CREATED Apr. 16, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- As school officials get ready to search for a new Clark County School District superintendent to replace Dwight Jones, they are asking parents to weigh in.
On Tuesday, parents and community members got their first chance to do so in the first of 12 town hall meetings. It took place at 9:30 a.m. at Sierra Vista High School.
There were a lot of empty seats; only 17 people showed up. Board of Trustees President Carolyn Edwards admitted she was disappointed by the turnout. She said these forums are important.
"These meetings are designed for us to get input on what people are looking for in a superintendent," said Edwards.
After all, the board will use input from these public meetings to guide their search.
Five people stood up to speak on Tuesday. The most common suggestion was that the board do a nationwide search for the next school district leader.
They made the argument that, with the Clark County School District being the fifth largest in the nation, it should get to pick from the best in the nation. Some parents suggested that the school district look at local applicants, as well.
"I think everybody deserves an opportunity to apply and if we're going to be fair, I think we have to give everybody a chance," said one father.
Kathleen Messer, a parent of three, wondered why the board was considering hiring a search firm to look for superintendent candidates.
She thought this was a waste of money. However, her question was answered quickly by Edwards who explained that the board operates under an open meeting law. She says that if the board tried to seek out top candidates, that information would have to be made public, and some people don't like it when their bosses know that they could be up for another job. Edwards explained that a search firm can go digging on its own and under the radar because it's a private organization.
Messer said that made sense and she changed her stance.
She said she appreciates the opportunity to have her voice heard in this kind of setting and encourages more parents to attend the upcoming town hall meetings. Everyone at this meeting was also encouraged to take part in a written survey. The board will look over all of those at a later time.
The next town hall takes place on Wednesday, April 17 at 7:00 a.m. at the Edward A. Greer Education Center, Board Room at 2832 East Flamingo Boulevard.