LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara was back in his office for the first time in several weeks after an agreement was made between him and CCSD trustees on Friday to return to work.
“Maybe this was a moment of awakening that things are not OK in the district, and hopefully he does some self-reflection moving forward," said kindergarten teacher Nicole Hess.
Hess said she wants to see changes from Jara, who announced Friday he would stay on as superintendent. He was reinstated after being initially fired in October in a split trustee vote. Hess supported his termination and now wants to see Jara address issues like burnout among CCSD teachers and support staff.
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“I think he needs to step in and start following through on the promises he made to work on staffing shortages and mental health issues within our schools,” Hess said.
Members of the Las Vegas Alliance of Black School Educators, which also supported Jara’s firing, said they’d like to see more community engagement from him.
Kamilah Byewaters, president of LVABSE, said she hopes this will be a wake-up call for the superintendent: “'This is what I heard from my community. Now, what can I do to be a force of healing and initiate change in the district?'" she said.
The group has criticized Jara for not doing enough to address staffing shortages, but Byewaters says they’re turning a new leaf and want to work with him.
“We have to be able to come together, work together despite differences," Byewaters said.
The Clark County Education Association says assurances on stability with Jara’s return need to be backed up by concrete action.
“The focus has to be providing front-line educators the resources and support to teach kids and for these kids to walk away with an education,” said John Vellardita, CCEA executive director.
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The union says clear lines need to be drawn between the superintendent and the CCSD school board.
“The board has oversight and should be concerned with our kids' learning. The superintendent has a responsibility to implement education for 305,000 kids," Vellardita said. "There’s a fine line, and there should be no cross-over on that.”
An agreement made between Jara and the majority of CCSD trustees has not been made public. CCSD board president Linda Cavazos said she wasn’t sure when that would happen.