By Sharon Snell

Jeff Nevin, Board President, opened the meeting at 5pm. Other Board members present were Gary Hames and Dawn Miller. Colleen Conley was excused from attending.

Today’s agenda placed an interview with prospective new Board member Tom Thompson as the first order of business. Mr. Thompson and family live in the Mark Twain area. His was the only application received by the Board to fill the spot left by Melissa Field’s resignation.  He answered questions relating to Board business and responsibilities. He said he was interested in being a Board member because he has a son in the District and cares about being involved in his education and activities. Upon completion of the interview, Mr. Thompson was told that the Board would be acting on the decision to appoint later in the meeting.

Consent items were quickly approved. The complete Board packet can be found on the Storey County School District website in the dropdown menu under Community and School Board.

The meeting moved to Superintendent and Board member reports. Superintendent Todd Hess was happy to report that a large grant had been awarded to the District, $150,000 for project “Lead the Way.” The benefit of this grant will allow for cutting edge education and training for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills. These skills are needed for future job preparation, especially for students who may be interested in working with businesses such as those found in TRIC (Tahoe Reno Industrial Center).  All District students will have laptops, which can go home with them. VC High School will be getting a real computer lab that according to Todd “will rival any.” Very good news for our little District!  Todd also reported Barnes and Noble is donating $5000 to Hillside Elementary for books. Wow!

Both Todd and Dawn Miller reported on positive experiences at this year’s National School Board Conference in San Antonio. Dawn was impressed with a program called Living Tree.  This program can be linked with District technology and facilitates teacher-parent-student communications securely. Sounds promising!

Gary Hames congratulated the middle school girls’ 8th grade volleyball team on their championship season. Jeff Nevin reported that he had been approached by an adult who is interested in giving a presentation to the Board about jobs in the skilled trades sector.

Going on to New Business, a Gallagher 4th grade field trip to Great Basin Naturalists was approved; Tom Thompson was appointed the new school Board member until Dec. 31, 2018. (Tom is running unopposed on the June ballot to be elected to complete Melissa’s term ending Dec. 2020.); Jeff Nevin was elected to be the Board representative to the 4th Ward School Museum Board for 2018; the tentative budget for 2018-2019 was approved; the Superintendent’s annual evaluation was reported and accepted.

There was little discussion on any of these actions, except for the Superintendent’s evaluation. Each Board member completed the evaluation form and results were compiled by Jeff Nevin. He stated the submitted forms indicated Supt. Hess far exceeded or consistently met expectations in all goal areas. He was especially singled out for the District’s technology improvements and his open lines of communication with parents, school personnel, Board members and the community. Todd’s goals center on student achievement and career readiness, District safety and security, creating partnerships, and expenditures. The form was refined this year to link goals with more measurable outcomes. It was agreed to continue refining the evaluation form with regard to better clarity and specificity. The form is definitely improved! A work in progress!!

Next Board meeting will be in the VCHS Training Room on May 9th. It will be a Workshop starting at 1pm. The budget and other topics will be discussed. As with all Board meetings, this workshop is open to the public.

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