Nevadan returns home to educate the next generation |

Nevadan returns home to educate the next generation

Movers and Shakers is a weekly feature of the Sunday EXTRA.

Roy Casey is the assistant superintendent of education services for the Douglas County School District. He attends every school board meeting. At the December meeting, he gave an interactive presentation to school board members on Data in a Day, a new program the district is using to assess teaching methods.

– Name, age, job title? Where are you originally from? How long have you lived in Carson Valley? Roy J. Casey, 53 years young, Assistant Superintendent of Education Services. Born and reared in Fallon, Nev., spent 13 years in Carson City and Nevada all my life except for three years in the service (Alabama, where I met my wife of 29 years, and Germany).

– What originally brought you to the Carson Valley? What is your family’s history here? After getting out of the service, I began my teaching career in Eureka, Nev., where I taught, was K-12 principal of three schools and was the superintendent for two years. I bought a newspaper one day and moved to town — that is to Carson City — and took a job as a consultant for the Nevada Department of Education. My family actually homesteaded in Lahontan Valley, Fallon, Nev., and were farmers and ranchers.

– Who is your boss? John Soderman, our superintendent, is my supervisor. My clients are students, teachers, principals, and parents and, often times, others in the community.

– What are your job responsibilities? I provide leadership and collaboration in the areas of regular instruction, special services, occupational education, grants and assessments, professional development, school and district improvement for student achievement, and many other responsibilities, including student discipline and attendance.

I am thankful that I have three directors, many principals, many great secretaries, a wonderful district office staff and, of course, our superintendent John Soderman that help me to make it happen for teachers, counselors, and students.

– What is your number one job priority or goal set for your job? Student achievement. I believe that all students can learn to high standards and it is my goal to ensure that the best resources are available to make the accomplishment of my goal possible.

My goal is shared with hundreds of other employees of the DCSD, from those who drive the school buses to those who teach in the classrooms and those who provide guidance, such as our local school board.

– What is a typical day’s schedule? I start my day in the office around 7 a.m., sometimes 6:30 a.m. It is during the morning hours when my mind is fresh that I dictate minutes, read e-mails (approximately 50-75 a day) and do reports. Generally by 8 a.m. I am into meetings or at a school site.

If I have time for lunch I generally eat a salad that my wife has prepared for me. I don’t eat at my desk but I do eat at my table and at that time I read the latest education research.

I have many meetings scheduled for after lunch that usually last until 5 p.m. I steal time to meet with students at different schools to ask them about their learning.

In the evenings I meet with parent groups for different schools. Once a month on Tuesday you will see me presenting at board meetings. If I am not at an evening meeting I stay in my office to complete my work.

I generally leave the office around 6:30 or 7 p.m. It makes for a long day but I love what I do and I feel that I am very productive at what I do.

– What is a common misconception about your job? If there is a common misconception about our department it is only that someone doesn’t know what we do.

– What’s a little know fact about your job? I have a behind the scenes administrator making certain that all students are successful, especially at our Lake schools. I receive a lot of parent calls and am able to bring resolution to their concerns most of the time.

– In your spare time, what activities do you enjoy? Great question. I spend time with my family but most of all I spend time on my horse Cisco. Cisco and I do endurance rides throughout the year. We go for miles and miles every week. Sometimes we go rather fast and sometimes we go rather slow. Cisco is new to the endurance ride lifestyle. He is green broke. My sister and I broke him ourselves. It seems rather unusual that two over-50 year-olds still break a horse on occasion and still ride endurance rides.

I also ride with my wife on her ATV quad runner. Frankly, as many times as I ride Cisco through the hills and valleys, my wife Chris is behind me on her quad runner. Cisco doesn’t mind the quad and I enjoy the company.

– Do you have family? Yes. What are their names and ages? My daughter is Jacqueline, call her Jacq. She is married to a great fella and they have their home in Tampa, Fla. Both are in the Air Force and both have served in the Middle East. While in the Air Force both are completing college degrees. I think that Jacq will make the Air Force a career but I am not certain about her husband Dirk. Oh, Jacq was 24 in September.

Justin is my son. He is 21 and a senior at UNR. He has majored in English with a minor in philosophy. He doesn’t know what to do with himself, maybe law school, the military or off to work.

I have been married to my great wife Chris for 29 years this year. She was from Hazel Green, Ala., but is now a Nevadan.

My great, great aunt Eva lives with us. She is 97 and married my great, great uncle from Fallon and they, too, homesteaded.

– Do you have pets? My Arab horse, Cisco and my dog, Maggie, a standard poodle. Did you know that standard poodles are great dogs for endurance? She comes along with Cisco and I or, when tired, which is not too often, she will ride on the back of my wife’s quad runner.

– Who is your role model? While growing up I always had a teacher as a role model, even through the university and the army. Today most of my peers are my role models and, of course, as it may sound corny, but my children are my role models.

– What is your favorite song or artist? I love a good tune. I listen to 106.9 or 103.7 The River. I grew up on good ole Country Western dancing at the age of 4 at the Dry Gulch Saloon in Fallon during the Fourth of July. I like Chicago, Moody Blues, Charlie Pride and many many many more.

– What is the most recent concert you attended? I have attended many concerts over my life but the last one was only Friday (Dec. 12). I listened to the K-5 students at Zephyr Cove Elementary during their Christmas Concert. They were simply great! All I could do was to smile and tap my foot. I enjoyed it so very much!

Interview conducted by Maggie O’Neill. To nominate someone for the Movers & Shakers feature, contact News Editor Sally J. Taylor at or (775) 782-5121 ext. 215.