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Trustees approve employment agreement for new superintendent (updated)

By Carly Sauvageau
Published: Last Updated on

The employment agreement for Susan Enfield to take over as Washoe County School District superintendent was approved 6-1 on Tuesday. Trustee Jeff Church voted against the contract. 

The contract includes a $310,000 annual salary, a potential $25,000 for moving costs and an $800 a month car allowance if required by the superintendent’s duties. 

Susan Enfield

“Thank you for your faith in me…I know I’m entering a very, very special community,” Enfield said after her contract was approved. 

The Board of Trustees initially wanted to have the next superintendent start in June to have overlap between the superintendents, but Enfield will not start until July 6. 

Enfield, who has been the superintendent for Highline Public Schools in Burien, Washington for the last decade, wants to finish out her school year there before starting with WCSD. 

“This is a momentous occasion,” said outgoing Superintendent Kristen McNeill. “I’m super thrilled with where our district is going to be going… I’m super excited just to have Dr. Enfield to come into the Washoe County School District family.”

McNeill will retire after Enfield takes over as superintendent, though McNeill encouraged Enfield to reach out with any help she may need.

“I know probably better than anyone in this room what you’ve gone through and how you’ve served over the last couple of years. I also know how much you deeply love this district and this community. And we are in the same boat,” Enfield said. “I, too, am handing over a community that I love very much and it comes with mixed emotions but this is my pledge to you: I will take care of and treasure and respect and serve this community in honor of your legacy and try to make you proud.”

$298 million in bonds approved 

Trustees approved the use of over $298 million in general obligation bonds for capital projects including the construction of new schools and modernizing older schools and facilities.

These bonds are paid by property taxes. 

While they are planning for several construction and facility improvement projects, WCSD Chief Financial Officer Mark Mathers said that the district is being cautious with their debt. The district would like to keep a 25% buffer to account for the unpredictability of the economy. 

Mathers said that the district is being particularly cautious due to “demand destruction.” As gas prices rise, people have less money to spend on consumer goods and services. This can cause sales tax revenues to be unpredictable.

There is also worry about an oncoming recession. The federal government is looking to raise interest rates for the next year and a half, according to Mathers. 

“This can help with inflation, but can also generate a recession,” Mathers said.

May 2022 recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month 

Trustees honored school counselors at Tuesday’s meeting by recognizing May 2022 as national Mental Health Awareness Month. 

Trustee Angie Taylor said that the pandemic had brought mental health issues to the forefront of problems facing students and staff even though it had been a problem before.

Flag song opened meeting

Diane Hicks’ 4th grade class performed the Shoshone Flag Song to open the WCSD trustees’ meeting. The class had worked with the Pyramid Lake Language and Culture Department and the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony to perform the Shoshone equivalent of the Pledge of Allegiance. 

According to Stacey Burns, who works with the Pyramid Lake Language and Culture Department as well as the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, the Flag Song honors veterans and those who serve our country.

“To see our youth here so proud and so excited…it’s a beautiful day for us here with our Numa people,” Burns said.

Update: This story has been updated to correct the amount of bonds approved by trustees for capital projects.

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