WCSD May Not Get A New Superintendent Until Summer 2020

Jul 25, 2019

The Washoe County School Board has put into place a tentative deadline to hire a new superintendent by the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

During a four-hour meeting last night, the Washoe County School District Board of Trustee held the first of what is likely many discussions about the hiring of a new superintendent.

The new hire will replace Traci Davis who was ousted last month after allegations that she leaked confidential information that could be used against the district.

While the discussion was intended to initiate the search process, the board was only able to set a tentative deadline of August of 2020 to hire a new district leader.

Board President Katy Simon Holland says the protracted timeline gives the district the ability to conduct an extensive search.

"We're going to take our time," Simon Holland says. "I think that is one thing I heard from the trustees; better to do this right then fast. We want to make sure that we get the best fit for this community, that we have someone who is responsive and has great leadership qualities, and, sometimes, our timeline will impact our available pool."

It’s still unclear what form the search for the new superintendent will take.

During a presentation by district staff, trustees were given three options. They could hire a firm to help conduct a national search, hire a consultant to help the district find the candidates themselves or try to conducting the search in-house. While the board took no action on those options, public comment seemed divided.

Some residents voiced support for a national search. Others took issue with the potential costs associated with hiring an outside firm — instead, arguing that the district should handle the search.

Still, others urged caution ahead of any potential decision.

For Ann Silver, the CEO of the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce, the district should seriously consider an independent review to suss out the issues that seem to be plaguing the district. "Let's begin to analyze those problems before we create a solution," says Silver. "Let's do a deep dive into every aspect of the school district so that consultant, that individual, that firm, can say here's what we recommend you need for a superintendent."

The board is expected to hold further conversations regarding the hiring process at its next meeting in August.