Retiring Lyon Co. school superintendent plans to stay involved

Wayne Workman, Lyon County School District’s superintendent, left, and Lyon County School Board President Phil Cowee, right, present diplomas at Dayton High School’s graduation June 13, 2024.

Wayne Workman, Lyon County School District’s superintendent, left, and Lyon County School Board President Phil Cowee, right, present diplomas at Dayton High School’s graduation June 13, 2024.
Photo by Jessica Garcia.

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Since entering Lyon County School District as Dayton High School’s assistant principal and athletic director in 2006, Wayne Workman said he always has known its staff members and students to be generous and kind. The educators keep their focus on students’ interests, and he’s appreciated that about everyone in any capacity.

Now that he’s stepped down as superintendent, he says he will look for ways to continue supporting the district’s mission to give students whatever they need in a new way. But at heart, Workman feels his passion is to be an educator and mentor for students first.

“I think, for one, I do feel like I’ve considered myself an educator,” he told the Appeal. “And I really tried to emphasize that all of our staff members, regardless of their position, are all educators from bus drivers to our secretaries and maintenance and teachers because everything we do, every action, every example that we set is always looked at by our kids and families and community members.”

Workman announced his resignation in October due to personal reasons. He said he does not intend to retire but looks forward to contributing a few more years into Nevada’s Public Employees’ Retirement System and would seek opportunities without rushing into anything soon. His wife continues tutoring youth and would return to teaching the second grade at Dayton Elementary School.

“I’m excited with her doing that again and getting involved with the kids,” he said. “And hopefully I can find something that’s still connected with the schools because I love them so much. I’m trying to keep my options open and do what’s best for my family.”

Workman, who has a master’s degree in educational leadership, previously worked in Utah’s Box Elder School District as a health and sports medicine teacher and coached for eight years before coming to Nevada. He was then hired at Dayton High School as an assistant principal in 2006 and served as principal for three years. He moved up in LCSD’s administration as human resources director for one year and became deputy superintendent before taking the role as superintendent in 2015. Workman told the Appeal he’s eager to be a first-time grandfather in August.

“I feel like (Lyon)’s such an amazing place to work,” he said. “All of my kids have gone through the system and I love everything about it. Everybody stays connected.”

New Superintendent Tim Logan previously served as the district’s deputy superintendent and was appointed by the board in November to succeed Workman. Logan said Workman’s legacy is in his ability to encourage students to pursue their potential. He’s also established a rapport in nine years amongst district administrators who generally only stay in the top position for an average of two years, according to Logan.

“I think his strength came from having a strong purpose and knowledge that all students have so much to offer and that we need to believe that they will make a difference in the future,” Logan said. “He truly sees the purpose and value of all kids. He will be missed as superintendent, but I know that whatever he does next in his career that he will give 100% as that is all he knows how to do.”

As for the future of the LCSD, Workman reflected on years of working with the school board members, many of whom he had developed personal relationships with or gained respect for in seeking out what was best for kids, he said.

LCSD Board President Phil Cowee, who was a co-worker and later and employee of Workman before running for the school board, thanked him for guiding the district during COVID-19.

“He is well respected throughout the state and led this district masterfully during the pandemic and later during the recovery,” Cowee said. “I have visited many schools with Mr. Workman and seen firsthand the lasting impact he has had on so many fine educators and students that we have in Lyon County School District.”

Workman said in education, there’s always room for improvement and one of the challenges can be achieving agreement when advocating for students, staffing or programs, and that often has presented tough conversations at the state level through the Legislature.

“One of the things I do appreciate with the Legislature — you can see clearly people want to take a different path or different means of getting somewhere,” Workman said. “Everybody wants the best for kids. I don’t think anyone is trying to sabotage kids or make things difficult when making decisions.”

He said he’s personally enjoyed investing time into developing relationships at those higher levels with local or state leaders to help explain the needs students and staff members have to ensure success in the classrooms. During May’s board meeting, Workman presented a list of accomplishments the district achieved under his supervision encompassing student learning services, capital projects or facilities and district goals. The achievements vary from graduation increases to community partnership additions and new equipment upgrades.

For Workman, focusing on improving Lyon’s Career and Technical Education pathway, JumpStart programs or offering work-based learning opportunities at the middle or high school levels with its Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES) lab were often the more rewarding opportunities to show the district staff’s capabilities to align with Gov. Joe Lombardo’s “Acing Accountability” initiative. The call for improved accountability metrics was announced last year and provided $2.6 billion in the state’s K-12 education budget to strengthen learning outcomes.

“I’ll always say there’s room to improve, and we have a renewed focus on work-based learning with JumpStart,” Workman said. “That, I’m really excited for. Even our elementary students are going to have increased opportunities for work-based learning in their education.”

Workman said he was thankful to serve as Lyon’s superintendent.

“(I’d) just (give) my sincerest gratitude to educators everywhere, certainly in the LCSD but across the state, whatever their role in the districts,” he said. “These people literally are miracle workers. They do the work that changes lives and impacts families. … There are billions of other stories that go untold from school personnel and children and families’ lives. I want them to know how important their role is.”


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