Awards from NASB Conference

District Hauls in Awards and Positions
Posted on 11/20/2018
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The Carson City School District was a point of highlight at the Nevada Association of School Boards (NASB) Annual Conference this past Saturday, Nov. 17, in Las Vegas. Once a year, NASB recognizes the achievements and contributions of school boards, school trustees, teachers, administrators, educational advocates and others from across the state of Nevada. Additionally, the association elected new officers for 2018-2019. The Carson City School District hauled in nearly a quarter of the awards (5 out of 19) among the 17 districts statewide. Additionally, two Carson City School Board trustees were recognized for their service and achievements in their roles as NASB elected officers.

School Board Trustee Laurel Crossman was honored as the state’s Director of the Year; Sarah Lobsinger, Carson High School (CHS) implementation specialist, and Jennifer Chandler, CHS American Government teacher, were recognized as Nevada’s Innovative Educators of the Year for their effort in coordinating the dual-credit introductory education course EDU 110; Phil Brady, CHS English and Journalism teacher, was honored with the state’s Media Award for Outstanding Education Reporting in a Print Journalism Format for his weekly feature article called “Senator Square;” and Michelle Lewis, recently retired CHS school administrator, was recognized as Nevada’s School Administrator of the Year.

The association also recognized the 2017-2018 NASB President and Carson City School District Board Trustee Stacie Wilke-McCulloch for her dedicated service to NASB over the course of the last year and for her vision in moving the association toward greater achievement of its strategic goals.

Additionally, the association recognized thirty-one departing school trustees from across Nevada with combined service totaling 252 years. Each departing school trustee received certificates of recognition from Senators Cortez Masto and Heller together with a certificate from NASB. Trustees Ron Swirczek and Ryan Green were recognized from the Carson City School Board.

Nine individuals were recognized for completion of the Certified Public Official (CPO) Program. Created by Extended Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno in partnership with the Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities, Nevada Association of Counties and Nevada Association of School Boards, the CPO Program is an in-depth series that provides diverse resources for educational and professional development responsive to the changing needs of elected and appointed officials in public office throughout Nevada. In addition to completion of required modules in areas ranging from budgets and ethics to employment law, fifty-two additional units are required in leadership and governance, community development, and other subjects designed to enhance effective governance. Laurel Crossman with the Carson City School District Board of Trustees was one of the nine recognized for this achievement.

To close out the evening, The Association elected four new officers for 2018-2019:

  • President—Bob Burnham, Eureka County School District
  • President Elect— Bridget Peterson, Lyon County School District
  • Vice President— Laurel Crossman, Carson City School District
  • Legislative Chair—Kathryn Whitaker, Churchill County School District.

Also of note was the recognition for the Governance Team of the Year awarded to the Lyon County School District Board of Trustees and Superintendent Wayne Workman. The award recognizes the vital role of local boards working hand in hand with superintendents and collaborating with district leaders to improve student achievement across all levels. The winning governance team was nominated by the Carson City School District Board of Trustees. The Carson City School District Board of Trustees and Superintendent Richard Stokes were honored with the award last year.

The Director of the Year Award recognizes the consistent, effective communication skills demonstrated during meetings of the NASB Board of Directors as well as promotion of leadership skills and strategies for recognizing and rewarding student, administrator, educational staff, school, and district achievement. Crossman was nominated by the Carson City and Lyon County School District Boards of Trustees.

As with all of her NASB duties, Crossman has approached her Director’s assignment with the intent of fully representing Nevada children’s educational needs. She has served on many committees within NASB including the Nomination and Awards Committee, Training and Professional Development Committee and the Audit Committee. Her insightful review and input to the Audit Committee led to significant changes in the process which helped to close an existing loophole and contributed to the enhanced transparency of the process. During the last 2 and a half years, she has served as NASB’s representative on Nevada’s English Mastery Council. This Council plays a vital role in Nevada’s English Language Learner (ELL) program, reviewing and making recommendations regarding licensing requirements for teachers, instructional practices and policies for the state and individual districts and standards and curriculums. In the annual review of all the districts’ ELL policies, Crossman’s skill with policy detail, mastery of the language and adroit observations were all well received and contributed to the successful conclusion of the work. She has a proven track record of proficiency and success in her work.

