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CCSD board hopes to have new superintendent in place by Nov.1

Updated April 5, 2024 - 7:08 pm

The Clark County School Board unanimously voted Wednesday to approve a request for proposals to select a firm to search for a new district superintendent.

The board also voted to have its lawyer move forward with negotiating a contract with Interim Superintendent Brenda Larsen-Mitchell.

The board sent the RFP to the school district’s purchasing department to post online in about three weeks to begin the process of finding a superintendent who would tentatively start by Nov. 1.

“This is the first step to select a search firm,” board President Evelyn Garcia Morales said during Wednesday’s work session. “What we decide to do today will help us release the request for proposals so that organizations, individuals can provide their best proposals to us.”

Once the purchasing department selects the top contractors to perform the search, it will provide lists of the applicants found eligible and ineligible over the next several months to the board, and the board will hold a special meeting to rank the best two or three vendors, Garcia Morales said.

Board members, using a rubric supplied by the purchasing department to help narrow the choices, would hold another special meeting to identify relevant questions they want to ask search firms during interviews and then at yet another meeting select the one it wants to work with, she said.

Along the way, the board will be listening to feedback from the community, Garcia Morales said.

“We want our superintendent to start by November 1st,” the board president noted.

Irene Bustamante Adams, board vice president, said she liked that the RFP, given the importance of the position, requests that vendors identify candidates through a national search, including those from “non-traditional” backgrounds, such as a top high-level executive and not just someone with an educational background.

The RFP calls for vendors to “identify and encourage applications from qualified candidates who are from public education, higher education, private profit and nonprofit sectors, military, or other branches of government.”

Board member Linda Cavazos agreed with Bustamante Adams, saying that mainly “we want to find the right person and explore all options.”

During the public comment period, Jessica Jones, a kindergarten teacher in Las Vegas, said she favors “a nationwide search that’s inclusive of internal candidates” from within the district for a new superintendent.

“The most important part of this process is that it includes community input,” Jones said.

The panel also voted 7-0 to authorize the board’s legal counsel to discuss an employment agreement with Larsen-Mitchell, who took the interim position when former Superintendent Jesus Jara left office on Feb. 23 after serving since 2018.

Much of the meeting centered on the board discussing proposed changes to the RFP’s language, which mirrored the document used when the board last authorized a search for vendors starting in 2017 that a year later resulted in the board selecting Jara.

Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow him @JeffBurbank2 on X.

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