We have no idea whether Douglas County School Superintendent Keith Lewis will stay in his position. On Saturday, he said he was going to take some time and think about it, an entirely reasonable reaction to the last nine months.
Friday’s surprise vote could mean a sea change on the board, or something that occurred in the moment. Trustee Doug Englekirk’s willingness to shift sides may have just been a reaction to the overwhelming turnout in favor of Lewis.
But that vote does create an issue. With the rejection of the agreement, that means instead of getting a year’s salary, benefits and retirement, Lewis is faced with making a decision without any of that.
Lewis is still a relatively young man, and we think could find another job in a heartbeat. With shortages of teachers across the board we doubt he would be idle for long. Any school district in this state would be lucky to have him.
Last week we reached out to former Nevada Controller Ron Knecht, whose name has been raised several times as a potential Douglas County manager about the superintendent’s job.
“I think the learning curve would be too steep,” Knecht sensibly said.
The school district is one of the largest employers in the county. Those of us in the private sector rely on it to educate a competent workforce not just send graduates off into the world to benefit other communities.
That might be a little too esoteric for most Douglas County residents, many of whom have literally only passing knowledge of the schools, mostly thanks to school zones on highways 395 and 88.
An exodus of students from Douglas schools to surrounding districts, presumably Carson or Washoe, could mean more people on our already overburdened roads every morning and afternoon.