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November 28, 2014

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Education:

School’s out for interim superintendent, who will retire from state education department

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Cathleen Allison / AP Photo

Nevada Interim Superintendent Rorie Fitzpatrick testifies on a bill that would give tax breaks to businesses if they donate to a school voucher program at the Legislative Building in Carson City, April 9, 2013. Fitzpatrick has announced that she will retire from the state Education Department this year.

Interim Superintendent for Public Instruction Rorie Fitzpatrick announced her resignation from the Nevada education department this morning.

Fitzpatrick’s resignation comes one week after Gov. Brian Sandoval announced his pick for state superintendent. Sandoval’s former advisor, Dale Erquiaga, will replace former Superintendent Jim Guthrie, who resigned in March without giving any reason.

In an email to the Nevada Board of Education this morning, Fitzpatrick said she will support Erquiaga through the transition over the next couple of months. She said does not have an exact timeframe for leaving the department.

“I am extremely optimistic about the future of the agency under the leadership of Dale Erquiaga,” Fitzpatrick said in the email. “Mr. Erquiaga and I have agreed that when it feels right for me to go, I will do so. I imagine that will be in the next few months, but there is no hardwired date planned at this time.”

Fitzpatrick, who has been with the state education department since 1998, said she does not know where she will end up after she leaves. She said she is considering several job offers.

Fitzpatrick’s departure from the state education department represents the third leadership change in a little more than a year. Fitzpatrick, who has extensive knowledge of Nevada's education policies, was the chairwoman of the Teachers and Leaders Council, which has been developing the state's new teacher evaluation system.

"I am a little bittersweet about this shift in my career," said Fitzpatrick, who has spent most of her professional career at the department. "I have begun to pursue options that will allow me to utilize my best skills, knowledge and dispositions to the benefit of students in this great country of ours."

Check back later for more on this developing story.

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