Name: Tim Huges
Party Affiliation: Nonpartisan office
Biography provide by candidate:
Tim Hughes is a proud 3rd generation Nevadan, native Las Vegan, and first generation college graduate. Early on he learned the value of working hard and giving back to others – two values that have been at the center of his personal and professional work. Growing up in Las Vegas during the period of rapid growth, Tim also learned another valuable lesson that has informed his life’s work: anything is possible.
Fueled by his belief that it is possible to make progress towards some of our nation’s most pressing challenges, after graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, Tim became a middle school science teacher in Baltimore City. Through building relationships with his students and their families, Tim gained a deeper understanding of the challenges facing underserved communities.
Determined to create the conditions where more students would have the opportunity to achieve their full potential, Tim began studying urban school leadership with New Leaders, an organization that works with some of the most successful and respected public schools across the country. He went on to become the principal of a middle school and also developed teacher preparation programs around the country, including a teacher preparation program serving small rural school districts. All of this work expanded Tim’s perspective on education, reinforced his belief in the role that communities can play in improving educational outcomes, and inspired him to come back home to Nevada.
Tim has recently been working with local Las Vegas schools as the Director of the Nevada Teacher Corps to help recruit and train new teachers who will join the efforts of the thousands of teachers, administrators, and staff already in our schools. He has also been involved with the What’s Next Nevada advisory group– a coalition of community leaders focused on addressing the education challenges facing our state.
Tim is excited to continue to work each day with students, teachers, families, and leaders across our great state as a member of the Nevada State Board of Education to ensure that we fulfill our responsibility to provide every child in Nevada with a rigorous and inspiring education.
Question: What’s most important issue facing state schools?
Our biggest challenge as a state in regards to education is that we are currently not providing all of our students with the type of high quality education that they deserve. On most indicators of educational outcomes, Nevada ranks at or near the bottom as compared to most other states. For example, our graduation rates, academic achievement, literacy attainment, and college success rates are far from where they need to be, especially for our students coming from low-income backgrounds and those who have special needs. There are many challenges that our state faces which contribute to these low educational outcomes, such as our state-wide teacher shortage, school and student funding model, high transiency rate, and student access to the types of programs and supports that address their specific learning needs, to name a few.
Question: What can you do, as a state board member, to help fix it?
Nevada is at a historic moment in regards to how we educate our children. We have recently enacted important policies and have created an improved financial landscape for our districts and schools. I am optimistic that with thoughtful and experienced leadership, we will be able to work together over the coming years to make significant improvements for our students.
The main role of the State Board of Education is to ensure that policies aimed at improving schools are implemented successfully and to hold school districts and schools accountable to improving outcomes for our kids. If implemented correctly, many of the policies that were recently enacted have the potential to improve student outcomes. However, if these policies are going to have the desired impact, the board must think carefully about how various policies will impact each layer of our educational system so that these new initiatives don’t just become another top-down failed attempt at improving our schools.
This is where I feel I will bring an important voice and perspective to the board. I have worked at each level in the educational system – as a teacher, principal, and non-profit leader working with schools and districts to train teachers and school leaders nationally and locally. Given my deep experience with education, I understand how policy impacts those who are responsible for its implementation, and I will work to ensure that the programs and policies we enact will have the best chance for success.
Finally, if elected, I intend to take a community-centered approach to this role by listening to the voices and opinions of those in our community so that we can ensure that the policies and approaches we take reflect the needs and diversity of our community.
(Editor's note: The candidate's biography and answers were not edited for content or length)
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