Three new Clark County School Board members and one returning trustee took their oaths of office on Monday ahead of their four-year terms governing the fifth-largest school district in the nation.
Newly elected trustees Lisa Guzman, Katie Williams and Evelyn Garcia Morales joined incumbent Lola Brooks on the School Board just 10 days before the governing body is set to hear a plan to reopen school buildings after they were closed in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fresh faces:
■ Garcia Morales, executive director of Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas, who represents the District C North Las Vegas area.
■ Williams, an Army National Guard veteran known for her vocally conservative views, who represents the District B area including parts of north and east Las Vegas.
■ Guzman, assistant executive director for the Nevada State Education Association, who represents the District A Henderson area.
On Jan. 14, the school district is expected to present a plan to reopen buildings for its youngest students, along with a memorandum of agreement with the teachers union in support of the proposal. If the board approves it, schools could welcome students back by early February, Superintendent Jesus Jara has said, though no timeline has been set.
The majority of trustees have indicated that they intend to wait to see the revised reopening plan before committing to a vote. When a version was presented in November, the board held off on a vote, citing a need for more information to be addressed by district staff.
Beyond reopening schools, this board will also likely vote on a renewal of Jara’s contract this year, and preside over the district’s budget amid the economic effects of the pandemic. The board is in the midst of governance training after a tumultuous year that deepened divisions among its members. Its work will start with a meeting Wednesday morning to elect new officers.
Union seeks ethics opinion
Ahead of the oath of office ceremony on Monday, the Clark County Education Association released a statement asking the School Board to request an opinion from the Nevada Commission on Ethics on Trustee Lisa Guzman’s employment by the Nevada State Education Association and former employment by the Education Support Employees Association.
CCEA contended that Guzman should resign from her positions and recuse herself from all votes involving the district’s unions out of concern for personal conflicts or bias.
Guzman said Monday she resigned from her position as ESEA executive director effective Dec. 1 and that she has been working with the board attorney to request an opinion from the ethics commission after her swearing-in.
She said she will continue to work at NSEA’s Reach for the Stars Foundation in the Instruction and Professional Development unit, managing grants and a team of eight staff members.
Aleksandra Appleton/Las Vegas Review-Journal