I was born and raised in Fallon. I went to grades K-12 in Churchill County and graduated in 1991. I have been married to my wife Nicole for 28 years and have four children, Kayley, Conley, Chase, and Trevor. Trevor is currently a sophomore at CCHS. I have served on the School Board for the past eight years and hope to be re-elected for my last term. I have been a board member with a focus on student achievement from day one.
I currently serve on the Nevada Association of School Boards Legislative Committee, and the Safety and Security Committee. I was also voted in as the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Control Board member for region II. The NIAA Control Board is a three-year commitment of which I have two years remaining. If not re-elected the NIAA seat would likely be filled by Douglas or Carson. In the past four years, I’ve served as president of the board for two and vice president for two. I have coached youth sports for 22 years and knew early in my coaching career that I always wanted to advocate for kids.
In the eight years I’ve been on the board our peers from across the state have voted our board the governance team of the year. I would like to be re-elected to see our district goals set by our board this summer met, as well as continue to advocate for students and staff. I will always follow the facts, be a student-centered board member, and vote accordingly.
Churchill County has been designated a Purple Star school district that shows a commitment to students and families connected to the military. How can the school district build upon that designation?
It’s important to continue to keep an open line of communication between the school district and NAS Fallon. These students and families are required to move often which can make for a difficult transition. Nicole Jullanant is the Navy School Liaison Officer for the base. We need to continue working with Nicole to ensure the needs of these students are met.
The school district has outsourced food services. Would you be in favor or not in favor if the school board wanted to extend outsourcing for janitorial services and transportation?
In selecting superintendents during the past 32 years, trustees have selected only one candidate from the local school district. Should the district continue with this trend, or should the district develop administrative talent from within the district who would be qualified to lead the school district and build upon the status quo?
The board should hire the most qualified person available. The process to hire a superintendent is done in public meetings with input from the public. I believe at this time if we were to lose our current superintendent, we have made some changes structurally within our administration that put us in a very strong position to hire within. One advantage of getting the district in the position to hire within is the understanding of the community and the relationships that have been built within the community.
Would you favor the continuation of the partnership between the school district and Western Nevada College by expanding more programs for high-school-level classes? Please explain.
I’m for giving our students every opportunity to do the coursework necessary to help them be career or college ready. With that being said, if we have the resources to accommodate the students in-house, I prefer to do so.
School districts across the state have experienced problems in hiring staff and then keeping them in the rural setting. As a trustee, what would you do to help Human Resources attract more educators and keep them in Churchill County?
This country is in a teacher shortage crisis. I believe it stems from a couple of main issues. The first being the starting salary for a teacher is far too low. When you couple that with the soaring cost of living, graduating with a degree in education has become not very enticing. Here, out West, the cost of housing has become a real issue for new teachers. I would like to invest in transitional housing for new teachers to help with attracting new graduates. I think as a district we need to explore ways to sell our great community and market ourselves as the outdoor destination we are.
What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of our current school system?
I say without a doubt our staff is the greatest strength of our school system. They have faced some real challenges over the last couple of years and have answered the call time and time again. Our weakness is funding. Through the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, we need to continue to advocate for the full funding of federally impacted schools. Currently, Nevada ranks 39th in the nation in spending per pupil, which is better than the 50th it was 8 years ago when I first took office. We must keep advocating our state legislators and show good stewardship of those tax dollars. We must show improvements in student achievement with tax dollars spent.
What is the one biggest change, issue, or improvement you would like to see occur or would you advocate for during your term on the school board?
I would like to see our graduation rate at a minimum of 90% and have students college or career ready upon graduation.
What is your opinion about communication between the board and the staff, visiting schools, and how many opportunities would you have to spend observing and talking to staff at school sites?
I believe it is important to visit schools; however, I don’t want to be a distraction to staff or students. I like to visit to look at the facilities and get a feel for the culture of the school. I do have a full-time job, but I currently have a flexible lunchtime that allows for visits. I prefer a formal invite from a teacher if I were to spend a sizable amount of time in their classroom, just out of professional respect. I always let the principal know if I’m onsite or going to be onsite.
How would you proceed if your opinion is different from the rest of the board – would you be willing to stand your ground, build a coalition, or go with the flow?
Good discussion is a must. I defiantly hold my ground and debate my stance. I also entered a meeting thinking I knew how I was going to vote and received more facts, which flipped my vote. I believe in facts over emotion, and you can disagree respectfully which creates an environment of open communication and good governance.
What would your support level be for maintaining or improving the Career and Technical Education programs at the high school and middle school?
I am a product of CTE programs at CCHS. I was a student that was never planning on furthering my education through college. These are vital classes to get students career ready. At my request, we are currently working to put on a round table that will include some of our past CTE educators and interested public members to share ideas on better meeting the needs of employers. We have to provide these students with the skills to enter the workforce and be of value to employers.