Douglas names professional center after founder |

Douglas names professional center after founder

Doris and son Chris Betts stand in front of the board with information about Dr. F. Gregory Betts in the Douglas County Professional Development Center on Thursday.
Lisa Noonan |

It has been 33 years since Douglas County established its first professional development center.

On Thursday, it was officially named after its founder, School Superintendent F. Gregory Betts.

School officials surprised Betts’ widow, Doris, at the center, located in the historic Gardnerville Elementary School building.

“The last person who would want this would be Dr. Gregory,” Betts said of the fanfare.

Betts was escorted by outgoing Douglas County School Superintendent Lisa Noonan and Director of Curriculum Rommy Cronin, who told her they were going to a picnic at the Gardnerville school.

Several of Betts’ family members attended the unveiling.

Also among the attendees was school board trustee Teri Jamin, former school board trustees Francie Alling and Karen Ostrow, former Human Resource Director George Mross, and retired principals Dick Brownfield, Charlie Condron and Dave Sheets.

Both Brownfield and Sheets were wearing Hawaiian shirts, similar to that Betts appeared in on the front page of The Record-Courier when he arrived in Douglas County in 1979.

Betts served as superintendent until 1992, establishing the professional development center in 1982. He was named Administrator of the Year in 1984 by the Nevada School Board Association.

Betts was the second longest serving superintendent in Douglas County history.

Gardnerville Elementary School was built in 1928 for $28,000 and was the first primary-only school built in Carson Valley. Its design is similar to that of the old Douglas County High School. The school is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The school is also home to the district’s special services and science resources departments and the Backpack Buddies’ Program which is sponsored by the Minden Rotary Club Foundation.