RENO — The long-awaited conclusion to the Washoe County School District’s superintendent search came Friday morning as the Board of Trustees selected Pedro Martinez to head up the vacant position.
Martinez accepted the offer via telephone Friday
and will begin
negotiating a contract with the
President of the Board of Trustees Ken Grein said the board was in a great position to make a decision that will benefit the district.
“We had five good candidates and the process was open with the community giving us honest feedback so we felt well informed,” he said. “This is where we wanted to be. It was a tough choice but that is what we wanted.”
Martinez, 42 and currently the deputy superintendent for the Clark County School District, worked under Dr. Heath Morrison at WCSD in 2009. As deputy superintendent for WCSD, he led the district’s performance
management system development and helped establish the district’s strategic plan for success.
“This community built that plan not to sit on a shelf and then blow up and redo,” Grein said adding that the community advocated for keeping to the plan already in place. “Pedro’s familiarity with the plan will benefit as well because he won’t have to sit down and learn it because he helped develop it.”
Along with the connection Martinez already possesses with Washoe County, Grein and other board members felt his past experience in Las Vegas and Chicago will benefit his ability to manage Washoe County.
“Being at Clark County School District, the fifth largest school district in the nation, was certainly great experience for him,” Grein said. “Working with those schools and communicating in that district, along with his background as a CPA and being bilingual is a great package.”
The Board of Trustees spent several hours in closed interviews and open forums with five finalist candidates during the week, asking for the opinions and comments of the community. The appointment of Martinez was a 7-0 vote by the board.
“Our mission was to talk these things through in public meeting and talk about the feedback we received,” Grein said. “We were able to hear each person on the board say what they felt and it gave us a chance to have those courageous conversations.”
In the time leading up to Martinez’s arrival the board has named Kristen McNeill the interim superintendent. McNeill will handle the day to day business of the superintendent and resume her position as chief strategies officer upon Martinez’s arrival.
In a press release from the WCSD, Dr. Heath Morrison, who will assume superintendent duties at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools on Monday, said electing Martinez as superintendent will continue the positive changes in Washoe County.
I was pleased to bring Pedro to WCSD as deputy superintendent, and I am pleased he will continue the work we started together several years ago,” Morrison said. “I am confident Pedro and the Board of Trustees will continue to build on the strong foundation in Washoe County.”
Grein believes the transition, contract negotiation and adjustment will go smoothly for Martinez and that he will be ready to work when he arrives.
“I see his first priority to go out and meet the community,” he said. “Having been here before, he needs to go out and rekindle those relationships by getting out to all the schools.”