Erin McKeon Wilson, Trustee Area No. 4, was officially sworn in on Thursday as the newest member of the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board.
In a unanimous decision, the board selected Wilson to serve after the position was left vacant by James Webb’s resignation in April.
Webb cited family obligations, including caring for elderly parents and the opportunity to pursue career options closer to home that do not require frequent travel to Sacramento as reasons for his departure.
Wilson — a longtime resident of the Santa Clarita Valley and niece of former SCV-based Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon — said having her children go to school within the district and having a family legacy in public service contributed to her decision to run for the position.
“I’ve always been service-oriented, service-minded. I mean, I grew up that way,” said Wilson. “I have raised five children who all went through the William S. Hart district and so I feel like I owe a lot to the district.”
Wilson was one of the five candidates interviewed and voted upon in open session by the four sitting board members. The other candidates were Eric Anderson, Thomas Gavin, Santa Rivera and Tyger White. There were a total of seven who pulled applications, but two, John Amneus and Donald Rimac, declined to take part in the interviews.
“I felt that Mrs. Wilson was very dedicated to students’ families and the community — I felt like she would be a board member who would really be there for all students,” board President Bob Jensen said when Wilson was named as the newest member on June 28, “and with our new strategic plan, we are focusing on being there for all students.”
Wilson spoke highly of the strategic plan and said she looked forward to implementing and supporting it. She said her goal as a new board member is to be a “unifier” in whatever capacity is needed to do so.
One thing she wanted to focus on was addressing the district’s homeless student population. District officials reported more than 900 homeless students in December 2022 — with the number of homeless students almost doubling from two years ago as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and compounding challenges brought on by inflation.
According to the district, school site staff at Hart High School and Placerita Junior High reported the greatest number of homeless students, and together, the two school sites account for more than 400 homeless students in the district.
“There’s a number of homeless students in our district that need resources that they don’t always know are available. So I would like to find all those resources and put them together.”
Wilson’s term will expire in December 2024.