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Our Superintendent Picks & Candidate Impressions


The Battle Born Moms team has been heavily involved in researching, meeting and learning about the five final superintendent candidates slated for WCSD Board consideration. We need your help, the Board of Trustees is asking for all families and community members to provide feedback and fill out their superintendent survey by THIS FRIDAY (4/22) at 5:00pm. They will make final decisions next week at the special meeting on Tuesday 4/26 after 4:00pm.


It is imperative that we get the right person to lead this district because we can't afford another misaligned Superintendent guiding our children into unpreparedness.


Share Your Opinion with the Board

As in all big decisions, we encourage you to take time to learn about each candidate and share your thoughts with the Board. As a community, its critical that we participate in the process of selecting our leadership. To help you, we have put together a quick summary of our impressions of the candidates (we encourage you to do your own research). Additionally, here are the links you will need as you further research the candidates and complete the survey (SO important):


Candidate Information Page (bios / resumes / videos): Link


WCSD Superintendent Candidate Evaluation Summary (due Friday, 4/22 5pm): Link



Sherrell Hobbs, Ph.D., Fort Lauderdale, FL


Experience:

Sherrell Hobbs has experience in the private and public sector. Currently, she is the CEO of a private charter organization. She has had plenty of experience as an Assistant and Area Superintendent in in the inner city (Detroit) and with at risk youth (alternative high school). She has come from that experience with a wealth of knowledge on how to love and motivate into results. If selected, she would plan to stay in WCSD long term.


Places Value on Parental Rights:

When asked how she feels about parents’ role in children’s education, she said one word, ACTIVE. They must have an active role in their education. We cannot do “our” job without parent involvement. They are their children’s first teachers and they know their child the best. She believes that social values and morals need to be instilled by the parents and not the schools. When asked about CRT, she was the only who said that there is no place for opinions in schools. When we move away from curriculum and state standards, that is where problems arise. No room for opinions, prejudices and political ideologies. She said kids don’t fail schools, schools fail kids. She said it was important to embrace the role of the parents.


Places Value on Family Choices & Academic Rigor

She indicates that schools are not to be a "police state" and students need to be encouraged to govern themselves. When asked about vaccinations, she said she wasn’t vaccinated and that it should be about parental and personal choice. She is for school choice. She was asked her stance on mediocrity and she said that mediocrity is status quo. We need to expect more from our students and set high standards and that each student must EARN their diplomas. She said that she worked very hard to EARN all her diplomas. She wants every family to be proud of their children. Parents bring “us” their best child and it’s “our” job to serve them “our” best way. She wants to serve but she wants the board to make the best decision for their district because ALL the children and staff depend on the board’s decision because the community depends on “you”.


We believe Dr. Hobbs has the ability to bring this community together. This by far is her greatest strength. She is open and honest and speaks with heart. In fact, she had the entire board in tears during her closing interview statements on April 20th. She is willing to listen to ALL sides and do what is best for the children. She obviously has a unique perspective because she is a black woman and believes education is for all children not just for some.

  • Wants to remove barriers to help teachers be more creative

  • Believes a marker for success is morale among teachers and students. Do they want to come to school everyday?

  • Describes herself as a servant leader

  • Believes teachers are the most important asset. “We must value humans, it can’t just be the kids, it all has to be looked at together”

  • Believes in full transparency, used Michigan’s Transparency Report as an example.

  • Big on collective voice: “listen, learn, seek to understand, listen again”.

  • She successfully transformed 19 schools and had them removed from the state priority list

  • Commitment to English Language Learners (ELL) program

  • Teacher pay and smaller classes are a priority


Susan Enfield, Ed.D., Normandy Park, WA


Experience:

She has had success up in the Pacific Northwest and has been a 10 year Superintendent in Washington...so she comes with plenty of experience. She brought up the graduation rate from 62% to 83% (though we don't know what policies were used to create those numbers.). She was awarded Superintendent of the Year in 2021 by Spokane Washington. Received her Doctorate from Harvard. She is applying for the job as a professional challenge.


New Ideas:

During her interview she shared some good ideas that have worked in her district. One that we specifically liked was the online forum to elicit family feedback. Parents can "star" other parents responses, allowing the district to track trends or identify problems based on how many stars. She has a similar mission statement in Oregon as we do in WCSD: "Every Student by name and by face...etc." Because we need transformation in our district and better funding....we are hoping she brings enough new perspective to be able to shift this giant districts' current course.


Poised and Competent:

She is poised, knowledgeable and well versed. At the family forums she took the time to visit and shake hands and make eye contact...where other candidates didn't get up out of the chair. She seems like a leader who can manage large amounts of staff and manage schools, staff and students.

