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Castaic High Site Prompts Hart District To Look At Naming Process


Hart district officials will discuss the process for name for a proposed high school site in Castaic, a school official said Monday.

“We’re looking for something that might have a mascot that could be associated with it,” said Steve Sturgeon, a longtime board member for the William S. Hart Union High School District. 

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“But fundamentally, it’s a community choice. We’re going to seek input from anybody who wants to give their input,” he said, with an eponymous naming as a tongue-in-cheek suggestion.

Sturgeon, who was first elected to the board in 1999 when district plans for a Castaic were in their nascent stages, said it was an exciting step in what has been a long process. 

“We’ve certainly been talking about it for 12 years. I’ve been through at least 14 different sites, three of which had some substance,” he said. “There was a point in time when Iused the word 'momentous,' and I was told that I was being premature. I don’t feel that’s the case anymore.”

Hart board President Joe Messina said one suggestion he might bring up for community feedback would be former Hart district Superintendent Clyde Smyth, a longtime adminstrator and former mayor for the city of Santa Clarita. 

"We've got so many people who have helped this community grow," Messina said. "There's no reason why we shouldn't start going down that road at some point." 

The number of suggestions received, as well as where the suggestions come from, would also be weighted as factors, Sturgeon said, noting input from the Castaic community would be especially important on the topic.

“If we have multiple suggestions, or if we had a number of people and (their suggestion) was ‘Castaic High School’ -- if thats what the community wanted to call it, that would certainly warrant some attention,” he added.

The following is the current policy for the William S. Hart Union High School District regarding the naming of facilities:

Upon request, the board shall consider naming buildings, parts of buildings or athletic fields in honor of the contributions of students, staff members and community members who have been deceased for at least one year.

The (Hart district) governing board shall name schools or individual buildings, parts of buildings or athletic fields in recognition of:
1. Individuals, living or deceased, who have made outstanding contributions to the county or
2. Individuals, living or deceased, who have made contributions of state, national, or worldwide
3. The geographic area in which the school or building is located.
4. The community that the school will serve.

The board encourages community participation in the process of selecting names. A citizen advisory committee may be appointed to review name suggestions and submit recommendations for the Board's consideration.”