Clark County Superintendent Jesus Jara announced a shake-up of his executive cabinet on Tuesday that involves two leaders departing and two people joining the school district.
The outgoing members are Chief of Staff Jennifer Cupid-McCoy and Kirsten Searer, the district’s chief communications and community engagement officer.
Jara recruited Cupid-McCoy from Orange County Public Schools, where he previously worked, when he became superintendent last June. District officials said Cupid-McCoy is moving back to Florida to be near family, although it wasn’t immediately clear how soon.
Her replacement, however, is also coming from Florida. Jara said he has hired Christopher Bernier, another Orange County Public Schools employee, as his new chief of staff. Bernier is the associate superintendent for school choice in the Orlando district, overseeing charter schools, alternative education, magnet programs, home education and the Orange County Virtual School.
Jara said Bernier, a former teacher and principal, will oversee employee-management relations, internal audits, diversity and affirmative action as well as help him with major projects and personnel decisions.
“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.”
The district has not identified a successor for Searer, who has accepted another education-related position, the details of which have not been announced. Her final day with the district will be July 11.
Jara intends to interview candidates for the chief communications officer position and submit a recommendation to the Clark County School Board of Trustees, Searer said. The board approved her appointment in June 2017.
The superintendent also announced Tuesday that he has hired Mike Casey, a former casino executive, to be the district’s new chief operating officer. Casey served as the vice president of finance at the Bellagio Resort and Casino for nearly six years and was previously executive director of financial planning and analysis for MGM Resorts International.
Casey is the third MGM executive hired recently by Jara. Earlier this month, Jara announced that Nadine Jones, the vice president of human resources for MGM Grand Las Vegas, would be joining the district July 1 as its new chief human resources officer.
In April, the board approved the hiring of David McKinnis as the district’s new chief of facilities. He most recently served as vice president of property operations at the Bellagio.
The cabinet-level changes come as Jara finishes his first year as the district’s superintendent. Last week, he sparked outrage and endured criticism for eliminating 170 dean positions to help shore up a budget deficit.