The Nevada Association of School Boards recently recognized the achievements and contributions of individuals who have contributed to education in the Silver State.
The NASB honored Fallon’s Debra Shyne, Phyllis Dowd and Richard Evans at their annual conference in Las Vegas.
The School Board Administrative Assistant of the Year award was presented to Shyne. As the Churchill County School District’s executive secretary, she serves both the trustees and superintendent.
Superintendent Summer Stephens said Shyne is the central nervous system of the district office.
“She keeps things going with both the board and leadership,” Stephens said. “She works tirelessly for the school district.”
According to the nomination narrative provided by the CCSD, “She excels in her responsibilities with ease and efficiency. She is highly organized, intelligent, dependable, trustworthy and has exceptional technical knowledge and skills with computers —our very own tech guru.”
Shyne covers a variety of meetings — school board, superintendent, leadership training, negotiations and policymaking and also provides research and technical support.
“Her job is demanding and stressful, but you would never know it to observe her,” the nomination stated.
Dowd received the District Level Administrator Impacting Student Achievement award.
“In addition to her expertise in education fiscal management, she fully understands the importance of being involved with legislative affairs,” reads the nomination, which was submitted by the CCSD trustees. “She provides input to the Legislative Committee on Education and shares with school trustees information from the committee for their consideration and possible input to our political representatives in the Nevada Legislature.”
Dowd has been involved with the Association of Government Accountants and the Government Financial Officers Association. Locally, Dowd has been recognized for her sound budgeting for the CCSD. The nomination also noted her input to the Legislative Committee on Education and how she shares the information with trustees for their possible input to their legislative representatives.
Stephens said Dowd has shown the ability to work with multiple agencies and the legislature.
“She ensures Churchill County’s voice is heard,” Stephens said, adding Dowd has the school district’s budget in the black and does the best for the children. “She also has a background in the business world and in the schools.”
Evans, who recently retired as a teacher from CCSD after a 29-year career, received the School District Employee Making a Difference award. During his career, he created the automotive technology program, which has been recognized as flagship program for other high schools. His students won dozens of awards at both the state and national levels.
“Rich was a student in CTE (Career and Technical Education) and built a great auto program,” said Kevin Lords, former CCHS principal who’s now the Human Resources director. “His kids performed very well, and he helped bridge the gap between the skills they received to the workforce, a technical school or college.”
Lords said many of Evans’ students received scholarships to attend Great Basin College to further their careers.
“While many auto instructors in Nevada and across the nation hand-picked their competition teams and trained them over a year or more, he believed that he needed to prepare every student as if he or she would be competing,” the nomination from the CCSD trustees read. “Teams were selected based on a written knowledge exam. He trained his teams on his own, unpaid time, believing it would be unfair to the other students to train the teams during class instruction time.”
Evans believed in teaching life’s lessons in his classes. His teaching in non-automotive classes included balancing a checkbook, making a budget, amortizing a loan and other general life skills.
Stephens said the three award winners are appreciative of the honors bestowed on them.
The NASB elected new officers for 2018-2019 to include president, Bob Burnham, Eureka County School District; president elect, Bridget Peterson, Lyon County School District; vice president, Laurel Crossman, Carson City School District; and legislative chair, Kathryn Whitaker, Churchill County School District.
Three trustees from CCSD were recognized for completing the Certified Public Official program: Whitaker, Phil Pinder and Matt Hyde.