The top job at the Clark County School District has been a hot seat for controversy and resignations in recent years. Now the superintendent has announced his retirement.
The latest shakeup comes at a time when critics have called into question current Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky’s ability to lead, pointing to a major budget crisis and possible layoffs.
His departure ends on a rough patch for the district and his successor will have their work cut out for them.
“There is a disconnect we need to bridge, between the district and the teachers,” said CCSD Trustee Carolyn Edwards in 2013.
Skorkowsky was ushered in as superintendent in May 2013.
Trustees were forced to fill the position after former superintendent Dwight Jones abruptly resigned in the middle of his contract to take care of his mother.
Board trustees were initially at odds over the decision to internally promote Skorkowsky. Some trustees preferred a national search to find a candidate.
Rising through the ranks for nearly 30 years, first as a teacher, then holding a variety of administrative roles, Skorkowsky was seen by many as the perfect guy to fix a district in turmoil.
Ultimately, he was tapped for the job and he shook things up almost immediately. Just two days into his new role, he laid out the district’s problems.
“We don't have enough resources in our classroom; we don't have enough teachers in our classroom,” Skorkowsky said.
Since taking over, CCSD reports that student achievement has soared. Graduation rates for high school students have jumped from 61 percent in 2012, to an estimated 82 percent in 2017.
The district’s 12 new magnet schools have garnered national attention, even earning Skorkowsky Magnet School Superintendent of the Year for 2017.
Skorkowsky’s work with education advocates and lawmakers changed the funding formula for schools that poured millions to help English language learners.
Skorkowsky said he is leaving on his own terms and will remain as superintendent through the end of his contract in June 2018.