photo of Rick Harris on blue background

Yesterday was the completion of my first month as your new Executive Director. Although the learning curve is steep, the work has been meaningful and important. The days have been filled with a wide range of activities and tasks. I want to thank our interim Executive Director, Tom Ciesynski and current president, Kathryn Whitaker for assisting me with guidance during this transition. They have been available and extremely supportive. I also appreciate and value the time I spent with our incoming president, Nicole Bengochea at the 2022 Summer Leadership Seminar.

A real positive highlight last month included attending the August 9th Lander County School Board meeting. It was wonderful to meet all the Trustees and observe their meeting.

We are currently updating and improving our website. This will be an ongoing process. If you have any suggestions, please email me.

The area that I believe needs our immediate attention is our training program. As you may know, for years the University of Nevada, Reno Extended Studies has provided a Certified Public Officials training framework, record keeping, and general support. The University is going in a new direction with their program and the primary focus will be on Cities and Municipalities. They are currently in the process of building the program and will attempt to start it in December. We will still have the option of attending their trainings. However, I will be recommending to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors at our next meeting to take this opportunity to create our own program that focuses specifically on School Boar Leadership. The heart of the new proposed program would include the required Nevada Revised Statute 386.327 (Required Professional Development for Trustees). I have been researching successful programs based in Utah, California, Oregon, and Alaska. I believe we can build a dynamic, robust program that is flexible and provides options to our members.

I look forward to my first meeting with the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors on September 9 and the training for those who attend on September 10 at the Tuscany Suites in Las Vegas. I hope you all can attend the Annual Conference at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe on November 11-12 with meetings and New Trustee Orientation on November 10. We have an exciting program for you.

In closing, I would like to say I’m thankful for the position and look forward to continuing all the positive things we do and developing new opportunities for our members.

Rick Harris