For the past nine months, the Churchill County School Board has been trying to move ahead after former Superintendent Carolyn Ross’ surprise resignation in late June.
The harmony between Ross and trustees was fractious — at best — during her tenure, thus causing community scorn and distrust of school district operations.
Since July, though, the school board united, looked inward and began to examine themselves as public servants for Churchill County residents who have a strong interest in K-12 education. As trustees began to ponder their search for a new leader, they selected an interim superintendent, former Western Nevada College Fallon dean Bus Scharmann, who showed the board the meaning of teamwork and consensus building.
During previous years, we have taken the school board to task for what we called “knee-jerk” reactions; however, in their quest to select the best person for superintendent, trustees listened to the public and their own search committee and chose, whom we hope, a solid candidate to lead Churchill County schools with a vision for the future.
Trustees selected Sandra Sheldon Thursday night, superintendent of the Warden (Washington state) School District after conducting interviews last week of the top three candidates. Although we initially hoped a candidate from Nevada would be stepping in as superintendent, Sheldon is the best fit for the school district.
Sheldon, who brings six years experience as a superintendent, said she seeks a change and challenge, and for that, Churchill County provides both.
Although the “divorce” between Ross and the school board was not unexpected, Ross, though, pushed Churchill County to be one of the leaders in technology, and we hope Sheldon does the same.
Now, Sheldon can also build on the short legacy that Scharmann has left.
More trust has been restored between the superintendent and school board and with the community. No longer has the in-fighting been front-page news; however, Churchill County has been shell-shocked for the past 10 years with two superintendents, so we hope both the community and Sheldon accept each other and are willing to listen to each other.
Trustees represent the people of Churchill County, and they have the obligation to visit the schools, staff and students; likewise, we hope Sheldon regularly visits the schools and classrooms, something her predecessor rarely did. The new superintendent needs to know her staff and support them, both as the community’s educational leader and as their colleague.
Finally, many good programs are in place in all schools, but the public never hears about them. We would like to see Sheldon instill the need for her principals to work better with local media to inform the public of their programs. Positive press provides more dividends to the school district and ensures that bond between the schools and community becomes a model for other districts.
To the school board … you have made great strides since July, and to Sandra Sheldon, we look forward to your tenure with the school district.
Editorials are written by the LVN Editorial Board and appear on Wednesdays.