  • Her biggest accomplishment was Restorative Justice practice lowering suspensions. But at what cost to the other students and teachers safety and learning time? Local Washington papers claimed her discipline policies were driving teachers away

  • She advocated and got full day kindergarten in her district.

  • When asked about Covid closures, she stated she's not sure that her state did the correct thing, but feels it was based on what she knew at the time. She said she'd be lying if she didn’t communicate with her superintendent friends in states like Texas and Florida who did not close schools and everything was ok, and children suffered mental illness due to closure of schools.

  • Parents and families are first teachers, so honoring and hearing what they have to say is important and making changes where needed. Handling discipline is complex and not one simple policy will suffice.

  • When asked about cyber security, she said she didn’t know about data mining and such, but that the privacy of our students is very important, promising more research to educate herself more on this topic. She was very honest when she didn’t have much knowledge on a certain topic.

  • She stated: “school is not a place for indoctrination”

  • Commitment to English Language Learners (ELL) program

  • Believes all curriculum should be public, but the key words are “curriculum”, her own example is SEL, there is only resources, not actual curriculum.

  • In her district she uses the hashtag #teamkid because she believes in family and staff working together. Serve the student by partnering with families and staff to get the work done.

  • She uses a lot of leadership coined words like “lean in”, “do the work”

  • She prefers to say “belonging” over the word “equity”

  • In her words about leading, “you cannot ask people to follow you if you won’t walk beside them"

  • She is an advocate for pre-k


Jhone Ebert, Md.E, Carson City, NV


Experience:

Born and raised in Nevada. She was appointed by Governor Sisolak and serves as the Superintendent for Public Instruction in Nevada; meaning, she works at the Nevada State Department of Education determining decisions like funding allocations that filter down to all districts, including WCSD. Ebert spent several years in the Clark County School District before a stint in New York. She moved back to Nevada in 2019 where she took over as Superintendent. She received her Bachelor's Degree in math from Fresno State and her Master's Degree from UNLV.


Per the DOE website: "An equity champion, Ms. Ebert has rooted her career in the belief that the work is unfinished until every single child has a clear pathway to thrive in school and life. As State Superintendent of Public Instruction, her proudest accomplishment is Nevada’s innovative and responsive COVID-19 recovery efforts, which enabled Nevada’s districts to successfully adapt to deliver distance education and prepare for safe school re-openings."


Status Quo...

If we want to continue down the same path WCSD is now on, then Jhone Ebert is a good choice. She is part of the team at the state level driving the decisions we see today. She is the face of the equity driven policy over education. When asked in the Board interviews about why WCSD's budget is so much lower per child than other districts, she sidestepped it as a lack of funding issue. There was no talk of prioritizing the budget to give teachers higher pay, smaller class sizes, and students transportation to school.


Regarding CRT, Ms. Ebert said CRT is not in WCSD state standards and is not being taught. This is how the District sidesteps the question. CRT may not explicitly be taught, but the District has introduced into the State Social Studies Standards “social justice'', which is often expressed in terms of white oppressors and people of color as the oppressed. Multiethnic studies by teaching accurate contributions to the nation's history as directed by the Nevada Legislature is warmly welcomed, but not the divisive CRT-like teachings of social justice. WCSD has currently unknown new books for grades K-12 and a social justice task force still in discussions, so there is little knowledge of what students will be taught in the future.


Stricken from a question was the March 2022 conference call in the Clark County School District to mitigate rapidly increasing campus violence. As reported, during this year alone CCSD Police say they have confiscated 25 firearms from inside schools and reported about 3,000 assaults, batteries and fights. This is also occurring in WCSD schools, just look at news reports and speak to parents. The tenants of equitable restorative justice, focus more on positive conversations with the offenders vs removing them from a classroom, bringing violence and chaos to our schools and an unsafe environment for students and teachers.


When questioned about hot national issues where stakeholders are at odds with each other she believes it is due to misinformation. She said the Board of Trustees should start having their own town halls to have the discussions at the table. She said she was disappointed to hear in the family forum that families in WCSD don't feel heard. This is true, there have been little to no town hall meetings held by the Board of Trustees where the community and parents have face to face back and forth communication with the Board of Trustees and the stakeholders. This absence of communication has led to much of the frustration in the District.


Positives

  • Introduced herself to parents, had eye contact, very politically polished and poised.

  • She was absolutely a proponent of cyber security and felt it was imperative that our childrens' data must be private.

  • Big proponent of CTE (career and technical education), which is wonderful to see. Gave 92% graduation rate for students enrolled in CTE courses. We also like that she stated it didn’t have to be an either or for kids - they could be enrolled in advance classes AND CTE courses.

