Washoe County School Board selects three candidates for District E vacancy

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 11:14 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Washoe County School District (WCSD) leaders have narrowed down a pool of seven applicants for a recently vacated seat resulting from the November election.

Former President Angie Taylor resigned Monday because of potential legal threats after winning her race for State Assembly District 27.

During a board meeting on Tuesday, trustees picked three candidates to be interviewed for the seat representing District E.

For about half an hour, the board heard and reviewed applications from six candidates out of the seven applicants. According to board vice president Diane Nicolet, it was determined one of the candidates did not reside in the district.

She also expressed the pool represented a broad range of candidates and backgrounds, and that choosing three was a challenge.

“I look at the thoroughness, number one because the instructions are very clear,” said Nicolet. “I look for certain words, servant, service, student, families, employees, community, obviously student success.”

In a five-to-one vote, administrator Meghan Beyer, educator and librarian Kellie Crosby-Sturtz and City of Reno Code Enforcement Director Alex Woodley were selected to move on to the interview process.

Trustee Jeffrey Church was the only vote against it, as he believes the board should have narrowed it down to only two candidates.

“Washoe County consists of a very diverse population,” said Beyer during her five minutes. “Just like in the classroom, each school needs a specific plan for their needs. It’s not one size fits all. What I also realized is that children, no matter their background, can learn given the right tools and attention.”

“I have the unique perspective of being an educator,” said Crosby-Sturtz during her five minutes. “I’ve been an educator and know how to speak to teachers, know what it’s like to be in the classroom, know what it’s like to budget monthly, cause you get paid monthly, all the fun things that you have to do as an educator. I want to bring that knowledge to the board.”

“My job has provided me the privilege of collaborating and working with multiple communities, agencies and different groups with different backgrounds, (and) different beliefs within this region,” said Alex Woodley during his five minutes. “But my biggest privileges that make me unique are my lifetime experiences, belonging to three different minority groups. I’m an African American man. I’m also a bilingual Latino and I’m a veteran of the great state of Nevada.”

When it was time for evaluation, Beyer and Woodley were in the top two.

During public comment, many expressed their support for Woodley, but also Joey Gilbert.

“There is one person who came up here and told you they have a plan, is it contrary to what you want? Yeah,” said a resident in support of Gilbert.

However, the attorney and politician received only three points.

An emotional Taylor was present at Tuesday’s meeting and says she feels confident her seat will be in good hands.

“I think they’re strong candidates and now is strategic plan time,” said Taylor. “So, it’s time to get a lot of different views, right? A lot of voices and say, what do we want to look like in the next three to five years?”

She wants the next trustee to not be afraid of opposing opinions.

“Disagreement is good, different views are good, but division is not,” Taylor said.

The interview process will take place on December 6.