Superintendent, Clark County School District
Every student in every classroom, without exceptions, without excuses. That’s my personal philosophy.
When I began in my role, I knew we were facing some unique challenges. Almost sixty-four percent of our students in the district are on free and reduced price lunch. Almost twenty percent of our students are English language learners.
I also knew there were perceptions in the community that the Clark County School District wasted money. One of the first things I did when I started in my role was to bring business leaders and community leaders to sit down at a table with me and have an honest conversation. I opened up my books to them and said, “Here is my entire budget. I want you to go through it and show me where we can find better efficiencies in using money to support the kids in our classrooms.” What started as a simple conversation has evolved into a three-year partnership. We started looking at the return on investment of our dollars. We wanted to see what was working in a school that was getting achievement gains, and who was doing it for the lowest cost. It has really involved into meaningful impact for our district and our students.
Our partnerships have been instrumental to this. I have said, over and over again, that one person cannot change education in southern Nevada. It takes the entire district and every one of our community members to understand the challenges, to step up, to support the work that’s being done in our schools. It has really been a collective effort between business, the community and the education sector here in Clark County.