New Leadership

New Leadership for the Carson City School Board
Posted on 01/10/2024
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At their first meeting of the year Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, the Carson City School District School Board of Trustees nominated and voted in new leadership for the Carson City school board. Trustee Joe Cacioppo, District 7, was named the newest president. He replaced former President and now Immediate Past President Laurel Crossman, District 2, as the school board’s leader. Trustees Lupe Ramirez, District 1, and Mike Walker, District 5, were also named vice president and clerk, respectively. Ramirez replaced former Vice President Cacioppo and Walker replaced former Clerk Ramirez. Each of the three leaders will serve one-year terms.

The 2024 School Board Members by district include the following.

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

Superintendent Andrew Feuling and the Carson City School Board of Trustees also took time during the superintendent’s report to graciously acknowledge the effort and time contributed over the past year by the outgoing leadership, specifically, Mrs. Crossman as the immediate past president. He was joined by newly elected President Cacioppo in acknowledging Crossman and the other members of the he board.

Later 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 – Molly Walt
  • Partnership Carson City – Lupe Ramirez
  • Legislative Liaison – Laurel Crossman and Mike Walker
  • 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 – Joe Cacioppo
  • Representative(s) to Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) – Lupe Ramirez and Molly Walt, as an alternate
  • Representative to the Emergency Operations Development Committee – Laurel Crossman
  • 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 – Lupe Ramirez
  • 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 – Mike Walker
  • Early Childhood – Lupe Ramirez

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. He served as vice president again in 2023. In 2016, 2021 and now 2024, 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.

Vice President 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 (NASB). 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 and 2023 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 38 years and has a 23-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.

Clerk Mike Walker was elected to the board in 2016. During his first four-year term, he has served as a board member, clerk, vice president and 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 past president and current member of the Board of Directors for 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.

It is also important to know the Carson City School District Board of Trustees was recognized as the NASB School Board Governance Team of the Year in 2013, 2017, 2019 and 2023. The recognition is awarded for the consistent use and development of skills and programs focused on board-superintendent cooperation and teamwork to improve student achievement.