Sandoval’s press secretary leaves for job at California nonprofit

CARSON CITY — Mary-Sarah Kinner, Gov. Brian Sandoval’s only communications director-press secretary, announced Thursday she will be leaving Feb. 21 to take a job as deputy national press secretary for StudentsFirst.

The nonprofit organization, which is based in Sacramento, Calif., tries to boost student performance.

“Education has been a lifelong priority for me, and after having visited hundreds of schools across this great state with Governor Sandoval, the opportunity to work positively to affect change for children was one I felt too great to pass up,” she said.

Kinner started working for Sandoval during his campaign for governor in 2010. Under the administration of former Gov. Jim Gibbons, press secretaries routinely lasted a year or less.

Led by Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of the District of Columbia Schools, StudentsFirst tries to mobilize parents, teachers, students, administrators and citizens to improve student outcomes.

Kinner thanked Sandoval, his staff and the state employees with whom she has worked for more than three years.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at or 775-687-3901. Follow him on Twitter @edisonvogel.