Superintendent gets high marks for first six months

The power of communication was the characteristic that seemed to be most valued in Carol Lark's first six months' performance as superintendent of the Douglas County School District. The school board voted her performance as satisfactory Dec. 19.

Board member John Louritt said Lark has shown to be a good communicator and puts student achievement foremost.

"You're doing well with parents, the board and site administrators," Louritt said.

"It's difficult to come from Clark County," said board president Connie Wennhold. "It's a huge machine, but here, you're it. Clark may not have had great records but you had. You're on your way and I hope people realize you're not John (Soderman), you're Carol."

Member Cynthia Trigg told Lark she liked her open door policy, especially when it comes to the consolidation process of the Lake Tahoe schools.

"I appreciate your communication with the board," said Trigg. "The communication process is very important and we appreciate you getting back to us."

Although the members of the school all had encouraging things to say at the special meeting, Lark noted some criticisms in a separate survey by other educators.

"It was mentioned my overuse of the word 'awesome,' one of my favorite words," said Lark.

"I think you're off to an awesome start," said board member Teri Jamin. "You're approachable but professional."

Lark said she was pleased by the majority of the opinions given, but that there were some things in the survey for her to work on in the coming months.

"The common thread was that there's too much talk about Clark County and they have a valid point," said Lark, who previously was an educator in Las Vegas. "I'll be more conscious of that. I don't want to offend people."

As an assistant superintendent in Las Vegas, Lark was in charge of as many as 61 schools. There are at least 317 schools in the Clark County School District compared to 13 schools in Douglas County.

Lark said what's especially rewarding about working in a smaller school district is she is getting to know everyone.

"There it was unmanageable," she said. "There's a real dedication to children here.

"I love the size of the district and that I know where I'm going. Douglas County has such a good reputation, it's an honor to work here. I get fired up when I talk to people who are fired up. You have some really dynamic people in this district," Lark said.

"You're only as good as your team."


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