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BREAKING: City Schools board rejects superintendent finalists

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McNellis-Martinez to remain interim superintendent for now

By Martin Salazar

A divided Las Vegas City Schools Board voted to not hire any of the four finalists for the superintendent post.

Board member Ricky Serna made the motion, explaining that he was looking for someone who could take the district from where it is to a model for education reform. He said that based on the interviews, he did not think any of the remaining finalists could do that.

The board approved Serna's motion by a 3-2 vote, with Serna and board members Gloria Lovato-Pacheco and Felix Alderete voting in favor. Board members Gabriel Lucero and Elaine Luna voted against the motion.

The four finalists were Sheri Williams, outgoing superintendent for the Carlsbad Municipal Schools; Marc Space, superintendent of Putnam Valley Schools in New York; Eric Martinez, superintendent of the Questa district and Jim Reed, a former superintendent of Dora (N.M) Consolidated Schools.

A fifth finalist, Paul Gregory Rockhold, had previously withdrawn his name from consideration.

The Optic has previously reported that Williams, Space and Martinez are on paid leave from their current superintendent positions. Rockhold had been relieved of his superintendent duties by his school board prior to his contract expiring.

Alderete, the board president, thanked the search committee that forwarded the list of finalists to the board. He noted that the committee wasn't asked to conduct background checks on the candidates because the board had planned to hire a professional to look into each of the finalists background. Alderete said the board did receive a complete background report on the finalists.

Alderete said the board plans to take up the matter of the district's leadership in the near future. In the meantime, he said, Sheryl McNellis-Martinez will continue to serve as interim superintendent.