Teacher & Staff Bio

Mrs. Valerie Petty



I have been teaching at Newhart and this year marks 25 years! I love this school! I get to have loads of fun doing what I do.

Being a part of a musical family was an important part of how I grew up. My father was also a middle school music teacher. I started playing the French Horn in 3rd grade which was fun, exciting, thrilling, hard-work and friend making. I have also played flute, trumpet in a few jazz bands and sung in choirs. I went to U.S.C. (fight on!) on a full scholarship (thanks to the french horn). I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and California teaching credential while I learned to play many, many more instruments, including piano and strings. I have also performed in numerous bands and orchestras throughout the years including the the All American College Band at Disneyland, the National Orchestral Institute in Maryland and the Henry Mancini Institute Jazz Orchestra.

I have 2 amazing daughters, a wonderfully supportive husband and I try to carve away a little time to play my horn from time to time. My daughters also go to schools in Capistrano Unified and are at Tesoro H.S. as 9th & 12th graders. They love playing soccer, creating art, cooking/baking, going to the beach and being musicians themselves. Both of my daughter's band directors both came through Newhart either as MY band student or as a band/orchestras student teacher. Talk about full circle...makes a teacher proud!


I also like to run, love going to my daughter's soccer games and concerts, and volunteer as part of the Saddleback Valley National Charity League with both of my girls. We live in Wagon Wheel and have a cute rescue puppy (chi-weenie), Paisley.

My goal for every student is to enjoy music, gain a greater love for music now and in their future, learn more than they thought they ever knew they could, to work as a positive member of their musical team to make amazing music and most importantly to have fun! One of my favorite music quotes is "music can change the world because it can change people." Bono


* Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from USC, May 1997

* K-12th Grade Single Subject Music Credential from USC, May 1997

* Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from CSUF, May 2010

* Administration Credential from CSUF, May 2010

* Band & Orchestra Teacher at Newhart M.S. from 1997 - Current

* Choir Teacher at Newhart M.S. from 1997-1998 & 2012 - 2017

* Student Teacher in Arcadia USD at Arcadia HS & Foothills MS, Spring 1997

* Manager of District Honor Groups for 6 Seasons (various years, most recent in 2019)

* Technology Lead Teacher for CUSD, 2000 - Current

* Elective Department Chair, 2005 - 2009

* High School Graduate from Troy High School, Fullerton, 1997

* Local freelance french horn player playing in various local groups, 1988 - Current

* Growing up she played in many performing groups including: OCYSO, Santa Ana Winds Marching Band, Tournament of Roses Honor Band, All CA State & All Southern CA Honor Bands & Orchestras, National Orchestral Institute, Henry Mancini Institute, Debut Chamber Orchestra and in the Disneyland's All American College Band



Mrs. Erin Girard - Choir





Michael Ellerby - Percussion Coach

Ann Ludwig - Double Reed Coach

Christy Alesi - Violin/Viola Coach




Karen Deaner - Cello Coach