CCSD trustees a true team, Fernley principal named administrator of the year |

CCSD trustees a true team, Fernley principal named administrator of the year

Aly Lawson
The Churchill County School District Board of Trustees is recognized as the Nevada State Governance Board of the Year by the Nevada Association of School Boards. From left, Dr. Greg Koenig; Kathryn Whitaker; Dr. Sandra Sheldon, district superintendent; Tricia Strasdin; Carmen Schank; Richard Gent and Clay Hendrix (not pictured: Matt Hyde).
Churchill County School District |

For their teamwork and ability to collaborate for a more successful school district, the Churchill County School District Board of Trustees was awarded Governance Board of the Year at the Nevada Association of School Boards Annual Conference on Nov. 19.

The NASB gives this award to recognize the key role boards play when they work hand-in-hand with superintendents and come together with district leaders to improve student achievement across all levels.

“The members of the Board of Trustees respect each other’s differences and come together to create a common focus on student achievement,” said Dr. Sandra Sheldon, CCSD superintendent.

The NASB nomination cited that to be an effective team, board members must be on the same page with each other, then on the same page as the superintendent.

The nomination also said much can be accomplished when team members spend all their efforts working together rather than working on individual agendas.

“It is a pleasure to work with such a professional group of people who care deeply about the academic success of students in Churchill County School District,” Sheldon said. “They also work together to provide oversight of the business of the district, ensuring fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers of Churchill County and the state of Nevada. They are most deserving of this governance award.”

NASB added the CCSD trustees have worked hard to overcome the divisiveness that had existed for some time.

Now, they said, board members are finally on the same team, working together to accomplish goals and move forward. NASB also noted the new collaboration within the board has fostered trust with school district and community members.

Rob Jacobson, principal of Fernley Intermediate School in Lyon County School District for five years, was recognized as well with the Administrator of the Year Award.

Jacobson has been with LCSD for 26 years including teaching at Fernley Elementary School and administration at Silver Stage Middle School.

NASB reported that he has been a source of increased test results, instructional leadership, district trust and positivity in the Fernley community.

He has pioneered local events including a 9/11 memorial, Veterans Day celebration and a Special Olympics gathering that brings 500 students from northern Nevada together.

He also initiated a gathering when he and his dean of students, Paul Sullivan, talk to the student body about the benefits of working hard, being good citizens, helping others, celebrating successes and always doing their best.

“As a mentor, Rob has shown me the importance of clear and effective communication, going above and beyond expectations, being visible and willing to jump into roles when needed,” Sullivan said when supporting Jacobson’s nomination. “He is definitely a kids-first leader and supports his staff professionally and personally. Rob is true in his convictions.”

Sullivan added Jacobson has gone as far as providing dog treats for a student’s pet and has played a game or two of cribbage with students.

He said the principal’s involvement is evident when one walks on campus.

“Rob seems to know the brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents and cousins of almost all of our students,” he said.

FIS Principal Pam Martinez said in her nomination insight that Jacobson’s rapport with families and students is huge in terms of his success as an outstanding school leader.

“He’s transparent with everyone and is quick to admit if he makes a mistake,” she said. “Also students are excited to share their successes and frequently visit his office. Rob will immediately call the parent with the student and celebrate their successes. He is always willing to give away his personal cellphone number to any parent or student. I can’t imagine what it would be like without Rob around here.”