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WCSD releases list of superintendent finalists
by Garrett Valenzuela
Jun 20, 2012 | 2374 views | 2 2 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Paul LaMarca
Paul LaMarca
Jane Woodburn
Jane Woodburn
RENO — The Board of Trustees for the Washoe County School District have narrowed their search to five final candidates for superintendent. After “head-hunting” 90 prospects the board was presented 20 applications and will now begin face-to-face interviews with the final five candidates.

The final candidates are:

• Paul LaMarca, currently serving as chief school accountability officer for the Washoe County School District.

• Pedro Martinez, currently serving as deputy superintendent of schools for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas.

• Judy Peppler, currently serving as chief transformation officer/chief of staff for the Wake County Public School System in Raleigh, N.C.

• Harrison Peters, currently serving as chief of schools for Chicago Public Schools in Chicago, IL.

• Jane Woodburn, currently serving as deputy superintendent of the Washoe County School District.

“It is always better to look (candidates) in the eye rather than their resume,” said Ken Grein, president of the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees. “We are excited to really dig down into what these candidates have done and their strengths because we have some really good candidates.”

The community is once again invited to chime in next week when the finalists come to Washoe County to meet with the community and board members. Public town hall meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. at the National Automobile Museum.

According to Grein, the public input during the preliminary town hall meetings was crucial in informing the search committee and the board of the qualities they seek in the next superintendent.

“People were very comfortable and spoke their minds about who they want to lead our district,” he said. “They want someone that is welcoming to the school, who is out in the school, someone others can talk to and someone who will maintain the strategic plan that was built by this community.”

Grein said he and other board members noticed the interest and caring nature of the community in their attendance of the town hall meetings. He said the community has proven their concern about the schools and community.

“They want someone who is going to be a partner with not just parents, but business and community leaders,” Grein said. “The bar has been set high. We are not going to lower the bar and we have listened intently.”

The board will now meet, interview and deliberate about the finalists before coming to a decision near the end of July. Grein said he feels there are several strong candidates, but the board will be looking for a candidate that is overly impressive.

“We don’t have an opportunity to do this very often so we want to be really excited about the person we choose. Someone is going to really have to knock our socks off here,” he said. “This is a big job with a big impact on our community and we want the best person we can find.”

The community also has other ways to learn about the candidates and provide feedback to the board, including:

*Tune in live and watch the Board of Trustees interview each finalist. The candidate interviews with the board will be streamed live on the WCSD website from 7 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. the days the finalists are in town. Each candidate will be interviewed for one hour and 15 minutes.

*Learn more about each finalist by watching their introductory videos, which will be posted on the WCSD website upon the completion of all candidate interviews.

*If you are not able to attend the community town hall meetings, please feel free to attend another public meeting that is scheduled for the finalists.

*Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #WCSDsupt.

For a full schedule of interview dates and times, log onto
Comments-icon Post a Comment
June 21, 2012
Peppler is Broad-trained and had no background as an educator before taking her current job. Don't know enough about Peters to have an opinion, but I don't think he will get it though you never know with this board. Pedro Martinez is a Broad-trained incompetent Morrison brought out to Nevada from Chicago, then bailed from WCSD to work for Clark County in a job for which he is completely unqualified.

It appears the contest is between the two from WCSD. Jane Woodburn is by far the most qualified on paper, but she was brought to Nevada by Morrison. Not sure if she would stick around long. Her biggest negative is, unfortunately, her age (she is in her sixties). LaMarca I think will get the job even though he is not nearly as qualified as Woodburn. He has been in Nevada for years and isn't likely to bail after a couple of years like Morrison. He has also been more and more in the news as of late, giving his take on various matters. My money, such as it is, is on LaMarca to be the next superintendent of WCSD.
September 28, 2012
I certainly wish you had been right!!!
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