme level of ‘boots on the ground’ experience to bring to the board,” Amneus wrote. “Also, with two children in the local schools, I have a personal, vested interest.” 

Amneus earned a master’s degree in education from Whittier College. He has been retired/self-employed since 2012, according to his application.  

He listed his community involvement as volunteering for the Special Olympics and graffiti removal for the city. 

Eric Anderson  

Anderson is a clinical specialist/respiratory therapist who has two children in the Sulphur Springs Union School District. 

“I want to be the voice for all of the families who trust and hope that the school system has their best interest at heart,” according to his application.  

He has a master’s degree in public health from the University of Southern California.  

He listed his community involvement as volunteering for the United Mission Shelter and Beautiful Day Foundation, a nonprofit that supports breast cancer victims, as well being a PTA member at his children’s school. 

Thomas Gavin  

Gavin listed his occupation as retired secondary teacher and adjunct professor.  

“I have a very strong interest in serving as a school board member for the Hart district,” Gavin wrote. “It is important to maintain the high level of achievement students have experienced in our valley.” 

He retired last year and served as a consultant for the creation of the physics portion of the Next Generation Science Standards, according to his application. 

He listed being a blood donor in the section under public and community service. 

Donald Rimac 

Rimac’s listed occupation is retired school administrator. 

“I wish to be a member of the school board to be part of the oversight of the goals and objectives of the school district as managed by the superintendent and staff,” he wrote in his application. 

The 49-year resident listed his public involvement as membership in the Canyon Country Optmists Club and one of the first members of the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission. 

Rimac has a doctoral degree in education from the University of Southern California and decades of experience working with educational personnel. 

Santa Rivera 

Rivera listed her occupation as “mom” on her application. 

When asked why she wanted to join the board, she wrote, “To work together with the community to accomplish the goal of creating self-sufficient critical-thinking students in a safe environment, with the ability to challenge students and push them to be more and do more in a fun-loving environment, giving them an opportunity to try new things and narrow their interests.” 

She wrote in her application that her associate’s degree is in progress. 

Her involvement includes the Rio Vista Elementary School Site Council and volunteering for Bridge to Home. 

Tyger White 

White is both a CSUN student and retired. 

“I want to be a school board member because education is paramount for me. I dropped out of high school in the 1970s because of abuse from my mother. My father was a career educator though and I admired him greatly. I returned to Golden Oak High School and obtained my high school diploma in 2021,” White wrote in the application. The application says White finished at College of the Canyons in 2022. 

White’s involvement includes volunteering for the American Red Cross and Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library. 

Erin Wilson  

Wilson’s occupation is listed as “mother” on her application. Her resume cites 25 years of teaching experience. 

“As a native of the Santa Clarita valley, I am fundamentally invested in its success,” she wrote when asked why she wanted to be on the board. “After graduating from college, my husband and I chose to move back here to raise our family. We have been so grateful for the wonderful teachers and administrators that have helped our children in their educational journey.” 

Wilson, a Canyon High alum, obtained her bachelor of science degree from Brigham Young University.  

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