Clark County School District
Jesus Jara, new superintendent of Clark County (Nev.) schools

In split vote, Clark County (Nev.) board chooses next superintendent

May 3, 2018
Jesus Jara, now a deputy superintendent in the Orange County (Fla.) district, is in line to lead the nation's 5th-largest public school system.

A divided Clark County (Nev.) school board has chosen an administrator from Orange County, Fla., as the next superintendent of the 320,000-student district.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the board voted 4 to 2 with one abstention to select Jesus Jara, deputy superintendent of Orange County (Fla.) district, to lead the Las Vegas-based system.

He is in line to replace retiring Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky. 

Jara received four “yes” votes from board members Lola Brooks, Kevin Child, Carolyn Edwards and Linda Cavazos. Deanna Wright and Chris Garvey voted “no,” and Linda Young declined to vote.

“I feel I’m being denied and disrespected,” said Young, a supporter of home-grown candidate Mike Barton. “I’m offended.”

Barton is the district’s chief academic officer and a community favorite. In a vote earlier motion Wednesday to offer him the job, board members Wright, Edwards, Brooks and Cavazos voted no. Young, Garvey and Child voted in favor of Barton.

Lawyers for the district will seek to begin contract negotiations with Jara.

Jara has worked in Orange County since 2012. Before that, he was superintendent in Monroe County (Fla.) schools, and worked for The College Board in Florida and Massachusetts.

The search process was delayed last month when the search firm hired to find superintendent candidates submitted the names of four finalists—all of whom were from outside the Clark County district.

Board members were upset that there were no internal district finalists for the job, and subsequently added three internal candidates, including Barton, as finalists. But in the end, the board's majority chose an outside candidate.

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