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Jara releases ‘State of the Schools’ speech after resigning

Updated February 12, 2024 - 4:02 pm

Less than two weeks after submitting his resignation, Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara sent a copy of written remarks for his yearly “State of the Schools” address — which was canceled last month — to the school board.

The address was originally scheduled for Jan. 26, but was canceled because of the death of Jara’s mother. The district released the remarks Monday.

Jara, who has led the nation’s fifth-largest school district since 2018, submitted his conditional resignation letter Jan. 30. His last day is scheduled for Feb. 21.

In a Monday letter that’s part of an 18-page document, Jara did not reference his resignation.

He wrote that with “immense pride and reflection,” he was formally submitting the State of the Schools address.

“I am proud and humbled to have led the Clark County School District through some of history’s most exciting and turbulent times,” Jara wrote. “We have shared countless challenges, opportunities, and successes, and we did it all together.”

During a Clark County School Board meeting Wednesday, trustees voted against a motion to approve Jara’s conditional resignation and a contract amendment that proposed a severance payment equal to one year’s salary and benefits.

Instead, trustees voted to negotiate the conditional termination of Jara’s contract for convenience and asked the board’s attorney to negotiate alternative terms.

Jara’s contract is slated to continue through June 2026.

Board President Evelyn Garcia Morales said during Wednesday’s meeting that Jara was asked to “consider a mutual agreement” to help him step aside.

She also cited “ongoing vitriol and disrespect that some people in the community have for Jara.”

State Democratic legislative leaders and the Clark County Education Association called for Jara’s resignation last year.

Jara’s remarks

A copy of Jara’s prepared remarks for the State of the Schools address references the district’s five-year strategic plan, which concludes this year.

Topics include strong and stable leadership, high standards and common instructional guidance, teacher and leader quality, professional development, systemwide reforms, accountability, challenges, community engagement and support for struggling schools and students.

Toward the end of the speech, Jara writes: “The last year has been challenging, and I want to reiterate the focus on unity. Public education should bring us together, and we need more community partners to help in the work because it will take all of us.”

The document submitted to trustees Monday also includes a list of Jara’s accomplishments tied to the strategic plan, and “recognitions and accolades” that the district and schools received.

According to the document, not every goal was attained over the last five years, but “countless successes were accomplished.”

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com. Follow @julieswootton on X.

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