Clark County (Nev.) board wants internal candidates in superintendent search

Board members in the nation's fifth-largest district extend their search because the four finalists that have been recommended have no ties to the school system.

The Clark County (Nev.) School Board is extending its superintendent search process because none of the four finalists recommended by a search firm has ties to the district.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports hat board members reacted with surprise that Ray and Associates, the search firm they hired to help replace retiring Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky, didn’t include internal candidates on a list of finalists.

“Most of us would have expected either one or two current or former CCSD people to rise to the top,” says board President Deanna Wright. “That was why I didn’t feel it necessary to stipulate we have one internal or former person.”

The board voted 7-0 to cancel interviews and community meetings that had been scheduled for this week. Next week, the board plans to consider adding internal and former district candidates to the existing list.

The four finalists recommended by the search firm to lead the 320,000-student school system are John Deasy, former superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District; Donald T. Haddad, superintendent of St. Vrain Valley (Colo.) Schools; Shonda Huery Hardman, former chief school support officer for the Houston Independent School District; and Jesus Jara, deputy superintendent of Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools.

Board members did not identify any potential internal candidates, but that didn’t stop residents at the meeting from advocating for Mike Barton, the district’s chief academic officer.

“He knows out district, he knows our students, he knows our needs,” Rancho High School teacher Robert Cowles says.

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