The Saugus Union School District Governing Board is comprised of five board members who freely dedicate their time and energy to serving our school community. Our board members know that the students always come first; they make every decision with only the best interests of the students in mind.

Please Join Us

We normally hold our SUSD Governing Board meetings a couple of times a month, usually on Tuesday evenings, in the Education Center (SUSD District Office). We hold a closed session at 5:30 p.m. and a public session beginning at 6:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

We may schedule additional special sessions, both closed and public, throughout the year.

Meet Our Governing Board Members

Laura Arrowsmith
President, Trustee Area 2
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Biography

About Laura Arrowsmith

Mrs. Arrowsmith was elected to the board of Trustees in 2018. Mrs. Arrowsmith has taught history in the William S. Union High School District since 1989. A longtime Santa Clarita resident, she graduated from local schools Leona Cox Elementary School, Sierra Vista Junior High School, Canyon High School, and California State University, Northridge. 

She earned her BA in history from CSUN in 1989 and a teaching credential the following year. After beginning her teaching career, she earned an MA in history from CSUN in 2010 and National Board Certification in Adolescence and Young Adulthood Social Studies - History in 2002 and renewed that certification in 2012. Mrs. Arrowsmith has a strong background in teaching, learning, and assessment, having been a part of the Hart District’s professional development team since 2001. She currently serves as the instructional coach for West Ranch High School. 

Mrs. Arrowsmith keeps current in her field by attending history workshops during summers, including those sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Teaching American History, and Mount Vernon. She is also active in several professional organizations, including the California National Board Collaborative and Better Together California Teacher Summits. 

Mrs. Arrowsmith lives in Saugus with her husband of more than 20 years and two children who are Saugus Union School District alumni.

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David Barlavi
Clerk, Trustee Area 1
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Biography

About David Barlavi

Mr. David Barlavi is a tax, trust, and estate-planning attorney in Santa Clarita. He has lived and worked in Valencia since 2004. His legal practice employs three local residents, two of whom he hired from the College of the Canyons paralegal program. 

Mr. Barlavi has coached more than 100 local kids in basketball, flag football, and soccer through the city league and AYSO since 2005. Understanding the value of education, Mr. Barlavi takes the kids on an all-day field trip to his alma mater, UCLA (BA in physics and women's studies), so that they learn the importance of college early on. He has also been affiliated with Big Brothers Big Sisters for more than 10 years. He says his "little brother" is an adult now and lives in Oxnard, California, "but we are still brothers." 

Mr. Barlavi and his wife have two children and an amazing four-year-old grandson, all of whom were almost 100% educated in the SCV.

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Katherine Cooper
Trustee Area 3
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Biography

About Katherine Cooper

Katherine Cooper was elected to the board of trustees in 2020. Ms. Cooper has lived in Santa Clarita since 1993. She graduated from CSUN in 1995. She has been a CPA for 15 years and launched her own practice in 2016.

Ms. Cooper has two children. They both graduated from Saugus High School. Her son attended Old Orchard Elementary and is now a police officer in northern California. Her daughter attended Highlands Elementary and is currently attending College of the Canyons. She is the proud grandmother of 18 month old Zelda.

Ms. Cooper worked with the parent-teacher organizations at both of her children’s schools. She chaired the Highlands Elementary School’s spring carnival fundraiser and the Women’s History Week at Old Orchard Elementary. She coached soccer for two years and was a Girl Scout leader for many years. In 2014, she served as a national delegate to the Girl Scout’s tri-annual convention representing the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. She is currently serving as the treasurer on the board of the recently founded SCV LGBTQ Center.

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Christopher Trunkey
Trustee Area 5
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Biography

About Christopher Trunkey

Mr. Trunkey was appointed to the SUSD Board of Trustees in November 2014 and reelected in 2016. Outside of his service on the governing board, Mr. Trunkey has served in a variety of volunteer positions at both West Creek Academy and Bouquet Canyon Elementary, including site council, PTA executive board member, and longtime PTA volunteer. Mr. Trunkey was recognized by the California State PTA with its Honorary Service Award in 2013. He believes in increasing academic achievement and opportunities for all students throughout the district. 

Mr. Trunkey completed the California School Board Association’s Master’s in Governance program in November 2017. 

As a finance professional in the entertainment industry for over 25 years, Mr. Trunkey has a strong background and experience in fiscal operations and information technology. He currently serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Phoenix Pictures, a film production company based in Los Angeles. 

In the Santa Clarita community, Mr. Trunkey has served as treasurer for the Stephen Friedman Multiple Myeloma Fund, board member of William S. Hart Baseball, and on the William S. Hart School District Measure v. Citizens Oversight Committee.

Mr. Trunkey is a graduate of Drake University. A longtime resident of Saugus, he and his wife, Kelly, have two children who both are Saugus Union School District alumni.

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Matthew Watson
Trustee Area 4
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Biography

About Matthew Watson

Matthew Watson was elected to the SUSD Board of Trustees in 2020. Having been an educator for over 25 years, Mr. Watson has worked as a teacher, school principal, curriculum coach, and professional development advisor. His experience includes teaching at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Mr. Watson received his bachelor’s degree in history as well as his master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies from CSUN. He holds a California teaching credential with a bilingual, cross-cultural certificate. While in college, Mr. Watson developed his fluency and literacy in Spanish. As an educator, he has developed and delivered professional development initiatives for teachers and principals since 2001.

A resident of the Saugus area for over 40 years, Mr. Watson attended Santa Clarita Elementary, Arroyo Seco, and Saugus High School. He has been volunteering for local non-profits as long as he can remember and has a great love for the City of Santa Clarita. 

Mr. Watson lives in Saugus and has two children, both of whom attended SUSD schools before graduating from local high schools. He is proud that both of his children grew up bilingual as well. In his spare time, he enjoys sports, travel, and playing games with his family.

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