LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – A necessary step or a step back for the Clark County School District? The day after the CCDS administrators voted to push Superintendent Jesus Jara away, attention is now focused on the future of the school district and who will lead it.
âThere is blood in the water. When you have a political job like this, there is blood in the water.
Clark County Education Association executive director John Vellardita is frustrated with the decision of CCSD trustees to fire Superintendent Jesus Jara. He does not understand why the administrators wanted to cancel Dr. Jara’s work immediately with about six weeks before the superintendent’s assessment.
âThis superintendent should be judged on his performance, just like an educator in a classroom,â he said.
Trustee Katie Williams, who voted against Dr Jara’s dismissal, also felt it was political and put the CCSD on the path to uncertainty.
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âThey had one goal and that was to get rid of Superintendent Jesus Jara. They have obviously succeeded and they have no plan for the future. They were so blinded by their hatred of this man, âshe said.
She said Dr. Jara was not perfect but provided a tempering voice in the neighborhood. Administrator Williams fears there is instability that could hurt potential superintendent candidates and cause lawmakers to consider appointing school boards.
âThey don’t want this chaos in the neighborhood. They don’t want this chaos in the state. It’s embarassing. I said it last night. It’s embarrassing for all this advice. I’m embarrassed, âshe said.
In a phone conversation, Administrator Danielle Ford, who voted to oust Dr Jara, said she heard district staff fearing Dr Jara say he created a culture of intimidation and retaliation and that he felt he was not being honest. The Ford administrator also says she believes the district will still be able to function and thinks the next superintendent should be someone who knows southern Nevada.
Vicki Kreidel of the National Education Association of Southern Nevada says she trusts the board’s decision.
“I don’t think they would have terminated his contract if they had no valid reasons,” she said.
She says Dr Jara’s tenure was not perfect and that he felt he focused too much on statistics and numbers rather than the general well-being of students. Kreidel says she has the same confidence that the board can choose a better leader.
âWe can only move forward from here. It was really tough, but I think it can improve with the right leadership, âshe said.
Superintendent Jara’s tenure began as it ended with a split vote on the Board of Trustees in 2018. Dr. Jara arrived after serving as Assistant Superintendent of Public Schools in Orange County, Florida.
He has embarked on the development of an ambitious five-year plan called “Focus 2024 to improve test scores and student achievement.”
âYou look at it. What works you keep doing and what doesn’t, you stop doing it and you reallocate resources,â he said previously.
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Dr Jara has also received praise for developing relationships with students, especially at Mission High School, which helps teens recover from addiction. The superintendent also faced challenges related to negotiations with the CAMC on new teacher contracts in 2019, while avoiding a strike. CAMC Executive Director John Vellardita says that despite some pitfalls, their relationship with Dr Jara has been professional.
âRelationship is something that you work through hard times. You go through difficult times where there are disagreements, but you get past that, âhe said.
There was perhaps no greater challenge than the pandemic forcing students into distance education. Meanwhile, Dr Jara and some directors on the board had a controversial relationship where he faced criticism over communication and poor culture and climate. A decision to terminate his contract in July 2020 failed when the discussion was filed by 4-3. He was finally ousted Thursday night in the same 4-3 vote. Dr Jara says he was prevented from adopting the changes he was hired for by some administrators.
âAs some members of this council seek to manage district operations and micromanage and undermine the staff and myself, I am committed to protecting the staff from their overbreadth and interference,â he said. he declares.
Based on the writing in his contract, Superintendent Jara will serve for the next 30 days and will then receive the full amount of his salary and other benefits whenever his contract is due to end. His annual salary is approximately $ 320,000.