Two school administrators with more than 60 years experience between them are competing to replace Shirley Barber as the District C representative on the Clark County School Board.
Retired high school principal Ronan Matthew has 30 years of experience in the Clark County School District. Linda Young is the district director of equity and diversity education and has 32 years experience. She would retire from her position, if elected.
Young wants to put her "comprehensive" background to use as a School Board member. In addition to being an administrator, she has worked as a teacher, a school psychologist, a middle school principal and an adjunct professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Her degrees include a master's in school psychology from the University of Dayton in Ohio and a doctorate in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.
Matthew is running for office because "I believe we can do a better job of educating our kids."
A native of Antigua, Matthew compared himself to a Founding Father who came to America from the neighboring island of Nevis.
"I'm from the Caribbean like Alexander Hamilton," Matthew joked.
Like Hamilton, Matthew left the Caribbean to go to college in New York City. He received a degree in English literature from St. Francis College and later got a master's in educational administration and a doctorate in educational leadership, receiving both advanced degrees from UNLV.
Both candidates said their professional experience has taught them to listen to students and to seek their input.
"To be a successful principal, you have to listen to all parties," Matthew said. "You have to make decisions based on the best interests of the students."
As a School Board member, Young said she would make youth part of the solution.
"You would be surprised by how smart they are," she said.
She would ask students, for instance, how to solve the state funding crisis because kids might have ideas that never occurred to adults. She stressed that the state needs "out of the box" solutions.
Matthew said he would bring his expertise and open mind to the School Board. In confronting the state budget crisis, Matthew said, "All options should be on the table," adding that a broad-based business tax should at least be considered.
He acknowledged that he doesn't have a solution for the state funding crisis, "but I don't think education should bear the brunt of the cuts."
Contact reporter James Haug at email@example.com or 702-799-2922.