School Board Trustees

New Trustees and New Leadership Roles for Carson City School Board
Posted on 01/11/2023
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At their first meeting of the year Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, the Carson City School District was pleased to welcome two new recently elected board members Trustee Matt Clapham, District 3, and Trustee Molly Walt, District 6. Lupe Ramirez and Richard Varner were also recognized for being re-elected to their positions as trustees. Additionally, the board elected new officers to serve in leadership roles.

Trustee Laurel Crossman, District 2, was named the newest president of the Carson City School District Board. She replaced former President and now Immediate Past President Richard Varner, District 4, as the school board’s leader. Trustees Joe Cacioppo, District 7, and Lupe Ramirez, District 1, were also named vice president and clerk, respectively. Cacioppo replaced former Vice President Crossman and Ramirez retained her former position as clerk. Each of the three leaders will serve one-year terms on the Carson City School Board.

The 2023 School Board Members by district include the following.

  • District 1, Lupe Ramirez, clerk
  • District 2, Laurel Crossman, president
  • District 3, Matt Clapham, member
  • District 4, Richard Varner, member
  • District 5, Mike Walker, member
  • District 6, Molly Walt, member
  • District 7, Joe Cacioppo, vice president

Superintendent Andrew Feuling and the Carson City School Board of Trustees also took time to graciously acknowledge the effort and time contributed over the past year by the outgoing leadership, specifically, Mr. Varner as the immediate past president.

Later on in the meeting, trustees were appointed to serve on various committees and associations including the following for the ensuing year.

  • Director on the Nevada Association of School Boards – Richard Varner
  • Alternate Director on the Nevada Association of School Boards – Lupe Ramirez
  • Member, Carson City Parks & Recreation Committee – Molly Walt
  • Debt Management Commission – Mike Walker
  • Partnership Carson City – Lupe Ramirez
  • Legislative Liaison – Laurel Crossman and Joe Cacioppo
  • Representative(s) to Superintendent’s School Naming Committee – Matt Clapham and Mike Walker
  • Representative to Superintendent’s Joint Advisory Committee – Richard Varner
  • Representative to Carson City School’s Foundation – Laurel Crossman
  • Representative(s) to Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) – Lupe Ramirez and Molly Walt, as an alternate
  • Representative to the Emergency Operations Development Committee – Joe Cacioppo
  • Representative on the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) District Leadership Team – Richard Varner

Action was also taken to appoint trustees to serve as Individual Liaisons to schools within the district. Those assignments include the following.

  • Carson High School – Molly Walt
  • Pioneer Academy – Joe Cacioppo
  • Carson Middle School – Matt Clapham
  • Eagle Valley Middle School – Mike Walker
  • Bordewich Bray Elementary School – Richard Varner
  • Empire Elementary School – Molly Walt
  • Fremont Elementary School – Laurel Crossman
  • Fritsch Elementary School – Richard Varner
  • Mark Twain Elementary School – Matt Clapham
  • Seeliger Elementary School – Lupe Ramirez
  • Early Childhood – Lupe Ramirez

New Trustee Matt Clapham was born and raised in Carson City, Nev. and was a 1997 graduate of Carson High School. He later graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He began his career in 2004 at the Carson City Juvenile Detention Center as a Youth Advisor, then transitioning to a Juvenile Probation Officer in 2007. He continues in this role today; however, in Lyon County, where he started in 2018.

Clapham married his wife, Nicole, in 2010. They have two children in the 5th and 6th grade who attend school in the Carson City. He considers his wife and two children his greatest accomplishment and knows that will never change. One of Clapham’s greatest joys is watching his two kids participate in whichever extracurricular activity they are doing at any given time. It is what truly makes him happy. He also enjoys volunteering on and off the sports field or where a need may arise.

Trustee Molly Walt has resided in Carson City for 26 years with her husband and family. She holds a Master of Leadership & Supervision (M.A.Ed.), a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a Paralegal degree. She taught in the Carson City School District from 1999-2014 and was the Eagle Valley Middle School PTSA teacher of the year for 1998-1999.

Walt is the chief executive officer for the Nevada Rural Counties Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) where she is responsible for the overall strategic, fiscal, operational, government and community relations of the organization. She is committed and enthused to lead staff in accomplishing the mission of RSVP, providing lifesaving volunteer programs that help seniors maintain their dignity, self-respect and independence.

