Comment – Like – Share: Las Vegas school in the running for $500,000

The only Nevada school still in the running to win $500,000 from Kohl’s department stores is the Robert Forbuss Elementary School in southwest Las Vegas, and a mad push is on to move the school up the list. Now at number 36, the school needs to move into the top 20 to win the money.

The advertising ploy by Kohl’s is actually pretty savvy. Vote for a particular school and the company will give away $10 million — or $500,000 to each of 20 schools.

Two weeks ago, Forbuss Elementary was in the 17th position. On Friday, it was down to the 36th spot, out of the money.

The school already has plans for the money, said Lisa Pierce-Paquette, who has a son starting second grade there (and whose husband Shawn Paquette is the principal).

Each grade level would get a state-of-the-art science lab to be called the Bob Forbuss Elementary Science Lab.

The lab would be open to all schools in the district to have a field trip.

“We also would love an in-house TV station called FORBUSS tv,” Pierce-Paquette said.

Upgrading computers and improving the fine arts department and library are also on the school’s wish list. With $500,000, a lot of wishes could be fulfilled.

Because the deadline is midnight Sept. 3, she hopes people will make a strong push to help a Nevada school at a time when Nevada schools need all the help they can get.

The school is having rallies and spreading the word through blast e-mails, pancake breakfasts, fliers, even billboards.

Her husband agreed to do the craziest stunt possible, and so did Mayor Oscar Goodman, she said. One stunt under consideration is the new bungee jump ride at the Stratosphere. Cox Cable agreed to do a public service announcement. The TV stations have run stories.

But there’s one advantage print has over TV.

The newspaper can tell you how to vote step by step.

Now I have to tell you, I never got it to work myself. But Pierce-Paquette insists that’s a problem with my computer (she didn’t blame me personally). But she insisted, if people follow the instructions, they can vote. Blame her, not me, if this doesn’t work.

The best browser is Internet Explorer, she said.

1. Go to

2. Click on VOTE NOW

3. Login to Facebook

4. Click ALLOW

5. Type Forbuss in the search field

6. Click CAST A VOTE

7. Click LIKE for Kohl’s

8. Continue to vote 4 more times for a total of five votes. Be sure you get five green stars.

Obviously, you have to have a Facebook account for this to work or be willing to start one.

And here’s the part many people won’t like. Kohl’s wants to be able to pull your information off Facebook for future contacts. Some users won’t like that they’re providing personal information about their likes to a department store.

The school is named after one of the more caring people in Las Vegas. Early in his career, the native Las Vegan taught at Bishop Gorman High School and during summer breaks worked as an emergency medical technician at Mercy Medical Services, eventually becoming an owner.

Forbuss has served on boatloads of boards, including the Clark County School Board. Forbuss is devoted to education and to this school, which opened in August 2007. He took me on a tour in 2008 and said, “I want to give these kids every opportunity.”

Winning a $500,000 prize would help achieve that goal.

“If the school wins, it’s a tribute to all the children, a remarkable staff and a wonderful principal,” Forbuss said Friday.

Typical Forbuss. Giving credit to others.

Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. E-mail her at or call (702) 383-0275. She also blogs at

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