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September 21, 2014

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Four candidates emerge to fill Clark County School Board vacancy

Four candidates have applied to fill a vacancy on the Clark County School Board.

Last month, School Board member Lorraine Alderman resigned unexpectedly, citing new opportunities. The longtime Clark County School District administrator had represented District D, which encompasses the central Las Vegas Valley and represents nearly 49,000 students feeding into Clark, Desert Pines, Rancho, Silverado and Valley high schools.

The School District has been seeking applications for the District D position on the School Board for the past two weeks. The application deadline closed Monday.

The School Board is expected to interview the following four candidates on Thursday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m. They may choose after the interviews to appoint a candidate to replace Alderman.

Stavan Corbett is an education consultant who has served on the state School Board since 2010. He is also on the board of WestEd, an education consulting firm, and currently serves as vice president of programs for the Nevada Parent Teachers Association, supporting parent programs at more than 100 schools. Corbett has experience as an elementary schoolteacher, an education advocate at UNLV and administrator at Nevada State College.

“I was born and raised in Las Vegas and have witnessed the opportunities and challenges we have experienced in our schools and in our community,” Corbett wrote in his application. “I draw from my experiences as a student at CCSD and now as a parent with three children attending CCSD. … As a trustee, I would work toward minimizing the education gaps while supporting those who continue to push the bar of expectations.”

William Thomas Lucas is a retired postal worker who was formerly a journalism instructor at several California colleges as well as a spokesman for the Garden Grove Unified School District in California. Lucas graduated with a bachelor’s degree from California State University and a master’s degree from UCLA, and has taken continuing education courses in computer training at UNLV.

“(There is) little doubt a Hispanic candidate would be of great interest (to School Board members),” Lucas said in his application. “I am not Hispanic. But I would ask any candidate … who was born and raised in (diverse) California communities? I was. Additionally, I have traveled extensively in Mexico and appreciate it as a magnificent country. I am not fluent in Spanish, but my memory from classes was sufficient for me to assist several families to complete their forms for as as I worked (as a canvasser) for the 2010 Census.”

Tara Raines is a Lincy Institute-funded assistant professor of school psychology at UNLV. Raines has experience as a special education teacher, working with medically fragile children and those with severe emotional disturbances. Raines' research focuses on the overrepresentation of minority children in special education programs. Raines has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in special education from Florida State University and a doctorate in school psychology from Georgia State University.

“As an educator, researcher and school psychologist, I believe that my diverse professional experiences have prepared me well for this remarkable opportunity,” Raines wrote in her application. “The responsibilities and duties included within this role are consistent with my own goals: to promote and support the high school graduation of all students in the Clark County School District and to prepare them to be positive contributors to our global community.”

Charles Ware is the owner of a private health education consulting firm in Las Vegas who has worked with various nonprofits and statewide associations to promote healthy living and exercise. Ware has a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Missouri and a doctorate in health education from A.T. Still University in Missouri.

“Because learning is an active process, it occurs best when the community, families, school districts, the institutions within the district, the faculty and staff, the teachers and most importantly the students are aligned in one belief … to be active early and often in students’ education,” Ware wrote in his application. “I am very interested in becoming a (School Board member) because of my greatest asset: being an educator. … The amount and type of education I have acquired has enabled me to learn and understand what learners want and need."

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