Nevada Association of School Boards
The Nevada Association of School Boards is a full-qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit Nevada corporation.
President's Message — December 2018
As I begin my year of service as NASB’s President, I am thankful for those who came before me and who extended their welcome to me and helped me grow into an Association leader. All past presidents have influenced me, especially Carolyn Edwards, Irene Chachas, and Chris Miller.
When I look at other local governments and the Congress, it is my opinion that other bodies and organizations are plagued with polarization and political bickering. One of the special aspects of the Nevada Association of School Boards is that school trustees from all political stripes work together, balancing their concerns, to promote learning and achievement for ALL Nevada students.
Like those of you who attended the 2018 NASB Conference, I felt that we had opportunities for inspiration as well as for information. I learned so much from Jeremy Aguero about the history of school funding in Nevada and his analysis of the future of per pupil support. Miranda Beard inspired me as I am sure she inspired you. The student musical groups were dynamic and a good reminder for us that as school trustees the policies we develop impact all areas of the curriculum.
We appreciate all the time, dedication, and commitment from those twenty-nine school trustees who will be departing their positions at the end of the year. Collectively, this group represents 249 years of service to Nevada students and families, educational staff, and their communities. Our school districts are stronger because of the work you have done.
I would be remiss if I did not thank Dr. Dotty Merrill for her thirteen years of service as NASB’s Executive Director. She will retire on December 31. During her years at the Association’s helm, NASB has grown by leaps and bounds. When she arrived in 2006, our corporate sponsorships were below $5,000. In 2018, our corporate cash and in-kind sponsorships have grown to over $52,000. The Association’s financial stability has also grown under Dotty’s leadership. We now have cash reserves of more than $280,000 as well as an annual budget of more than $313,000. Our professional development opportunities for Nevada trustees have increased five-fold and often feature regional or nationally recognized speakers, and Dotty has been skilled in getting these speakers to come to Nevada for far lower fees than they typically charge. Our Executive Committee and Joint Meetings are well-organized, the agendas and related materials reach us in a timely way in advance of the meetings or teleconferences, and the minutes Dotty provides for us are thorough, detailed, and accurate. No sentence fragments or split infinitives.
NASB is now a more professional organization, thanks to Dotty’s vision and labor. Dotty has always made it a priority to reach out to new school trustees and to welcome them to NASB, while forging friendships with everyone. I will especially miss her ability to spot potential school trustee talent and to believe in the development of that talent. She has demonstrated the same ability in finding two extraordinary Business Managers [Bonnie Kraemer and Tom Ciesynski] and three talented Administrative Assistants [Gloria Luongo, Lauretta Young, and Gloria Palmer] who have also served NASB during her years as Executive Director. NASB has benefitted from their collective passion for public education and their willingness to work hard for minimal compensation. And not to be overlooked has been Dotty’s service to NASB over the course of six Sessions of the Nevada Legislature. We will miss her thoughtful public policy perspective and analysis which have benefitted all of our school boards.
And on that note, I wish each of you and your families a happy holiday season and productive 2019. NASB exists to support boards and individual trustees. Please do not hesitate to call me about any issue of concern to you or your school board. Thank you all for all you do each day for the students in the Silver State.