  • She is in favor of “off-boarding” instructional programs that are not working to move that money to other programs that are. She knows alot about revenue and I believe would push for higher taxes.

  • She is also concerned about health and safety and says that’s “non-negotiable”

  • She started a virtual high school in southern Nevada, but does not believe online learning is for every child.

  • Believes funding is an equity issue, passes the buck when asked about spending accountability (she’s the State superintendent, appointed by Gov. Sisolak): “her accomplishments include the overhaul of Nevada’s 54-year-old education funding formula, which has been replaced with a student-centered approach that allocates resources more equitably while ensuring flexibility for districts and schools.” Why does she still see funding an issue if she had a hand in Rewriting the plan? (see link)

  • Commitment to English Language Learners (ELL) program


Caprice Young, Ed.D., Los Angeles, CA


Experience:

Currently serves as president of Education Growth Group in Los Angeles, California (A charter school conglomerate). She doesn't have as much public school experience, and only worked in the Texas education system for a year before moving to southern California in 2015. She received her Bachelor's Degree in history from Yale University, her Master's Degree from USC and her Doctor of Education from UCLA.


Seemed Out of Touch:

  • In the public forums, she offered no direct eye contact. Unlike other candidates, she didn't engage any parents or the public...She sat down and worked on her phone when she could have been introducing herself.

  • She didn't seem to do her homework on our district. She thinks the Washoe County Community is happy with public schools because of the lack of charter schools. That was her key indicator of our success (not our national rankings...blink, blink). She also failed to notice how difficult it is to get a charter approved by the State.

  • Her career goal is to be a Superintendent.

  • When asked why she wanted to be the Superintendent of WCSD, she gave a vague answer about how she thought the school board was very passionate and cared for the community.

Ideologies

  • She believes White privilege exists because when she walks through the world “she is not assumed to be a criminal because of the color of her skin.”

  • She believes Equity = academic success, stated “If you don’t do the academics, you’re not doing equity". Stated that equity and justice has to be about education.

  • She is very excited about how data driven we are as a district. She is also excited about our strong relationship with CASEL who is the main proponent of our Transformative SEL (social emotional learning with a focus on racial bias).

  • She believes parents should have access to core curriculum and textbooks; online and in libraries

  • She is a strong proponent of cyber security being a techy person. Need privacy in childrens’ data and information.

  • She says the most important person in a student’s life is the parent or guardian.

  • Encourages curiosity and courage to dream.

  • Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

  • She believes in and is good at cross section - bringing all kinds of people together in the community to make things happen.

  • She is a champion of disadvantaged students. Grew up with dozens of foster siblings as her parents were foster parents all her life.

  • Commitment to English Language Learners (ELL) program


Shawn T. Loescher, Ed.D., San Diego, CA


Experience:

Currently in the CEO of Urban Discovery Schools (private charter school) in San Diego, California. Loescher has worked in San Diego schools since 2004. He received his Bachelor's Degree in performance from Berklee School of Music in Boston, his Master's Degree from National University and his Doctor of Education from Arizona State


Huge Proponent of Equity, Diversity & Bias Training

He is an actual professor of Critical Race Theory at the collegiate level. He says there is no CRT in any elementary school, and that all community members are misinformed. He told parents at the family forum that he would sit down with anyone who disagreed with him on CRT, and he would prove his position is the right one. Very condescending in tone and responses to families. Check video 1:30:30 https://youtu.be/LEpdy2Ic8aY. He didn't even imply that a discussion could be had or active listening would be important in this conversation. Doesn't seem big on collaboration. He stated that WCSD needs to be talking about race and that it can’t be just a 15 minute discussion.


Progressive Ideologies

  • Believes in teaching all children about sex, claims pregnancies in his state are at their all time low due to teachings sex in schools.

  • He is a strong advocate of transgender kids and the correlation to high suicide rates; he believes it is a topic that we need to be discussing.

  • Doesn't fully subscribe to parental rights. His ideology is "conformity of community parental rights." Meaning the district will listen to the collective...not the one.

  • Believes in ambiguity. "Ambiguity is a gift of possibility. Statistical probability is designed to help us make more informed decisions, but it measures the past, not the future." See His TedTalk here for more on his ideas of ambiguity and his solution for public education in service centers: https://youtu.be/qlBf2CQmeT0

  • He wants to transform WCSD into a “Human Centered Service Center”.

  • Regarding curriculum, he believes books should be available to parents, but day to day practices (lesson plans) absolutely not.

  • Commitment to English Language Learners (ELL) program

Positives

He did talk to us with a sincerity in regards to IEP and SPED because he knows first hand how challenging this can be. He has a child with special needs, cerebral palsy.