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School district official retiring

Assistant superintendent has been working in the area since 1974

Posted: November 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.

 

After nearly three decades of serving local junior high and high school students from a variety of positions, Rob Gapper, the Hart district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, is planning to retire.

Gapper informed the William S. Hart Union High School board members of his intention at a recent meeting. The resignation takes effect Dec. 28.

“The Hart district is so much a part of my family. It’s going to be difficult, bittersweet to say goodbye,” Gapper said.

Gapper came to the area with his wife in 1974 to interview for a teaching position. He recalled a sight that gave the Gappers a good idea of the rural lifestyle they were about to assume.

“When we got off at San Fernando (Road), and when we got to where the district office was, a chicken ran out across the road — and we had to stop and give ourselves pause,” Gapper said.

“At that time, the Santa Clarita Valley very much had a small-town feel and was very much a small town.”

Gapper has worked as a teacher and a principal, and he also supervised construction of Bowman and Valencia high schools in the early 1990s.

It was a time when the valley saw tremendous growth — the city of Santa Clarita’s population grew from 110,642 in 1990 to 176,320 in 2010, according to U.S. Census data.

After his time as the district’s chief operating officer, he briefly left the district office for school-site administration.

“I’d been dealing with buildings and facilities, and I missed dealing with people,” Gapper said.

In 2009, he returned to the district’s office, which he helped oversee construction of, as assistant superintendent of human resources.

“The city has really grown up and become a metropolitan area with lots of things to do and lots of community activities,” Gapper said. “And the school district has grown from just a very small school district with a very few number of schools to a very large school district that’s one of the largest in California.”

District officials are seeking candidates for a new assistant superintendent of human resources and expect to have their new hire in place by Jan. 2, 2013. Applications are being accepted through Friday.

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