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Principal candidates to interview this week

TERI VANCE

Out of a pool of 12 applicants from across the country, the selection for the potential principal of Carson High School has been narrowed to five.

Those candidates will be interviewed Wednesday, and finalists will be invited to a second interview Thursday.

The successful applicant will replace Glen Adair, who is retiring in June after serving as principal for 12 years. Here’s a look at the five:

FRED PERDOMO

Nevada’s vice principal of the year for 2003 is a contender for principal of Carson High School this year.

“It was a difficult decision for me,” said Fred Perdomo. “It took about two weeks to think it through. But I received a lot of encouragement from students and staff and that was really the deciding factor.”

Perdomo, 57, has worked at Carson High for more than 30 years, the last three as vice principal. He spent nine years as a world history teacher, 11 as a special education teacher and nine as dean of students.

His experience would give him the advantage if hired, he said.

“It’s a tremendous learning curve to know the staff and the programs in place,” he said. “I know the strengths of the school and the weaknesses and what we need to do to be successful.”

Serving as principal would be the culminating point of his career.

“It would be an honor to be the principal of this school. It’s a great school and has a great tradition.”

His wife, Christine, is vice-principal of Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School in Gardnerville Ranchos and they have two children, Ricky and Katie.

FLORINDO “FERD” MARIANI

Florindo “Ferd” Mariani has worked in all levels of school administration in Carson City.

After beginning his career as an English teacher at Eagle Valley Middle School in 1982, he went on to teach at Carson High School for nine years, then was promoted to dean.

After two years, he was hired as vice principal of Carson Middle School, then served as acting principal of Empire Elementary School for a year before taking the job as principal of EVMS, where he has served for the last four years.

“My experience at all the levels is paramount to understanding the pulse and culture of the community,” he said. “I have a sense of what parents and community members want out of the high school and that is to continue to make it great.”

Mariani, 44, said he owes it to himself and the students to apply for the job.

“It’s something that’s always been in the back of my mind,” he said. “I think it would be wonderful to continue to work with the students and teachers I’ve built relationships with.”

He said the principal will have to “maintain a delicate balance between creating equity while maintaining high standards.”

“It will be a monumental task to replace somebody like Mr. Adair,” he said. “I wouldn’t claim to be able to do that but somebody has to. I think I’m qualified as the person to take that lead.”

He is married to Shari, who works in the Carson High School guidance office, and they have a sixth-grade son, Dominic.

NANCY EVANS

When it comes to the federal No Child Left Behind program, Nancy Evans is a seasoned professional.

“I dealt with it on a state level,” she explained. “Texas was really a starter kit for that legislation.”

After serving as a school administrator in Texas for 22 years, Evans, 55, retired in June.

She moved to Carson City nine months ago and was intrigued when she learned the high school was searching for a new principal.

“A lot of the challenges here are the same as we had in Austin as far as bringing the community together,” she said. “It’s a different location but the same issues.”

Her experience with aligning state standards will benefit Carson City, she said.

“The ‘what’ is answered,” she explained. “The teachers know exactly what they’re going to teach. The creativity comes with how their going to teach it.”

And she would be eager to return to the school setting.

“I love being around young people,” she said. “It would be really interesting and really challenging.”

She and her husband, Bob, have three grown children.

CRAIG HILL

Education has always been the center of Craig Hill’s life.

“My grandmother taught in a one-room schoolhouse in South Dakota,” he explained. “In my family, we value education a great deal.

“Even when I went to law school, the idea was to go back and get a doctorate in education.”

Hill, 50, began teaching journalism, English and American history in the Omaha (Neb.) Public School District while also coaching varsity swimming and other sports.

He moved to administration in 1984, including three years in Germany. For the last four years, he has been the vice principal at Cimarron Memorial High School in Las Vegas.

“My entire career has been focused on one thing: Providing an education for all students to be lifelong learners.”

His next goal is to serve as principal. He said Carson City is the only area he would consider outside of Las Vegas.

“I was immediately drawn to it,” he said. “It’s a school of high-quality leadership in a district that values quality education.”

He and his wife, Rene, will celebrate their three-year anniversary in July.

DEBORAH WATTS

Serving the last two years as principal of all schools from kindergarten through 12th grade in Round Mountain has prepared Deborah Watts for the task of managing Carson High School.

“There’s a lot of different responsibilities when you’re the only principal,” she said. “I really have to be up on everything that’s going on in all areas.”

Watts, 52, became familiar with Carson High School while a member of the Northwest Accreditation team, which gave the school an “excellent” rating.

“They’re doing a good job there,” she said.

She started her career as an English teacher in Ohio for five years, then taught in Colorado for nine years, before moving to Tonopah and teaching for seven years.

“‘I’ve wanted to be a teacher from the time I could first remember,” she said. “I loved being in school and I wanted to be a teacher.

She became principal of the junior/senior high four years ago, then took over all grades two years later.

“I felt I could be more of an influence,” she said. “As a principal, I can have an effect on the whole school, not just my classroom.”

Her husband, Daniel, is retired.

Contact Teri Vance at tvance@nevadaappeal.com or at 881-1272.