School Board names four finalists to be district’s next Superintendent

The Churchill County School District Board of Trustees has selected four finalists for the District’s next Superintendent.

The Board conducted nine interviews from an applicant field of 26 candidates before making these selections.

Trustees will now begin thorough background and reference checks for these finalists.

While the background and reference checks are underway, the board will bring the finalists to the district for an opportunity to meet with staff and community on Thursday from 3:15 to 4:15 at the District Office, East and West Conference Rooms, 690 South Maine St.

The board also will conduct a second interview with each finalist later that evening to finish the visit.

After the interviews the board will discuss and take action on next steps in the superintendent search, including possibly choosing a final candidate.

W. Derild Parsons

Derild Parsons is the director of Special Services for the Churchill County School District serving approximately 3,400 students. He has served in this role since 2016.

Before assuming this position, Parsons was Dean of Students for four years at Churchill County High School.

His teaching experience includes 11 years at the 6th grade level and as a special education teacher.

Parsons has a master of education degree in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University and a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Elementary Education from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Marion J. Smith, Jr.

Since 2015 Marion Smith, Jr. has been the Regional Director, K-12 Learning, Leadership & Student Success at the Puget Sound Educational Service District in Renton, Washington.

Puget Sound ESD is a regional education service agency serving 420,000 students and 35 school districts in their region.

He was also an elementary principal for Seattle Public Schools for 4 years.

Other education experience includes 2 years as a middle school dean of students and 6 years as a teacher in Clark County School District in Las Vegas.

He is also an associate faculty member in the masters in Teaching Program at City University in Seattle.

Smith, Jr. has a doctor of education degree in Educational Leadership & Change from Fielding Graduate University and a master of arts in Education Administration & Supervision from the University of Phoenix, Las Vegas campus.

Additionally, Smith earned post doctoral study certifications in Executive Leadership from Seattle University and was an inaugural cohort member of The School Superintendents Association (AASA) / University of Southern California (USC) Urban Superintendents Academy.

Summer E. Stephens

For the past 6 years, Summer Stephens has been the Superintendent and Curriculum Director for Weston County School District No. 7 in Upton, Wyoming serving an enrollment of 265 students. Before becoming a superintendent, she was the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment at Beatrice Public Schools in Beatrice, Nebraska for 6 years.

She spent 6 years as high school teacher in Nebraska.

Stephens has a Doctor of Education degree in Education Administration from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Doane College.

Risha A. VanderWey

Risha VanderWey has served as the County Superintendent for the Coconino County Office of Education in Flagstaff, Arizona since 2014.

The regional educational services agency provides services to the 14,000 students in the school districts in her region. Before election as County Superintendent, she was an elementary principal in the Page Unified School District in Page, Arizona for 3 years. Other former education employers include Flagstaff Unified School District as a technology coach, trainer and an elementary teacher for several years.

She worked one year at the Arizona Department of Education implementing a comprehensive system of personnel development for a systemic change in reading. VanderWey is working on completion for a Doctor in Education degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and has a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership also from Northern Arizona University.


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