Gov. Steve Sisolak on Monday tapped a former Clark County School District leader and current deputy commissioner in New York as the state’s next superintendent of public instruction.
Jhone Ebert, a senior deputy commissioner for education policy in the New York State Education Department, will lead the state’s public school system beginning April 2.
Ebert, who began her career as a math teacher Von Tobel Middle School in 1990, worked for 25 years in the Clark County School District — last serving as the chief innovation and productivity officer in 2015.
“Jhone is a lifelong educator and change leader with extensive experience both in the classroom and in administrative roles, including 25 years in Nevada schools,” Sisolak said in a statement. “I have no doubt that she is the best person to get our schools back on track and set Nevada students up for success in K-12 and beyond.”
Ebert replaces Steve Canavero, who resigned from the post in February just after the start of the Legislative session. She was one of three finalists that the State Board of Education forwarded to the governor for his final selection.
She returns to Nevada at a critical moment, with the Legislature poised to discuss a change in the state’s education funding formula from 1967.
Ebert said in an interview that she’s excited to return to Nevada.
Working toward a weighted funding formula, she said, is critical — and so is transparency.
“The people that I have spoken with would like to have a better understanding of what the proposals are, how they’d be modeled out,” she said. “I see that communication with the school districts as well as the charter authority as a huge part of the work that we’ll be doing within the state Department of Education.”
Ebert also highlighted closing opportunity gaps as another goal.
Ebert was rumored to be an applicant for the Clark County School District superintendent position, which pays more than the top education job in the state. But she was not among the finalists invited for a public interview.
As a deputy commissioner in New York, Ebert has served as a policy adviser for both preschool through 12th grade and higher education.
She said she’d like to build a stronger between the two in Nevada.
In a statement, State Board of Education President Elaine Wynn said Ebert has the right experience at the local, state and national level to help close achievement gaps.
“I believe we have begun to make progress in student achievement over the past few years, and our board feels it’s important that our new superintendent gets up to speed quickly and continues our quest to become the fastest improving state in the nation,” Wynn said. “I am confident that the new superintendent will work well with both the governor and the state board.”