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Lola Brooks leads challenger in Clark County School Board race

Updated November 4, 2020 - 7:27 am

Preliminary results for the Clark County school board race released Tuesday saw board President Lola Brooks defending her seat, while Lisa Guzman, Katie Williams and Evelyn Garcia Morales took the lead in the three other races.

Charged with overseeing the budget, setting policy and hiring the school superintendent, the School Board has had a challenging year amid school closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new board may preside next year over school reopening and the question of renewing the superintendent’s contract.

The early results included early vote and absentee ballots, but not those cast on Election Day.

In the District E area, incumbent Lola Brooks led challenger Alexis Salt 57 percent to 43 percent.

Brooks said Tuesday that she hopes to continue representing District E and was happy to see so much early support from the community.

“I’m anxiously awaiting ballots to be counted and final results to be reported,” she said.

Salt, a 15-year veteran teacher at the district, said her campaign was feeling good about the showing on Election Day and was looking forward to seeing an update Wednesday.

The District A area saw Lisa Guzman, executive director of the Education Support Employees Association in the lead with 53 percent of the vote to Liberty Leavitt’s 47 percent.

Guzman said she was gratified with the preliminary results and was hoping to hold onto the lead.

“My campaign will wait for every vote to be counted because we believe every voice needs to be heard,” she said.

Leavitt, a former district administrator turned nonprofit outreach coordinator, said in a September interview with the Review-Journal that distance learning has been a mixed bag and the goal was to get youngsters back to the classroom as soon as possible. She said she wanted to see the district help employees and families feel safe by asking what they would like to see prior to reopening.

In District B, Katie Williams, an Army National Guard veteran led with 61 percent of the vote to Jeff Proffit’s 39 percent.

A statement from Williams said the campaign was looking forward to the pending votes.

“While it’s early in this process, my team and I are encouraged by the results that have been posted,” the statement said. “They indicate the same thing we have experienced on the campaign trail: that the voters of Clark County and District B are ready for a fresh perspective on their School Board.”

Proffitt, business manager for Sheet Metal Workers Local 88, said he hoped to see schools follow the example set by Moapa Valley schools, which opened under a hybrid learning model in September.

In District C, Evelyn Garcia Morales, executive director of the Fulfillment Fund of Las Vegas, took the lead with 52 percent of the vote to Tameka Henry’s 48 percent.

Garcia Morales said in September she supported the plan that the board voted on this summer to re-evaluate reopening schools after 90 days, with a particular focus on health and safety for all. She credited staff for doing everything they could to be ready for distance learning, calling it a “Herculean task.”

Henry, chair of the HeadStart program, said she saw positives in distance learning, like more parental engagement, but added she understands the semester has been challenging. She said she wants schools to reopen as safely as possible to guard against an outbreak and a second subsequent closure.

Henry said she was looking forward to the final results.

Contact Aleksandra Appleton at 702-383-0218 or aappleton@reviewjournal.com. Follow @aleksappleton on Twitter.

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