Carson City School District’s incoming superintendent Andrew Feuling long has been open to the possibility of opportunity, a concept he wants to promote as he asks the community to get involved in the schools again.
“I believe when it comes to offering societal improvements to better themselves, fulfill their interests, chase their curiosities – that is so incredibly valuable, I would think everyone would agree with that, right?” Feuling said. “Ultimately, we are about the promise of America in all of these opportunities – I don’t think there is anything more exciting about supporting kids getting down that path.
“That, to me, whatever that looks like, whatever the community wants that to look like, I don’t think there’s anything that excites me more than trying to offer everything we can to our kids to better our future. That is just awesome.”
Carson City’s public school system has been bracing for change for some time, but Feuling thinks of it more as improvement having served as fiscal services director for eight years. Now he’ll assume the seat from current Superintendent Richard Stokes when he retires and lead the district as the top administrator on July 1.
“The biggest change is, now that we have escape velocity from COVID, getting normalcy to school, getting parents back to schools, volunteers to schools, getting schools welcoming again,” Feuling said. “We have to be careful again. It’s strange to call it ‘change,’ but it’s really a return to what we want schools to feel like and be like.”
Feuling credits having a solid mainstay with CCSD since 2014 to guide him going into his first superintendency, but his educational and financial background before his life in Nevada equip him with leadership skills for the job. He formerly worked as an economics and social studies teacher, business manager, principal and school business specialist in Wisconsin before moving to Carson City.
At CCSD, he became director of fiscal services and has maintained oversight of its $160 million budget, payroll, financial services, labor negotiations, capital projects and custodial needs. Trustees, staff and community members have relied on him to provide quick, accurate answers to departmental scenarios during his regular budget presentations. He’s also served as a Little League and Lego Robotics coach, mentoring students on and off the field.
District spokesman Dan Davis says while folks are keen to see a new leader help revolutionize Carson City’s schools, Feuling’s skill set and recollection in recent years gives him a foresight that helps to carry the district forward. Feuling said maintaining relationships would be key to having success from the start.
“If you’re looking to create change that is going to be supported and put into place, if you don’t have those relationships before you go, it’s going to be rough,” he said.
He also hopes to direct that relationship building into essential drivers for the district, such as refreshing the strategic plan and continuing the public Professional Learning Community meetings to receive input on goals and benchmarks.
“We have to establish some of those pieces – what are the plans and how are we going to achieve them, what resources do we have available and clearly monetary resources and staffing resources are important, but we have to be really thoughtful with how are we using those resources and providing them to our kiddos,” he said.
He also has served on various teaching or state committees or panels such as the Sustainable Building Coalition Conference. As CFO, Feuling has provided frequent updates to CCSD’s board on continuing work with the Nevada Commission for School Funding and Pupil Centered Funding Plan. He is also a proud father, stating he has been very satisfied with the education his three children have received at each level in Carson City in the past eight years.
During the school board’s superintendent search, Feuling was selected as one of two finalists for the position in February. His contract with the board was approved during the April 8 meeting in a 7-0 vote. The interview process itself was an opportunity to establish his legislative, business and community reputation in Carson City.
While he is thankful he has developed many positive relationships locally, he hopes he’ll be able to gain the support of Carson’s businesses and organizations for Carson’s educators and students as one of the district’s most visible advocates.
“I have been so impressed over the years over and over again with the level of support within the business community, and the level of support from parents and community members volunteering and working part-time as crossing guards,” Feuling said. “Mr. Stokes has done such an amazing job working to build those kinds of relationships, and I need to establish myself as that new representative of the school district with all of those groups, with our staff, with our community, with our parents and offer that sense of stability.”
But he’s also prepared to navigate the demands Nevada’s job market offers on the instructional side or for operational needs from site to site. The Silver State is limited in producing viable, licensed teachers in the post-COVID era. In 2021, the Nevada System of Higher Education and the Nevada Department of Education partnered to create a task force to fill teacher vacancies occurring due to retirement or other reasons, and Feuling said more workers are needed now to keep districts adequately staffed.
“The state of Nevada, in the entire state last year, had 900 students graduate to become teachers with teaching credentials,” Feuling said. “Clark County by itself needs 2,800. That’s not considering Washoe County. Clearly, the teachers, while critically important, they’re only a part of what we need to operate a school district. That’s a hard place to be when you’re thinking about the long run.”
But Feuling said he feels fortunate to be in Carson and thanks the “stalwarts” of community support, established and newer, who have been or continue to find opportunities to support the district in creative ways.
“People are so involved in the community and wanting to do good things for kids and it’s such a draw to me,” he said. “I’m sure other communities have their people. I’ve gotten to know all of them. It’s really exciting. They all have kids in the schools. I don’t take that lightly at all.”