History of NASB
The Nevada Association of School Boards is dedicated to strengthening public schools through local citizen control. Established in 1963, the organization observed its 56th birthday in 2019. The Association was officially launched by Thomas T. Tucker, Jr., and representatives from all seventeen Nevada school districts.
The purpose of the Association as stated in the filing of the corporation papers on May 31, 1963, was to
“organize solely for the advancement of civic activities in the State of Nevada and the counties thereof. This corporation is formed for the purpose of coordination of programs and procedures pertaining to policy organization and administration of the several school districts in the State of Nevada. Constant improvement of public school education in the State of Nevada; Closer cooperation among the Boards of Trustees of the several school districts of the State of Nevada; and Obtaining information for and providing assistance individually to the Boards of Trustees and the members thereof.”
The Association was initially named the “Nevada School Trustee Association” and was housed at the University of Nevada in room 204 of the R.C. Thompson Building.
The Association also changed its name to the “Nevada State School Boards Association” on October 13, 1972, and on March 18, 1986, the Association became known as the “Nevada Association of School Boards.”
Much has changed in the last 56 years. Today the Association’s Bylaws place governance in the hands of an Executive Committee, comprised of President, President-Elect, Vice President, Legislative chairman, and Immediate Past President and Past Presidents as well as a representative from Washoe County School District Representatives from each of the seventeen school districts serve on the NASB Board of Directors. Today, 100% of the school boards hold active membership and support the work of the Association through annual dues. Corporate friends of the Association also contribute to activities provided for member school boards.
The Association is recognized as a 501 (c) (3) not for profit education association by the Internal Revenue Service.
NASB focuses upon three primary strategies to accomplish its mission—Advocacy, Boardsmanship, and Communication.
It should be noted that the benefit of the NASB’s advocacy efforts for local school board members varies according to the size of the district. NASB works in conjunction with local school boards to assist in their own advocacy work. For the two largest school districts, NASB strives to complement and support their advocacy endeavors.
The main benefit, however, is the voice that NASB provides on behalf of its membership. While each school board is entitled and encouraged to develop and promote a legislative agenda that will best serve its students, NASB has the responsibility of representing all seventeen local school boards. Frequently, this gives NASB the opportunity to advocate on behalf of both general and district-specific issues in a credible and non-partisan way.
Public education governance is an important but challenging responsibility because the system and the goal are complex. Effective governance—governance that leads to improved student achievement—requires specific knowledge, skills, and attributes.
Through annual conferences, regional conferences, new board member workshops, and cooperative development opportunities with other organizations (such as NASS, NACO, NLOC, NASA, etc.) the Association strives to meet the needs of its members. As NASB continues to develop as an organization, both the frequency and the diversity of these training opportunities will increase.
As with any education endeavor, members derive a benefit according to the level of their participation. Along with the knowledge, skills, and attributes that are developed, honed, or introduced through NASB training, many local school board members value the opportunity to meet and network with their fellow school members throughout Nevada. Frequently, the main benefit of training, workshops, and conferences is the venue that is provided for individual board members to share with one another best practices and common concerns. On evaluation forms for the Annual Conference, a number of school board members indicated that attendance was worthwhile precisely because of such camaraderie.
NASB consistently works to create a framework that fosters communication among and between local school boards and the Association. Through NASB Executive Committee and Board of Director meetings, teleconferences, general membership meetings, mailings, email messages, and other means, NASB members are kept abreast of current and developing issues and Association activities.
In spite of the Association’s limited staff, members and others are assisted in a timely manner in response to requests for research and/or information on a variety of issues, including governance and legislative topics, publications, meeting arrangements and attendance, and mediation or negotiation.