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Board to submit nominees for top Nevada education job

The State Board of Education took the first steps toward finding a new superintendent of public instruction on Friday, solidifying a job description and subcommittee that will interview applicants before submitting three candidates to the governor in less than a month.

The board is hoping to act quickly to fill the spot of Steve Canavero, who resigned as superintendent early this month, just at the start of a Legislative session that will feature an array of educational legislation.

Among other qualities, the job description lists the ideal state superintendent as one who has experience in the classroom, success leading a large organization and the capacity to create an atmosphere of trust.

The salary range for the post tops out at $139,591 — much less than the $320,000 base salary for the Clark County School District superintendent.

The board approved a five-member subcommittee — comprised of board members Mark Newburn, Felicia Ortiz, Tonia Holmes-Sutton, Tamara Hudson and David Carter — to interview an unknown number of candidates at special meetings on March 5 and 12.

The board will then submit three finalists to Gov. Steve Sisolak, who will make the appointment.

“On March 12, I am hopeful, confident that we can determine the three most qualified candidates for Gov. Sisolak’s consideration,” board President Elaine Wynn said.

Members of the public told board members Friday that they want a leader who is experienced, financially savvy and receptive to the diversity of Nevada students.

They also urged the board to forward candidates with proven track records and an understanding of education funding who can help lead the way in changing the state’s old education formula.

Alexander Marks of the Nevada State Education Association expressed concern over about part of the job description approved by the board: a strong commitment to “education reform.”

He said that could be interpreted as being a promoter of charter schools that are not held accountable or in favor of public funding for private schools.

Contact Amelia Pak-Harvey at apak-harvey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4630. Follow @AmeliaPakHarvey on Twitter.

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