Gardnerville man files for school board |

Gardnerville man files for school board

by Merrie Leininger

A Gardnerville resident who has been involved in school committees since 1993 filed to run for the seat that will be vacated by School Board President Don Forrester.

Jim Keegan, 70, said he is interested in the school district because he attends the school board meetings and his two youngest children are students at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School and Douglas High School. He is a Gardnerville resident and a neighbor of Forrester.

Forrester said he is tired and doesn’t feel like he could put in as much attention as being a school board trustee demands.

Keegan and his wife, Tina, settled in the Carson Valley after he retired from the aerospace industry. He has four older children who are married.

Keegan said his position as director of contracts, finance and new business opportunities at Rockwell International was a demanding one that often took him away from home.

“While I was working and traveling, I didn’t have an opportunity to become involved in the older kids. When I retired, I got involved in the multicultural committee (for the strategic plan) and it opened my eyes to the opportunities to get involved,” Keegan said.

Keegan has also volunteered as cochair of the PTA at Scarselli Elementary School, and with Scarselli’s site accountability committee as well as Pau-Wa-Lu’s SAC for three years and Douglas’ SAC beginning this year.

Other committees he has served on are program assessment, calendar, graduation and career competency.

“I would like to think I was able to contribute. I’ve had the opportunity see the school system at every level now. I think I have grown to know a little bit about the school district and the people and the processes in place. That knowledge is very difficult to come by unless you’ve been involved and I think it will help if I’m elected to the school board,” Keegan said.

Keegan was cautious about discussing current school board issues, stressing that he doesn’t have an agenda.

However, some issues that concern him are the amount of intervention in place for the students who will have to meet the new graduation requirements.

“I consider the strategic plan to be a sound plan for the majority of our students. However, when the plan was structured, it was a success-oriented plan. The plan was optimistic as to the results, whereas little or no provision was made to remediate those students who were unable to satisfy the competencies,” Keegan said.

Now that students are faced with meeting the competencies or not graduating, Keegan said it is imperative that the school district focus on helping those kids.

Keegan said he is concerned with communication between the district and its teachers and parents. He has recently joined the strategic task force committee aimed at involving more parents in the schools.

About the communication problems between the teachers and the administration, Keegan said he believes it is disgraceful and has told the board that at board meetings.

“I would like to think there would be some resolution before November. But if it is still an issue, it obviously demands to be a very high priority of the board to resolve the differences. Each side needs to stop finger-pointing,” he said.