School Board Leaders

2020 School Board Leaders
Posted on 01/21/2020
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At the first school board meeting of the year Tuesday, Jan. 14, Mike Walker was named the newest president of the Carson City School District Board of Trustees. He replaced former President Stacie Wilke-McCulloch, as the school board’s leader. Trustees Joe Cacioppo and Richard Varner were also elected vice president and clerk, respectively. Cacioppo replaced former Vice President Walker and Varner replaced former Clerk Don Carine. Each of the three leaders will serve in these positions for a one-year term.

Also during the meeting, trustees approved the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar. The calendar committee developed the schedule with the first day of school for students being Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. The last day of school will be Thursday, June 3, 2021. All academic calendars detail start and end times for each school, early release day dismissal times and dates, minimum day dismissal times, school holidays, non-school days and more.

The 2020 School Board Members include alphabetically by last name Joe Cacioppo, District 7, vice president, Donald Carine, District 6, member, Laurel Crossman, District 2, member, Lupe Ramirez, District 1, member, Richard Varner, District 4, clerk, Mike Walker, District 5, president, and Stacie Wilke-McCulloch, District 3, member.

Walker was elected to the board in 2016. During his first four-year term, he has already served as a board member, clerk, vice president and now president. He earned an Ed. S. in school administration, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Elementary Education from University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), and an associate’s degree from Truckee Meadows Community College.

He taught third grade at Seeliger Elementary for 7 years and worked as a school administrator at Carson Middle School and Fritsch Elementary for 5 years. He then served as an Education Programs Professional in the Nevada Department of Education as the State Coordinator of Education for Homeless Children and Youth and a Title I program manager for 2 years.

He is the current principal of Sutro Elementary School in Dayton and is the president of the Board of Directors of Food for Thought, a local non-profit organization that provides meals for impoverished students in Carson City through a backpack and summer foods program. While teaching at Seeliger, he was also voted Carson City's Favorite Teacher in the Nevada Appeal Reader's Poll.

After serving for more than a dozen years as a volunteer and consultant for the school district, Cacioppo was elected to his first term as a school board member in 2012. During his first four-year term, he held the positions of member, clerk and vice-president. In 2016, during the first year of his second term, he was elected school board president.

Cacioppo is a veteran of the United States Army and a licensed civil engineer in Nevada and California. He is a principal civil engineer with the multidisciplinary consultant firm Resource Concepts Inc., where he helps oversee all engineering, environmental, survey and natural resource disciplines. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from California State University, Chico and has more than twenty-five years of experience in public infrastructure, commercial, industrial and residential planning, permitting, design and construction management projects.

He has also served as the Nevada Section president for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 2009-2010, and as the Capital Branch president for ASCE, 2000-2001. Other volunteer service includes C&D Committee Member, 2015-present, for the Northern Nevada Development Authority and commissioner, 2012-present, for the Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission. He was also honored as the 2008 Friend in Education recipient for the Ormsby County Education Association.


Varner is also in his first four-year term, and serving as clerk will be the first leadership position he has held on the school board. He has resided in Nevada since 1960, graduating from Yerington High School. He served two tours in Vietnam as a crew chief on a helicopter gun ship and later spent 41 years in law enforcement. He maintains more than 30 years supervisory and management experience. He earned a degree in Criminal Justice from Western Nevada College and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy.


He began his career as a Deputy for the Lyon County Sherriff’s Department before joining the Nevada Department of Public Safety (DPS) Investigation Division where he worked as a narcotic investigator, narcotic task force supervisor and supervisor of the Major Crimes Unit along with numerous other positions. During his 27-year tenure at DPS, he also served as a Deputy Chief of the Investigation Division, Deputy Chief of Parole and Probation Division and retired as a Major at the Nevada Highway Patrol. After retiring from the DPS, he served nine years as the Chief of Police for the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.


He has had the pleasure of serving as a member of the Governor’s Crime Commission and the Attorney General’s Methamphetamine Task Force. He has also served as the president of the Nevada Association of the FBI National Academy Associates and served four years as the president of the Nevada Tribal Police Chief’s Association and two years as the vice president of the California Tribal Police Chief’s Association. Most recently, he was elected to serve as a member of the local Salvation Army advisory board. Between he and his wife, they have a total of four sons and eight grandchildren, five of which currently attend Carson City schools.