Storli and Koontz Names You May Be Familiar With!
Ask anyone teaching or doing real estate in Santa Clarita if they know Linda Storli and Dennis Koontz and odds are the answer is a resounding “yes”. The couple has been making their mark on education and local politics for over 30 years. Ironically, they met while running against each other during the Cityhood Campaign of 1987, the year Santa Clarita was established. Turns out, Koontz was elected to City Council and served three years. Both Linda and Dennis worked on the formation committee. The group strove for more local control in the city and less oversight by the county. They fought to have the tax money from LA County go directly to Santa Clarita, something they would achieve later by incorporating the City.
The two are heavily enthralled in political life. “I love politics and political things,” said Storli. Politics has been a huge role in the couple’s relationship. “Politics is my favorite pursuit with Linda,” Koontz said. Coming from a political family, Koontz has had the privilege to meet congressmen and presidents. Storli waxes philosophical when talking about her favorite holiday, July 4th. “I’m very patriotic,” she said, “just hearing the National Anthem makes me cry.” She first came to Santa Clarita in 1985, bringing her kids to the famed 4th of July Parade. Soon after, she started announcing the parade and for 15 years has been running it. ABC News has called it the largest small town parade in the country.
Both Storli and Koontz’ roots are in education. For 30 years, Storli taught history and government at Canyon High. She made it a point to inspire her students in pursuing their education. Koontz worked at Valencia High School for 15 years as the school nurse after retiring as a Fire Captain with the Paramedic Engine Company. He still chaperones dances at the school and is sometimes involved in sporting events.
Continuing in the tradition of education, Storli serves on the Hart School Board and Koontz took a turn as Personnel Commissioner for the William S. Hart Union School District. Storli says she misses teaching every day and says the kids give her more than she gives them. Her goal of serving on the Hart School Board – trimming the budget to eliminate useless spending, and the completion of the Castaic High School, with a projected end date of 2019. Her husband takes his instructive nature to the Boy Scouts where he has served as Cub and Scout Master for many years. He, himself, is an Eagle Scout. Their 5 children all work in either education or real estate. So far, they have 7 grandkids and one great grandchild.
Each Christmas Storli and Koontz act as Mr. and Mrs. Claus to raise money for a charity supporting domestic violence awareness. As these characters, they visit hospitals and homes. She has seen up to 1,000 kids in one evening.
The two are big on traveling. “There are not a lot of places we haven’t been,” she said. “We have fun together,” she continued, “we’ve been to 108 countries.” Recently they returned from Cuba. Other places they visited are Egypt, Nairobi, Israel and Palestine. “We go to dicey places and sometimes cities that are under political attack to see firsthand foreign politics in action,” said Storli. “We like being active in politics and the community,” she continued.
As if these two aren’t busy enough, they’ve been enterprising real estate partners for over 30 years. Koontz said their interest in this career path was basically so they could earn money buying their first house, in Valencia.
When asked what is the glue that holds their family together, Koontz replied, “We can resolve any issues,” and that they both support each other. The bottom line is, he said, “We really care about each other.”