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Gina Clayton-Tarvin returns as Ocean View School District board president

Ocean View School Board Trustee Gina Clayton-Tarvin takes a tour of a science room at Marine View Middle School.
Ocean View School Board Trustee Gina Clayton-Tarvin takes a tour of a science room at the reopened Marine View Middle School in Huntington Beach on Nov. 15.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Gina Clayton-Tarvin will again serve as the president of the Ocean View School District Board of Trustees after she was elected to the position through December 2022 at Tuesday’s board meeting. It will be her fifth time serving as president since she joined the board in 2012.

“I’m really honored that my colleagues have put their faith in me that many times to be able to lead the school district,” Clayton-Tarvin said. “Honestly, I feel like it’s my calling in life to serve children, so it’s kind of just an extension of what I do as a teacher every day. I feel like it’s something I was meant to do, to serve the public. I’m a public servant at heart.”

Clayton-Tarvin, who has announced she will run for Huntington Beach City Council in 2022, is a teacher in the ABC Unified School District in Cerritos.

She was nominated for board president by trustee John Briscoe. The board voted 4-1 for Clayton-Tarvin as president, with trustee Norm Westwell voting no.

After taking over as president again, Clayton-Tarvin nominated Patricia Singer, who was the board’s president this year, as the vice president in 2022. That also passed 4-1, with Westwell opposed.

Clayton-Tarvin and Westwell have often been at odds during their tenure on the board, with Westwell being censured in 2020 for behavior exhibited toward board colleagues at the close of a meeting in November 2019.

Jack Souders will be the board’s clerk, on the same 4-1 vote, while Briscoe and Westwell stay on as members.

The five-member board has remained unchanged since 2018, when Singer was elected. Clayton-Tarvin and Westwell both ran unopposed for reelection in 2020.

“We are a team,” Clayton-Tarvin said. “Even if we disagree, I think we know each other and we know how to work with each other ... We really handled, I think, the pandemic in an expert fashion because we are veteran board members.”

The district, which has an enrollment of nearly 8,000 students, serves portions of Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Westminster and Midway City.

“President Clayton-Tarvin has a proven track record of success as a board president,” district Supt. Carol Hansen said. “She is a creative thinker and has been a tremendous asset in moving the district forward, even in the midst of a global pandemic. I am looking forward to collaborating with her and working alongside an experienced and dedicated board of trustees in 2022.”

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