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West board elects new chairman

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Sodding of fields planned

By Mercy Lopez

David Romero, 36, was elected chairman of the West Las Vegas School board last week, replacing Gary Gold who served in that position since 2011.

Romero originally nominated both Henry Abeyta and Marvin Martinez for the chairman position; however, both declined. Abeyta eventually nominated Romero for the position.

“We’ve always talked about giving everyone a chance to serve as chair during their four-year term,” Romero said.

Romero ran unopposed for his Position 5 seat on the board in February. He has held that seat since 2009. Romero previously served as vice chair under Gold.

Henry Abeyta was voted in as vice chair and Christine Ludi will remain as board secretary. Abeyta has served on the school board since 2011. Ludi has been on the school board since 2005 and is the longest-serving member on the current board.

During last Thursday’s lengthy meeting, the board also discussed various items including the condition of the baseball and softball fields, a trip planned to Wisconsin to learn about 5X5 block scheduling, and a trip to the International Reading 28th Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

At previous meetings, the board has discussed whether to sod the fields it has along Cinder Road or buy additional property near its high school for additional fields. Board members discussed that issue again, with Superintendent Gene Parson informing the board that it is continuing to pursue the sodding option.

The drought conditions have affected the fields, but the district owns water rights and has been working with the city to treat the fields with effluent water.

Parson, who owns a landscaping business, said he has been working diligently on getting the fields ready for the Lady Dons softball team and the Dons baseball team. He said the original plans to sod the field are still in place. The district plans to use volunteers to help lay the sod, and Parson is donating the use of his equipment.

The board also had a lengthy discussion about out-of-state travel requests. One of those trips is planned for April and will involve travel to Baloit, Wisc. is to observe, train and learn about 5X5 block scheduling. The high school is currently on 4X4 block scheduling; however, several school board members are unhappy with the current scheduling plan.

Parson said the 5X5 block scheduling is a combination of both traditional and block scheduling. After a discussion, the board approved the out-of-state travel for Parson and several staff members from the high school and the Family Partnership School.

Romero said the scheduling change needs to adhere to state statues and special education requirements.

The 5X5 scheduling did not sit well with Abeyta.

“It is still block; I don’t care how you look at it …,” he said. “This is another way of getting around and going back to traditional (scheduling).”

The board put its foot down on proposed travel for a reading conference in San Antonio in April. Board members said those attendees should be teachers and not administrators, given that the conference  focuses on reading education.