Fallon Chamber of Commerce’s November luncheon was speaker Churchill County School District Superintendent Derild Parsons, left. Also pictured is Assistant Superintendent Stacey Cooper.
Superintendent Derild Parsons has worked for Churchill County School District since he began student teaching at Northside Elementary in 1999 and chose a career in education because of his first-grade teacher.
“She was somebody I admired,” Parsons said.
During his presentation at the Fallon Chamber of Commerce November luncheon, Parsons explained that students often decide on a career path by seeing an example within their family or community.
“I became a teacher because that was something I'd wanted to do since I was young,” Parsons said. “I'm still very glad for that decision and very glad for that example.”
Parsons said the Career and Technical Education program at Churchill County High School provides opportunities for businesses to get involved through mentorship and by hiring students as interns. Sue Segura, the district’s work-based learning coordinator, assesses student interests and helps them to explore career possibilities. Segura also orchestrates the internship program.
Parsons emphasized that the businesses’ involvement in the schools and the students seeing those examples is very important for their future success. As an example, Parsons mentioned that the walls are going up on the CCHS home construction house on Discovery Drive with students under the instruction of David Dakin of Stillwater Homes. He invited potential employers to contact Segura or see him directly to set up learning experiences of any kind.
CCHS currently has a four-year cohort graduation rate of 86.92%, an increase of 3.32% from last school year and 5.53% higher than the Nevada state average. Parsons said that the goal is always to reach a 100% graduation rate but he’s happy to see progress being made in the right direction.
With an enrollment of 3,423 students in about 3,000 families, Parsons said that CCSD has a significant impact on the community as the largest single entity that can quickly reach a lot of people. A redesign of the district website, currently in progress, will have a new section to list all available resources, including those related to mental health. One such resource will be a rollout of the “Hope Squad” suicide prevention program, which encompasses the schools and the community with its many components.
Churchill County High School junior Jacquelinne Mondragon attends her first meeting as a student representative on the Churchill County School Board of Trustees.
Parsons mentioned capital improvement projects already approved by the school board, including upgrades to the 30-year-old CCHS auditorium and turf to replace the grass on the football fields at CCHS and the middle school. Trustees also recently welcomed CCHS junior Jacquelinne Mondragon as a non-voting member of the board who will bring the students’ perspective to relevant issues.
The superintendent encouraged parents to volunteer in the classrooms or come to work for the district in one of the many job vacancies waiting to be filled.
“If you want to drive a bus, we'll teach you how,” Parsons said.