Incoming school chief sets right vision for district

Incoming Carson City Schools Superintendent Richard Stokes would probably have preferred being hired under more perfect circumstances, namely:

• The state wasn't under the tightening grip of a budget crisis that threatens to impact the quality of education the district can offer.

• The district's enrollment wasn't declining.

• And that his hiring wasn't the subject of controversy, not because of his qualifications, but because some believed the district should have interviewed more people to ensure it was getting the best candidate.

Perfect circumstances? No, but it's worth noting that even those who wanted to hear from more candidates before the hire was made spoke highly of him, and he was a teacher and a superintendent elsewhere before coming to Carson City in 2001.

And while we like what we've heard so far from Stokes, what we like above all else is that his four children are attending three different schools in the district. That means that the decisions he makes as a superintendent will be done through the eyes of a parent who will do what's best for his children's education.

The goals he's set forth are admirable: Continued academic improvement, staff retention, being open to the community, financial integrity and maintenance of the schools. In fact, he stated an intent to make the district the flagship of the state.

The district does not need an apologist ... it's doing a great deal of things very well under the constraints it's under from not only budgetary issues, but from requirements imposed by the No Child Left Behind Act and from the challenges that come from the sheer diversity of the students it serves.

Thanks in part to his predecessor, the district has managed to show improvement in the face of those challenges and if he can continue that, the district will have made a great hire.

• This editorial represents the view of the Nevada Appeal Editorial Board.


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