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Nonvoting trustees take their seats on the Clark County School Board

The four new additions are part of an effort by lawmakers to bring more voices and professionalism to the board.
Rocio Hernandez
Rocio Hernandez
EducationK-12 Education

The Clark County School Board grew by four members after new nonvoting trustees, who were appointed by local municipalities last year, were sworn in during a Tuesday special meeting. 

The four new members are Adam Johnson, a former West Las Vegas charter school leader; Ramona Esparza-Stoffregan, a former Valley High School principal; Lisa Satory, principal of a Henderson charter school; and Dane Watson, a Clark County Education Association (CCEA) employee. 

Watson was appointed by the North Las Vegas City Council in December as a temporary replacement for City Councilman Isaac Barron, who was tapped for the position in October. The council made the change amid legal questions on whether Barron, a Rancho High School teacher, could be a district employee and serve on the board simultaneously, while holding multiple offices. Barron said he anticipates being reappointed to the position after he retires from the Clark County School District at the end of the 2023-24 school year.

In an interview after being sworn in, Watson said he agreed to a temporary appointment because he considers himself a public servant. 

“‘First of all, servants of all, we shall transcend all,’ is the motto of my fraternity and I believe that at the core of who I am,” he said. 

The nonvoting positions on the school board were created in 2023 by AB175, which was sponsored by Assemblywoman Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod (D-Las Vegas) and Assemblyman Toby Yurek (R-Henderson). The sponsors have previously said the intention of the bill was to bring more voices, professionalism and expertise to the school board. CCEA was one of the proponents of the bill. 

Board President Evelyn Garcia Morales and other education officials statewide opposed the bill, citing concerns that the appointments could bring partisanship to the board and dilute voters’ voices. 

As trustees, the appointed members will serve four-year terms and have the same responsibilities as the elected members, including attending closed-door sessions and policy and operational discussions, but they won’t be able to vote or serve as a board officer. 

They joined the seven elected trustees who serve on the school board. Their responsibilities include hiring and supervising the superintendent and approving a budget for the school district. 

The new trustees are joining the board a few weeks after the district came to a contract agreement with CCEA after a monthslong standoff. In an interview, Johnson said he hopes both parties can move forward together in a productive manner and that there aren’t lingering bad feelings now that a new contract is in place.

“We found a really solid middle ground, and we're ready to do the work that we need to make sure children have what they need, which is great educators in classrooms and solid district support to make sure they can achieve their best,” Johnson said. 

However, the new contract has done little to quell calls from Democratic lawmakers and the teachers union for Superintendent Jesus Jara’s resignation. 

Watson did not answer whether he supported his employer's call for Jara’s resignation. He said he sees his role as a trustee to work with his fellow board members to address issues such as teacher recruitment and retention, an issue that’s particularly pressing for North Las Vegas schools, which have higher vacancy rates compared to other municipalities, according to a recent study. 


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