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UNLV, Metro Chamber Offer Class To Aspiring School Board Members

It’s back to school time, including for those interested in serving on boards of education.

A new class designed to boost the skills of those interested in serving on school boards is being launched by the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs and the Leadership Foundation of Greater Las Vegas, the philanthropic arm of the Metro Chamber.

Chamber executive Cara Clarke, who heads the Leadership Foundation, said the new class gives tools to people who want to improve schools but may have only an incomplete idea about board members’ duties.

“We’re going to start to term limit out our school board members very quickly and we don’t have a training ground for those people who want to step into those roles,” she said. 

One of the most important parts of the class is training on how the school district budget works. 

John Guedry is the CEO of the Bank of Nevada. He said people believe since they can budget for their own households they can budget for the school. 

But of course, budgeting for the school board is extremely complex.

“How money is funded is equally important to how much is funded. It’s really important that a school board member and the general public understand the nuances of those,” Guedry said.

Support comes from

Stavan Corbett is with the Public Education Foundation. He understands what it's like to step into an education board without a training class.

He once served on the Nevada Board of Education. When he was running, he reached out to former board members to get in idea of how the board worked. 

However, the new class provides a one-stop shop for that same information.

“This really is something that provides a support system for anybody who is interested to really go into this space get comprehensive information, access to individuals versus running all around town trying to get people to meet with you to develop this type of knowledge base,” he said.

Corbett said parents and others concerned about education are often confused about what a board trustee can do, what the central administration can do and what a principal can do, which means they don't know who to bring concerns to, this class could help clear up that confusion.

The new course begins later in September and areas of focus include roles of board members, budgeting, and curriculum.

Bank of Nevada President John Guedry, left, Las Vegas Metro Chamber executive Cara Clarke, center, and Stavan Corbett, senior vice president of strategic initiatives for the Public Education Foundation discuss a class to better prepare people to serve on school boards./Credit: Doug Puppel

Guests

Cara Clarke, Las Vegas Metro Chamber; John Guedry, CEO, Bank of Nevada; Stavan Corbett, senior vice president of strategic initiatives, Public Education Foundation