School board seats new members, leadership
The Carson City School District welcomes two new school board members: Lupe Ramirez, District 1, and Richard Varner, District 4. Ramirez and Varner were accompanied by Stacie Wilke-McCulloch, District 3, and Don Carine, District 6, at the Carson City Court House Monday as all four took their oaths of office and were sworn in. Wilke-McCulloch was sworn in for her third term and Carine, who was appointed in 2017, was also sworn in for his first term. It is anticipated that each elected official will serve a four-year term as trustees on the Carson City School Board.
Additionally, at the first school board meeting of the year Tuesday, Jan. 8, Stacie Wilke-McCulloch was named the newest president of the Carson City School District Board of Trustees. She replaced former President Ron Swirczek, District 1, as the school board’s leader. Trustees Mike Walker and Don Carine were also elected vice president and clerk, respectively. Walker replaced former Vice President Wilke-McCulloch and Carine replaced former Clerk Walker. Each of the three leaders will serve one-year terms on the Carson City School Board.
Ramirez earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Western Governors University and an associate’s degree in Applied Science from Western Nevada College (WNC). In addition to her responsibilities on the school board, she maintains her position as the Latino Outreach Coordinator at WNC. She has also served as a member of the Carson City Cultural Commission since 2017.
Her professional employment and new position on the school board not only establishes her as a liaison for the Latino community, but it will also provide her with the opportunity to connect with an underserved population and help guide them through high school and college degree completion. She also has a daughter currently enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) who attended Fritsch Elementary, Carson Middle and Carson High Schools.
Varner has resided in Nevada since 1960, graduating from Yerington High School. He served two tours in Vietnam as a crew chief on a helicopter gun ship and later spent 41 years in law enforcement. He maintains more than 30 years supervisory and management experience. He earned a degree in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy.
He began his career as a Deputy for the Lyon County Sherriff’s Department before joining the Nevada Department of Public Safety (DPS) Investigation Division where he worked as a narcotic investigator, narcotic task force supervisor and supervisor of the Major Crimes Unit along with numerous other positions. During his 27-year tenure at DPS, he also served as a Deputy Chief of the Investigation Division, Deputy Chief of Parole and Probation Division and retired as a Major at the Nevada Highway Patrol. After retiring from the DPS, he served nine years as the Chief of Police for the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.
He has had the pleasure of serving as a member of the Governor’s Crime Commission and the Attorney General’s Methamphetamine Task Force. He has also served as the president of the Nevada Association of the FBI National Academy Associates and served four years as the president of the Nevada Tribal Police Chief’s Association and two years as the vice president of the California Tribal Police Chief’s Association. He and his wife have four sons and eight grandchildren, four of which currently attend Carson City schools.
Wilke-McCulloch, a 1983 Carson High School graduate, served on the board from 1998-2002. She was reappointed to the board in 2009 and served as president in 2014. She is the proud mother of three, all of which graduated from the Carson City school system. She has served on various PTAs in many capacities, Children’s Museum board, Food for Thought board, Carson City Parks and Recreation board and Carson City Pop Warner. In 2017, she was awarded the Executive Director’s award for her service on the Legislative Advisory Committee during the 2017 session. Wilke-McCulloch is also serving on the Governor’s Council for Family Engagement and representing Region 2 on the NIAA Board of Control.
Wilke-McCulloch was a member of the NASB School Board of the Year, 2013, awarded to the Carson City School District Board of Trustees for the consistent use and development of skills and programs focused on board-superintendent cooperation and teamwork to improve student achievement.
This past November, The Nevada Association of School Boards (NASB) recognized the 2017-2018 NASB President and Carson City School District Board Trustee Stacie Wilke-McCulloch for her dedicated service to NASB over the course of the last year and for her vision in moving the association toward greater achievement of its strategic goals.
Walker was elected to the board in 2016. He earned an Ed. S. in school administration, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Elementary Education from UNR, and an associate’s degree from Truckee Meadows Community College.
He taught third grade at Seeliger Elementary for 7 years and worked as a school administrator at Carson Middle School and Fritsch Elementary for 5 years. He then served as an Education Programs Professional in the Nevada Department of Education as the State Coordinator of Education for Homeless Children and Youth and a Title I program manager for 2 years. He is the current principal of Sutro Elementary School in Dayton and is the president of the Board of Directors of Food for Thought, a local non-profit organization that provides meals for impoverished students in Carson City through a backpack and summer foods program. While teaching at Seeliger, he was also voted Carson City’s Favorite Teacher in the Nevada Appeal Reader’s Poll.
Carine earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Loyola University of Chicago. He has served as the marketing communication manager for Hamilton Company in Reno for more than 10 years. He served more than three years on the Parent Teacher Organization board at Seeliger Elementary School and as the President and Treasurer for the Carson City Band Association, a booster group for music programs in Carson City. He has two children, both products of the Carson City School District, one of which is currently enrolled at UNR.
In 2017, the board of trustees (including Carine, Wilke-McCulloch and Walker) and Superintendent Richard Stokes were recognized and awarded Governance Team of the Year by NASB.