Charter school board reshuffling begins with surprise news for chair

charter school board in carson
The Nevada State Public Charter School Authority board.
charter school board in carson
The Nevada State Public Charter School Authority board.

The makeup of the state’s charter school board will soon be changing, with more than half of the current members expected to be replaced and two new positions being added.

State Public Charter School Authority board chair Jason Guinasso tweeted Monday that he’d learned Gov. Steve Sisolak will not be reappointing him to the board and instead will be appointing Sami Randolph. Guinasso told the Current he learned of the news directly from Randolph and that the governor’s office has not yet communicated with him regarding the decision.

“It was an honor to serve students, families, and schools these last three years,” read his tweet.

Guinasso was appointed to the board, which approves and oversees the majority of charter schools within Nevada, by former Gov. Brian Sandoval in 2016. He was selected as its chair in July 2017.

Guinasso told the Current he had no additional comments regarding his tenure on the charter school board because he is “still processing” the news. In his tweet Monday, he praised Randolph, stating she would be “an excellent addition” to the charter school board.

According to her resume, Randolph is an attorney who most recently served as associate general counsel for a public school district in Tennessee and previously spent a decade as a lawyer for Clark County School District.

Randolph was one of three finalists selected by the sitting charter school board for the charter school authority’s executive director position earlier this year. The three finalists were directed to the governor for consideration. Sisolak chose to appoint Rebecca Feiden, the acting executive director of the soon-to-be-dissolved Achievement School District, to that position.

The governor’s office has not responded to the Current’s request for comment on Guinasso, Randolph or the charter school board.

In addition to Guinasso’s pending departure, three other members — Nora Luna, Stavan Corbett and Jeff Hinton — reached the end of their terms last month and are expected to be replaced by legislative appointment.

The charter school authority is currently a seven-member board. Members are appointed — two by the governor, two by the state Senate majority leader, two by the state Assembly speaker and one by the Charter School Association of Nevada. However, the board will soon expand to nine members, with two additional spots being approved during the 2019 legislative session. Those two new positions will be appointed by the Nevada State Board of Education, which is currently accepting applications for consideration. Their deadline for accepting applications is Aug. 13.

The charter school board is scheduled to meet on Friday. Agendized is a discussion and vote to appoint a new chair and vice chair. The charter school board’s current vice chair is Melissa Mackedon, co-founder and current executive director of Oasis Academy, a charter school in Fallon, Nev.

Board members receive $80 per day for meetings.

April Corbin
Reporter | April Corbin is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. Most recently she covered local government for Las Vegas Sun. She has also been a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of its student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. April serves as treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas pro chapter and is an at-large member of the Asian American Journalists Association. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise. She lives with her boyfriend, his toddler, three mutts and five chickens. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, exploring Nevada and defending selfies.

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