Lewis named new superintendent
Douglas County Human Resources Director Keith Lewis was selected Monday as the next superintendent of schools by unanimous vote of school board trustees.
Lewis will begin to transition into the position immediately and will officially take over when Superintendent Teri White vacates the post this summer.
During the April 3 meeting, the board narrowed the number of candidates to three, who in addition to Lewis, included Carson Valley resident Dan Wold, and 1990 Douglas High School graduate Victor Sherbondy, and set a date more than a month away for interviews hoping that social distancing measures would be loosened enough to allow in-person interviews.
During the interviews, which were conducted virtually using Zoom, candidates were asked a variety of questions and members of the community were encouraged to provide public comment during the meeting or by e-mailing the district in advance.
“We had over 80 virtual attendees listening or watching the meeting today. That’s far more attendees than when we had the last time we interviewed for a superintendent. Clearly the online format makes it easier for people to attend,” said Board President Robbe Lehmann.
During his interview, Lewis assured school board members he was committed to the district where he’d spent 25 years.
“I want you to know how much I love this school district, we need a proven and strong leader, who is personally and professionally all in,” Lewis said. “I have four kids in this system would not trade their education for anything in the world. It would be the honor of a lifetime to be the superintendent of the only school district I’ve ever known.”
The new superintendent will take the helm at this difficult time when students haven’t been allowed on campus for over two months due to COVID-19 and all education is being delivered in a virtual online format.
When asked how he would make sure the district is ready should distance learning be needed again, Lewis said that training and a learning management system that facilitates communication between teachers and students and parents will be imperative for a situation that he believes will likely happen sometime again.
He acknowledged the difficulty he has had in his own family with four students and multiple teachers using multiple different platforms for communication. However, Lewis is confident he will be able to meet any challenges. “I am personally and professionally all in to the Douglas County School District,” he said.
Lewis is currently the executive director of human resources for Douglas County School District. He also oversees the district’s transportation, school nutrition, and facilities departments.
In 2019, Lewis was recognized by the school board as the inaugural recipient of the Award for Excellence in Leadership.
After being hired in 1995 as an elementary physical education teacher at Meneley and Gardnerville elementary schools.
He worked for nine years at the newly-opened Piñon Hills Elementary as physical education teacher, two years at CVMS as assistant principal, and eight years at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School as the principal before moving to his current role in the district office.
Lewis has been active as a coach in and outside of the district. He served as the head coach of the varsity girls’ softball program at George Whittell High School for two seasons and the head coach of the varsity boys’ basketball program at Douglas High School from 1998-2005. While coaching at Douglas High School, Lewis was named the 2002 Nevada 4A Sierra League coach of the year. He developed Carson Valley Hoops, the first AAU basketball program in Carson Valley. Lewis’s efforts as a coach were recognized when he was inducted into the Douglas High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
After graduating from Gardiner, Mont., High School in 1990, Lewis attended Boise State University where he earned his degree in K-12 physical education and biology in 1995. He earned a master’s degree in educational administration in 2004 from National University.
Lewis resides in the Carson Valley with his wife of 22 years, Nicole, and four children, Payten (12th grade), Neil (10th grade), and twin boys, Dominic and Elliott (fifth grade).
After selecting Lewis, the board authorized Lehmann to negotiate an employment contract with Lewis that will be presented for approval at an upcoming meeting.