Walt has experience working with nonprofit and public organizations. Most recently, she served as the executive director of the Nevada Commission for Women. During her tenure, she oversaw the successful implementation of a number of statewide celebrations of the 100th Anniversary of Women achieving the right to vote. She has been very involved in community initiatives and activities including serving on Carson City and Reno boards and commissions; and is skilled in government affairs, grant writing, fundraising, event planning and media relations. She also served as a Carson City Supervisor from 2009-2012.

President Laurel Crossman, a 1991 Carson High School graduate, has served on the board since 2012. During her first four-year term, she held the positions of member and clerk. During her second term, she served as vice president in 2016, and in 2017, she was elected school board president. She previously served as clerk in 2021 and as vice president in 2022 for the Carson City School District school board.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and later earned her juris doctorate from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School on the same campus. She practiced law in Utah for two years. She is the proud mother of five boys, all of whom are products of the Carson City school system. She has served on various PTAs in many capacities at Fritsch Elementary and Carson Middle School and currently serves as the Communication Director for the Carson City Nevada Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Additionally, she was appointed by Governor Brian Sandoval and reappointed by Governor Steve Sisolak to serve on the English Mastery Council since 2016. She was recognized with the Hank Etchemendy Advocacy Award by the Nevada PTA in 2016 for her work developing a board policy regarding elementary recesses and awarded Nevada Association of School Board (NASB) Director of the Year in 2018. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of NASB as a past president, having served as president in 2021, and previously as president elect and vice president.

Vice President Joe Cacioppo, after serving for more than a dozen years as a volunteer and civil engineering design consultant for the school district, was elected to his first term as a school board trustee 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, and again in 2021, 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 the principal civil engineer with the multidisciplinary consultant firm Resource Concepts Inc., where he helps oversee all engineering, environmental, survey, water rights and natural resource disciplines. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from California State University, Chico and has more than 30 years of experience in public infrastructure, commercial, industrial and residential planning, permitting, design and construction management projects. Cacioppo is married with three children, all of whom are alumni of the Carson City school system.

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, 2015-2021, for the Northern Nevada Development Authority and commissioner, from 2012-2020, for the Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission. He was honored as the 2008 Friend in Education recipient for the Ormsby County Education Association and is a proud member of the Elks Lodge. He was also recently honored as the 2021 Individual School Board Member of the Year by the Nevada Association of School Boards.

Clerk Lupe Ramirez earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Western Governors University and an associate’s degree in Business from Western Nevada College (WNC). After a 32-year trajectory at WNC, she decided to retire and set new goals. As a retiree, she has served as a school trustee for the Carson City School Board since 2019, serving as the first Latina in that capacity. She was honored in 2020 as the New School Board Member of the Year by the Nevada Association of School Boards. She thrives in advocating for all students and is honored to continue making an impact in the community.

In addition to her responsibilities as a member and the 2022 clerk for the Carson City School Board, Ramirez continues her involvement with students from WNC. She currently serves as a mentor for Nevada Promise students and enjoys the interaction with them and their parents. In August 2022, Ramirez was recognized by the institution with an Emeritus Award for her years of dedication to students, faculty and staff. In 2018, she was the recipient of the ACT College and Career Readiness Postsecondary Champion for Nevada. She has also served four years as a member (and as vice president in her last year) of the Carson City Cultural Commission where she was again the first Latina to serve in that capacity.

Ramirez’s professional employment and position on the school board not only establishes her as a liaison for the Latino community, but it also provides her with the opportunity to connect with an underserved population and help guide them through high school and college degree completion.

Ramirez has been married to her husband for 37 years and has a 22-year-old daughter who graduated from UNR in Spring 2022 with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Minor in Constriction Management. Her daughter is also a product of the Carson City School District and attended Fritsch Elementary, Carson Middle and Carson High Schools. Her daughter was also a member of the Cheerleading Team (all four years) and participated in the Jump Start dual-enrollment program where she earned a High School diploma and an Associate of Arts degree simultaneously.

The Carson City School District Board of Trustees was also recognized as the 2013 NASB School Board of the Year, awarded to the Carson City School District Board of Trustees for the consistent use and development of skills and programs focused on board-superintendent cooperation and teamwork to improve student achievement. They were also board members when the Carson City School Board was recognized as the NASB Governance Team of the Year in 2017 and the School Board of the Year in 2019.