The Innovative Educators of the Year Award recognizes the invaluable service provided to Nevada’s children by those individuals who demonstrate their leadership by promoting and implementing innovative programs designed to improve student achievement. Lobsinger and Chandler were nominated by the Carson City School District Board of Trustees.

During the recent “refreshing” of the District’s Strategic Plan, an objective was proposed to “grow your own teachers” in response to the current teacher shortage. Lobsinger and Chandler quickly developed an idea to introduce some of Carson High School’s very best students to the idea of choosing public education as a career pathway. They approached their principal for permission to work with the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) to provide a dual-credit course as an elective. Soon, UNR and Carson High School offered the dual-credit introductory education course EDU110 for Carson High students interested in pursuing careers in education. Students in the course visited different schools to observe classrooms, partnered with teacher leaders to learn instructional strategies, developed and delivered lesson plans, wrote research papers on current topics in education and learned what it takes to become an educator. The interest and enrollment numbers for the course continue to grow, from 15 the first year the course was offered, 2017-2018, to an anticipated 56 students registered for the course this year. Their work has opened doors for Carson High School students about the importance of pursuing a career in teaching. Mr. Don Bland of Pioneer High School of the Carson City School District was honored for this award last year.

Phil Brady was nominated by the Carson City School District Board of Trustees for NASB’s Media Award for Outstanding Education Reporting in a Print Journalism Format. The award recognizes the role of media representatives in print journalism when consistently outstanding reporting occurs and the media representative demonstrates excellence in the following areas:

  • Working to get to know the board president, superintendent, and district communication director, as well as the district’s mission, goals, and strategic plan
  • Reporting school news in a fair, accurate, and balanced manner
  • Maintaining a policy of “no surprises” by always giving school officials the opportunity to comment on information to be aired or published
  • Providing a high profile to positive news about school and district accomplishments
  • Visiting schools

Brady has been a teacher at Carson High School since 2001. His skills in teaching English and Journalism provided the perfect skill set for the local newspaper, The Nevada Appeal, to recruit him to write a weekly feature article called “Senator Square” (named after the common area at Carson High School). While both CHS and District news are always found in “Senator Square,” the weekly feature focuses on current students, staff and happenings at CHS. Each feature is chocked full of student names, photographs, stories and activities plus upcoming events. Individual accomplishments and stellar performances are all reported in a fun and lively way. The “Senator Square” is a favorite of students, alumni and community members and always the place to learn what’s happing at Carson High School. The Board’s nomination form states that “we are fortunate to have such a dedicated educator serving our students and community.”

The School Administrator of the Year Award category recognizes the invaluable service provided to Nevada’s children by professional school administrators. Determinations are based on multiple factors including length of service, school improvement and student achievement, unique contributions, effective professional development strategies for educational staff, innovative and successful practices which have resulted in increased student achievement in the school, district or state.

Lewis’ career demonstrates her passion for Career and Technical Education (CTE). She developed and coordinated the Western Nevada College Tech Prep Program from which most of the current Career and Technical programs in Northern Nevada have been formed. As the instructional leader over Carson High School’s CTE department, she thoroughly analyzed state and industry trends to help identify school-wide goals that support state and local economic growth. Under her leadership and guidance, the CTE department has created a comprehensive five-year plan that has driven the addition of several new CTE pathways for Carson City students, including: Information Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing, Certified Nursing Assistant and Phlebotomy. This year, 97.15 percent of Carson High School’s CTE students passed the State’s Workforce Readiness Exam as a result of Ms. Lewis’ leadership. Her advocacy and dedication for Carson High School, its students and staff, and its Career and Technical Education programs have been outstanding and made a positive impact on the lives of many students.

Click here to read the entire NASB news release. For questions, please contact Dr. Dotty Merrill, Executive Director, Nevada Association of School Boards, 775-443-5988.