Eugene T. Paslov, a former Nevada state superintendent of schools who advocated education and culture for both the state and Carson City, died Sunday. He was 80.
Paslov, who earned his doctorate degree in 1972 from Columbia Teachers College, was Nevada’s superintendent of public instruction from 1985 until 1994.
He had continued working as an education consultant, wrote his memoir and a column for the Nevada Appeal, served on the city’s Cultural Commission, and spearheaded efforts to start a charter high school called the Nevada Performance Academy. He wanted it to open last fall, but still was working to get that task done later this year.
“Gene was another Carson City treasure that we’ve lost, unfortunately,” said Ronni Hannaman, executive director of Carson City’s Chamber of Commerce. Former Mayor Marv Teixeira, 79, died last Thursday.
“That’s a real blow,” said Mayor Robert Crowell upon learning of the educator’s death.
“With the passing of Gene Paslov,” the mayor said, “Carson City has lost a champion of education for our youth, and a strong supporter of the arts in our community. A prolific writer, his vision of creating a performing arts academy was a perfect blend of culture and education typical of Gene’s approach to life. My heart goes out to his family.”
Hannaman, meanwhile, called Paslov one of her favorites and a real gentleman.
Supervisor Karen Abowd, who served on the Cultural Commission with Paslov, also noted the double hit of the former mayor and the educator dying in less than a week.
“Between Marv and now Gene, holy moly; this is terrible,” she said. “Gene is just a heartbreak. He was looking so forward to opening the (charter) school (for performing arts). I don’t know where that’s going to sit.”
Abby Johnson, a Carson City-based consultant, said she was a long-time friend of Paslov’s who admired him for being a vocal liberal and a tireless advocate of intellectual curiosity,
“He had no qualms about being bold in expressing his strong point of view,” Johnson said.
Paslov began his education career in Long Beach, Calif., teaching English. In 1963, he volunteered for the Peace Corps and spent two years in the Middle East teaching English as a foreign language, and was a co-director of an English language preparatory school called Middle East Technical University in Turkey, his bio on the Davidson Academy of Nevada says. He returned after the Peace Corps period to Long Beach to work in education, then went to Columbia for his advanced degree work.
Later, Paslov was state superintendent in Michigan for two years and also served as director of job training there in the early 1980s.
Born on Dec. 5, 1933, in New York City, Paslov was an Air Force veteran. He enlisted at age 18 and served during the Korean conflict,
He attended El Camino Community College and Long Beach State before teaching in Long Beach and moving on to the Middle East work he took on while in the Peace Corps.
Paslov is survived by his wife Susan. The couple had three children.
Services are set for 3 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church, Carson City.
Among the many people commenting after news of Paslov’s demise were people in the arts and education community.
Stephanie Arriigotti of Western Nevada College, the performing arts professor there, praised Paslov for his efforts to start the Performing Arts Academy. She said he was working on the project as recently as the end of last week.
Carson City Schools Superintendent Richard Stokes said, “Gene was without question one of the most passionate educators I have ever known. His life’s work was about making education better for students and he relentlessly sought solutions while challenging the status quo. The system has lost a great advocate and a true gentleman.