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Jara shuffles leadership team at Clark County schools

Updated June 18, 2019 - 3:03 pm

The Clark County School District’s core leadership team is shifting with the departures of two Cabinet members and the arrival of two more.

Chief of staff Jennifer Cupid-McCoy and chief communications and community engagement officer Kirsten Searer will depart their posts in the district, Superintendent Jesus Jara announced in a news release on Tuesday.

The district will also hire a new chief operations officer and chief of staff.

Jara recruited Cupid-McCoy from his previous district of Orange County Public Schools in Florida. After less than a year on the job, she is moving back to Florida to be with family, according to the district.

Searer is departing for another position in education, it said.

Christopher Bernier, who is currently an associate superintendent for school choice in Florida’s Orange County Public Schools, will replace Cupid-McCoy. There, he oversees charter schools, magnet programs, alternative education and home schooling, as well as the Orange County Virtual School.

In Clark County, he will oversee employee-management relations, the internal audit division and the diversity and affirmative action apartment.

“Dr. Bernier has extensive experience serving at all levels of a school system,” Jara said in a statement. “He has a successful track record of implementing meaningful professional development, with results that were evident in leadership changes throughout the district. He also has led schools with diverse student populations to increases in student achievement.”

New chief operating officer Mike Casey will replace the outgoing Rick Neal, one of three top brass that Jara is changing up following an external review that highlighted issues with the district’s business operations.

Casey has an extensive financial background in the private sector.

He most recently served as the Bellagio’s vice president of finance and has held various positions with MGM Resorts International, according to the district. He has also worked as a financial planning and analysis manger at New York-New York and as a financial adviser for Morgan Stanley.

He will oversee the district’s food service, purchasing and warehousing, technology and information systems services, transportation and Vegas PBS.

“Mike Casey brings a wealth of business knowledge to CCSD,” Jara said in a statement. “His experience will help ensure that CCSD’s operations are focused on our core business: student success.”

Jara said in the press release that he supports the decisions by Cupid-McCoy and Searer to leave the district. He thanked both for helping him during his first year on the job.

Contact Amelia Pak-Harvey at apak-harvey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4630. Follow @AmeliaPakHarvey on Twitter.

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