WCSD Superintendent reflects on academic year

RENO, NV (KOLO) Washoe County School District Superintendent Traci Davis is reflecting on another year under her staff's belt. From what she sees as progress in legislation to changes in sex education curriculum and more, Davis says the school district continues to make tremendous progress.

The Washoe County School District is coming off a record year. In 2018, we’re told more than 3900 students graduated and that number is likely to rise.

“There are going to be more kids crossing the stage than ever before and closing the achievement gap, and thinking about the pathway to graduation, whether they want to go off to college, or if they want a highly skilled career or into the military, like we have kids doing that,” Davis exclaims.

As Davis looks back on the 2018-2019 school year, it has been a whirlwind, she says. She thanks lawmakers for passing multiple bills centered on strengthening education funding, constructing new schools and passing rezoning boundaries.

“There are so many bumps in the road, we are not a perfect district, we are a continuous improvement model and we are better than we were yesterday and we are better than we have ever been before as a district,” Davis adds.

One of her favorite successes: the improving graduation rate, as she details, “Sometimes I hear all this white noise, oh, the superintendent is traveling... oh, really? I'm traveling on work, that's why we are such a great district, when people look at us outside this state, they're like, we are doing some great things. How many districts can say they went from 66 to 84 in less than 4 and a half years and our mark is 90?”

Davis, like many leaders, faces scrutiny over decisions, such as the back and forth with Digital Days, frustrated parents and personal attacks. “You should leave a place better than it was handed off to you. There is nothing they can take away during my tenure here, I know we have done great things for kids and when I say we, I mean we. teachers, bus drivers, 8000 employees, the Board, chiefs, we have made it a better place for any family to believe that their kid can be just as successful, no matter who you are,” she tells us.

With more than 64,000 students in the second largest school district in the state, she says there will forever be obstacles. But Davis states it boils down to taking care of the youth, and when they succeed so does our entire community.

Close to 20 high school graduation ceremonies are scheduled throughout the district.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019