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School Board Election

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District C - Joe Rodriguez


Joe Rodriguez

Incumbent District C

Appointed to fill vacancy in 2021

Candidate Website


Take a moment to check out our report card on the current Board's performance...

Trustee Rodriguez would not meet with us for a candidate interview.


Joe Rodriguez was appointed as a WCSD Trustee on July 13, 2021, replacing District C Trustee Andrew Caudill. He has lived in Washoe County for 21 years and has 4 children, 3 who are in the school district. He has worked for BLM as a firefighter and served in the National Guard for eleven years, deploying several times. . Currently, Mr. Rodriguez works for the Nevada Department of Public Safety in the State Fire Marshal Division.


Mr. Rodriguez was appointed by the Board over Dr. John Gwaltney who has spent 46 years in education, served on the Nevada State Board of Education for 8 years, and served as Chairman for 1 year. Dr. Gwaltney also served as President of TMCC for 8 years.  For the public, Trustee Rodriguez was a surprising choice. 



In January of 2022, Trustee Rodriguez, like Trustee Beth Smith, announced his candidacy at the monthly meeting of the Washoe Democrats. Here is an excerpt. Mr. Rodriguez says, “Sarah (Mahler, Washoe Dems Chair) helped me get on with the Washoe Democrats, the Veterans, Northern Washoe Democrats” and “I expressed my interest to Sarah when this opportunity came up in the Washoe County School District which I couldn't think of a better place to relay-work my law enforcement  into this, work with at risk youth…schools are sometimes the safest place for them to be”.  


Trustee Rodriguez also was excited that he got his “Actblue up and going.” Actblue is a Democratic and progressive fundraising platform.  On his website Joe’s tagline is, “An experienced independent voice”. “I am running for our kids, our neighbors, our educators and our future. With your vote, I can continue being a voice for you.”  On his website, Joe’s tagline is, “An experienced independent voice.” “I am running for our kids, our neighbors, our educators and our future. With your vote, I can continue being a voice for you.”



Trustee Rodriguez does not offer a specific platform for review, but instead he offers on his voting record of proven results which encompass; obtaining funding for building and remodeling schools, $3.7 million for microphones, speakers and amplifiers for 40 schools, anti-bullying policy to promote safe schools and prioritizing using ESSER funds by voting to invest in classroom technology.


Voting & Platform Record:

  • What stands out is the words prioritizing, we often see funds prioritized for many things in the budget, like Trustee Rodriguez’s vote for microphones etc., but we do not see prioritizing teacher and bus driver pay. Nor do we see prioritizing funding small class sizes requested by numerous teachers and stakeholders. Like all the incumbents running for reelection, we saw Trustee Rodriguez vote for variances that allow the Board to circumvent a law that requires smaller class size via teacher student ratios.

  • Looking at Trustee Rodriguez’s desire to promote safe schools, we welcome anti-bullying policy, but we at BBME are concerned with the failure to consider tensions that will occur when students are taught to look at and judge each other by their skin color,  introduced through social justice and equity teachings. Parents and community members rose up, attending May and June 2021 board meetings, strongly voicing their opposition; they do not want racially divisive equity and social justice ideology taught to their children. 

  • When interviewed by a reporter, Trustee Rodriguez spoke that teaching math and science is not enough, they must understand tolerance.  When he was asked about the district teaching social justice, which includes the social and economic inequalities that are part of U.S. history. His reply was that it is a state mandate that the curriculum be taught in schools. (Which is NOT true...see our rebuttal article

  • It is also contradictory that Trustee Rodriguez, and his fellow incumbent candidates, will follow the law or mandate when it comes to social justice, yet fail to follow the law regarding teacher student ratio for class size.  

  • We do not see where Nevada Revised Statute 389  mandates teaching social justice; instead, we see it requires the board of trustees of a school district to provide K-12 instruction on the “history and contributions to science, the arts and humanities of certain groups of persons.” We have seen ample evidence that the Nevada Department of Education and WCSD have decided to teach an “us vs them” social justice, which seems to be in direct contradiction to the multicultural education mandated by the NV Legislature, as well as federal and state civil rights laws. A multicultural education, teaching all history - the good and the bad - is always welcomed and an important part of our students' education.

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