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 6:30p.m., unless otherwise noted.

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

Meet Our Governing Board Members

Julie Olsen
President, Trustee Area 3
Send Email
Biography

About Julie Olsen

Julie Olsen was elected to the governing board in November 2016. She was previously the president of the school site council and a PTA executive board member at Charles Helmers Elementary School. She has served on the William S. Hart School District Advisory Council as well as the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), the Communications Committee, and the Measure EE Citizens Oversight Committee for the Saugus Union School District. She is the board representative to the district’s Organizing Committee for the new education foundation scheduled for launch in 2020. 

Prior to joining the governing board, Mrs. Olsen led award-winning learning and development teams and initiatives for a “Big 4” consulting firm and led training departments and large-scale initiatives for Fortune 500 technology firms and a multinational financial services corporation. Mrs. Olsen is a consultant with expertise in change management, communications, learning and development, and project management.

In the community, Mrs. Olsen has served on the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry Board of Directors and was a “big sister” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles for 10 years. She volunteers on the planning committee for SCV Senior Center’s annual fundraisers and with the Special Olympics. She has also served as a volunteer judge for the SIFMA Foundation's InvestWrite youth essay contest. Mrs. Olsen has led financial literacy workshops for high school and college students and is dedicated to increasing youth financial literacy. 

Mrs. Olsen is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with distinction as a New England Scholar. She lives in Santa Clarita with her husband, Robert, and their son who attends school in the Saugus District.

Close

David Powell, Ph.D
Clerk, Trustee Area 4
Send Email
Biography

About David Powell, Ph.D

Dr. Powell was appointed to the Saugus USD Board of Trustees in July 2014. Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to teaching and research. Working with students of all ages has shown him that education is the foundation for success and an important investment in our children and community.

Prior to serving as a trustee, he was president and member of site councils at West Creek Academy and Bouquet Canyon Elementary. He has also served on the SUSD Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) and SUSD Alternative Revenue Committee. Dr. Powell is director and professor of the Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration at California State University, Long Beach. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Miami University. 

Dr. Powell has taught graduate and undergraduate political science and public policy programs at California State University - Long Beach, California Lutheran University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Eastern Illinois University, and Cleveland State University. His dissertation examined the impact of property tax limits on local school district tax revenue generation, and his research has appeared in a variety of journals, including California Politics and Policy, Justice Professional, State Tax Notes, the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, Publius The Journal of Federalism, and the Journal of Public Affairs Education, among others. He remains active in the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, as a site visit chairperson and former accreditation commissioner. 

In the classroom, Dr. Powell has received several teaching recognitions including the Enhancing Educational Effectiveness Award (CSULB), Favorite Professor Award (CSULB Alumni Association), and Outstanding Professor Award (Miami University). He has served as an investigator/researcher on funded projects for organizations such as the United States Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, National League of Cities, Bureau of Governmental Research and Service, and Institute for Local Government Assistance and Rural Development.

Close

Laura Arrowsmith
Trustee Area 2
Send Email
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.

Close

David Barlavi
Trustee Area 1
Send Email
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.

Close

Christopher Trunkey
Trustee Area 5
Send Email
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.

Close
Governing Board members