The Douglas County School District has started the new school year with some new and familiar faces stepping up into key leadership positions.
With a progressively reduced budget, new state standards, and a highly competitive economy awaiting graduates, district officials are confident that these four individuals will help meet the demands of 21st Century education.
"We are very excited about the variety of personal and professional experiences each of these new administrators brings to these important positions," said Superintendent Lisa Noonan. "There is a depth and dedication among this group that will contribute significantly to the progress of our students and district. We are very fortunate to have each of them working on behalf of Douglas County students."
Former Pinon Hills Elementary Principal Rommy Cronin is the district's new director of curriculum and instruction, replacing Kerry Pope.
She said over the last seven years she has worked with students and parents to provide a quality learning environment by improving instruction strategies, supervising employees, overseeing bond-funded renovation and assisting with training for parents and volunteers.
Prior to her time at Pinon Hills, Cronin was a vice principal and English teacher at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School. As a graduate of Whittell High School herself, she said she's ready to create "the new, rigorous accountability necessary for student achievement."
"I am very excited about the challenges of my new position and look forward to leading the implementation of Common Core State Standards for 21st Century learners," she said.
Taking Cronin's place at Pinon Hills is Jason Reid - the school's new principal.
Reid is beginning his 20th year in public education this fall. Since 1998, he has been serving students in the Eastern Sierra Unified School District in the Coleville area, garnering 14 years of administrative experience in grades K-12. He's also taught special education, elementary physical education, middle school advanced algebra, high school health and math, as well as career exploration.
The early years of his career took place at Western New Mexico University, where he served as head coach for the women's basketball team and assistant athletic director.
"Working in rural districts brings many duties for the administrator-in-charge," said Noonan. "We know that graduation begins in kindergarten, and Mr. Reid's experience across K-16 will help Pinon continue to be a school that provides the rigor, relevance and positive relationships that young students need."
Joining the leadership team in the district office as special services director is Christi Hines-Coates.
Hines-Coates has been an educator since 1997. She recently worked for the Shelley School District in Idaho as special services/federal programs director, and for the Granite School District in Salt Lake City as associate director of special education compliance.
Prior to her stints in Idaho and Utah, she worked for the Lyon County School District for 12 years - as a special education teacher, an assistant principal, and special services director.
"I am thrilled to back home in Nevada," she said. "My goal in this position is to be a support to the district, parents, and students in all aspects of special services. My passion has always been in the field of special education, with an emphasis on IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) compliance in order to provide appropriate supports to students with special needs."
Kathy Bomba-Edgerton, a DCSD literacy trainer and former DHS English teacher, has been hired to administer the district's $3.1 million Striving Reader Comprehensive Literacy federal grant.
Before working in Douglas County, Bomba-Edgerton taught middle school reading and English. She also provided professional development in Carson City as a literacy coordinator.
"Literacy has always been a passion of mine, so it is a real pleasure to have this opportunity to support our schools with literacy," she said. "The SRCL grant will be our tool to becoming literacy experts at all levels, from pre-kindergarten through high school. Literacy will be a strong focus for our district in order to help students become independent readers and writers. We will be offering a lot of professional development at every level to supply our teachers with the necessary tools to become literacy teachers. My position is very exciting and challenging because I work with all teachers, not just a certain grade band, so I am learning about all ages of children within our district."