LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The Clark County School Board opted not to go with a national search for a superintendent, contrary to what many in the Las Vegas business community preferred.
They made a quick decision to give the job to Interim Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky.
Trustees we spoke with Wednesday, they say he knows the district, and he has a plan. And they say they don't want to waste time bringing someone up to speed to keep the train moving.
After the board pushed aside a national search for a new leader, it left the door wide open for a 25 year district veteran to become the district's 14th superintendent. The vote for Skorkowsky was unanimous.
“Once it became clear to me that this was a great opportunity, I didn't want to wait. Once I saw the potential for what could happen for students here, I didn't want to wait. I wanted to act,” said Trustee Erin Cranor.
Most of the board members we spoke to say he was the person they needed to put into place. Their goal: implementing reforms started by predecessor Dwight jones who recently left in the middle of his contract to attend to his sick mother.
“The best thing about Paul Skorkowsky is he can hit the ground running. He knows which schools are performing well and which are not. If he's not surrounded by the staff that can make a difference, I trust that the will find the other colleagues and administrators that will make a difference in this district,” said Trustee Lorraine Alderman.
Initially Board President Carolyn Edwards wanted a national search at the meeting to vet more candidates, but eventually supported Skorkowsky.
“How do you get to a place where you can support where the majority of the board wants to go? And so that’s the work I did last night and I arrived at that place, hence my vote to support Pat Skorkowsky,” Edwards said.
What convinced her were his answers during questioning, especially about English Language Learning, which the district ranked poorly in a recent study.
“He had a clear plan. I think it’s a workable plan and I think he’s going to bring extra focus on the issue, and the fact that he’s already gotten started,” Edwards said.
Trustees say it was not about money, but about the best candidate.
“It became so clear that it was the right choice and we plead with the community to get on board because we need that help. We don't need an adversarial position right now,” said Trustee Patrice Tew.
Their next step is discussing Skorkowsky's contract, and a possible bonus incentive for staying.