The Washoe County School District is moving forward. Deputy Superintendent Traci Davis will take over the helm as the interim superintendent next week when ousted Superintendent Pedro Martinez steps down.
It took two hours of debate on Tuesday afternoon to get there, but the vote was unanimous.
“All in favor say ‘aye' and raise your hands so I can count…okay, there is overwhelming support for this and Traci Davis is our interim superintendent.”
In spite of the debate over her appointment, Davis is excited to see the school district move forward after the ousting of Martinez. She says meetings have always been lively, but that's their right to discuss items. And - she says she's anxious to be part of the discussions. “I think we'll have positive collaboration and we'll communicate and it will be okay.”
“What I like about Traci is she has so much passion. Passion for all kids. Passion that every child graduates, so she comes with a lot of energy,” says Trustee Estella Gutierrez.
Davis has served as deputy superintendent since 2012. In that role she has overseen accountability, accounting, student services and special education for the district's 93 schools.
Before that, she served in the Clark County School District in a variety of roles including teacher and principal. She won a Nevada National Distinguished Principal Award in 2011 for her work with at-risk schools.
Davis will be paid $3,000 more per month to take on the extra duties through June 2015.
The new Board of Trustees seated in next week's election will decide on a permanent superintendent. And according to district officials, her duties as interim will be exactly the same in terms of power and decisions as a permanent superintendent.
And according to outgoing board member Gutierrez, there is strategic plan in place.
“I don't think there will be any major changes. I think the focus will be to maintain the course of the district.”
Davis' first high hurdle to clear will be representing the district in the Nevada Legislature come February.
“The community input was extremely valuable in this process, and now we are eager to move forward,” said Vice President Dr. Barbara McLaury. “Traci Davis will lead that effort, and this will not preclude her from becoming our superintendent permanently.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as interim superintendent, and I look forward to moving forward with our mission to educate all of our children, no matter where they come from or where they are in their educational journeys,” said Davis. “Since I became an educator, it has been my firm belief that achievement is not a place, it is a belief. We must have high academic expectations for every one of our students so they cross the graduation stage ready to succeed in college and highly-skilled careers. Our District has made great strides forward in our mission, and I look forward to continuing on that path to greatness.”
Davis holds the following degrees: Educational Specialist from Nova Southwestern University, with a focus on school administration; a master's degree of education in Educational Technology from Lesley College; and a bachelor of science in education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
(The Washoe County School District contributed to this report.)