McKenna named school board president |

McKenna named school board president

by Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer

In 10 years, John McKenna has served on the Carson City School Board, worked with four different superintendents, and seen one school bond fail and two others pass.

He took part in the redistricting of boundaries for each school site and helped prepare and implement the plan to put Fremont Elementary School on a multi-track schedule.

“I’ve been through all the fun stuff,” he said.

He was president of the board in 1996, and chosen by fellow trustees to serve in that position again this year.

“I like the work of educating kids,” he said. “It makes life better for everybody in the county. I like making sure government runs correctly.”

He said the biggest challenge facing schools this year is financial constraints. And with Tuesday’s news that Kmart’s Carson City store will close, he foresees even more difficult times.

“Like any family, we need to look at what we’re doing and cut back on the frills,” he said. “We need to make sure we’re doing the best possible job as efficiently and economically as possible.”

But he wants to balance the financial squeeze with adequate pay for teachers.

“At the same time, we need to stand up for our staff so that we can retain qualified teachers and motivate them to do the best job possible,” he said.

McKenna will replace Bob Crowell, last year’s president.

The president has added responsibilities such as running meetings, setting agendas, and working as press liaison.

Although McKenna, a certified public accountant, is working to expand his practice, he said he is willing to put forth the extra effort.

“It’s not like it’s an 8-to-5 job, what I do,” he said. “I can set my own schedule. It’s very flexible.”

Also at the meeting:

— Board members voted to adopt a graduation policy which prohibits students who do not pass the proficiency exam from participating in commencement exercises.

— Trustees ratified a contract with the Ormsby County Educators Association, giving teachers a 2.5 percent raise in the 2002-2003 school year.

— Board members approved the selection of Miles Brothers Construction, Inc. to oversee the addition to Bordewich-Bray Elementary School as construction manager.

— Associate superintendent Mike Watty explained that 131 Carson High School students still need to pass the math portion of the proficiency exam in February in order to graduate in June.