Posts Tagged ‘superintendent of public instruction’

Gov. Brian Sandoval Names James Guthrie Of The George W. Bush Institute As New State School Chief

By Sean Whaley | 1:57 pm March 12th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval today named James Guthrie, currently the senior fellow and director of education policy studies at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas, as Nevada’s new public schools chief.

Guthrie, who will be based in Las Vegas, will begin his job as state superintendent of public instruction on April. 2. He succeeds current Superintendent Keith Rheault, who is retiring.

Sandoval selected Guthrie from three names forwarded to him by the state Board of Education. The board interviewed five candidates last month. Guthrie received unanimous support from the board.

James Guthrie.

Sandoval’s appointment of Guthrie is a first for a Nevada governor. The state board had made the superintendent appointments until the law was changed by the 2011 Legislature as part of an education reform package sought by Sandoval.

“After the passage of education reform in the last legislative session, for Nevada to have access to a figure with a national reputation is the perfect next step,” Sandoval said. “I am honored and thrilled Dr. Guthrie has agreed to help lead Nevada as we continue strengthening education in our great state.”

In a phone interview today, Guthrie said he decided to seek the position in part because of a belief that Nevada is on the brink of significant success in the public education arena.

“There are many hopeful signs in the state, not least of which is . . .  we have two of the nation’s best superintendents and we may have more than that,” he said. “I just only know Heath Morrison in Washoe and Dwight Jones in Clark, I don’t know the other 15. But in those two, virtually any big district in the nation would be delighted to have either one of them and we have both.”

Morrison was recently named superintendent of the year.

The 2011 legislative session also made a number of positive moves in education reform that Guthrie said he is impressed with. Guthrie said he is also impressed with Sandoval and is looking forward to working with him on education reform efforts.

Guthrie said his first task will be to familiarize himself with Nevada and its public education system, although he has worked in the past for the Nevada Legislature and has made extensive visits to the state.

Guthrie said he also has experience in the political realm, which will be important as he works with the governor and state lawmakers in the 2013 legislative session.

“I’ve worked for a number of legislatures, I’ve worked in the White House, I’ve testified before Congress,” he said. “I can’t say that I know all that I need to know but I have done it before.”

Prior to his position with the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Guthrie served as a professor of education policy and leadership at the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education at Southern Methodist University.

Guthrie has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in physical anthropology, a master’s degree from Stanford in educational administration and earned his Ph.D. in educational administration from Stanford.

Guthrie has completed two postdoctoral fellowships, one at Harvard University in economics and education and one at Oxford Brooks College in Oxford, UK.

From 1999 to 2009, Guthrie served as the director of the Peabody Center for Education Policy at Vanderbilt University and as editor of the Peabody Journal of Education as well as the Peabody Education Leadership Series. From 1982 to 1983, Guthrie was the dean of the School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. After serving as a professor in the graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, Guthrie was an education specialist in the U.S. Senate.

A published author, Guthrie has served at least 25 state governments and worked with international organizations such as The World Bank and the Organization of American States (OAS).

The state superintendent position pays about $121,785 a year plus benefits.


Audio clips:

James Guthrie says there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about Nevada’s public education system:

031212Guthrie1 :28 we have both.”

Guthrie says he has experience in dealing with legislators:

031212Guthrie2 :13 done it before.”


Three Finalists Forwarded To Gov. Sandoval For His Pick For State Schools Chief

By Sean Whaley | 1:42 pm February 24th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Two Nevadans and a scholar from Texas made the final cut today for the job of state superintendent of public instruction.

René Cantú Jr., Caroline McIntosh and James Guthrie were selected from among five finalists by the state Board of Education to forward to Gov. Brian Sandoval for him to select the new state public schools chief. Sandoval is expected to announce his choice sometime next month.

René Cantú Jr. is currently the executive director of the Latin Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation and former vice president of multicultural affairs at Nevada State College.

James Guthrie is a senior fellow and director of education policy studies at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Berkeley Unified School District in California.

Caroline McIntosh is the superintendent of schools for the Lyon County School District.

Guthrie was the top finalist, winning favorable votes from all 10 members of the board. Cantú and McIntosh received 8-2 votes.

Sandoval has called the appointment of a new superintendent one of the most important he will make as governor.

James Guthrie.

The five candidates were interviewed by the board on Wednesday and Thursday.

Keith Rheault, Nevada’s current superintendent is retiring in early April.

Sandoval wants a new schools chief on board well ahead of the 2013 legislative session.

As a result of education reform legislation approved by the 2011 Legislature, Sandoval now has the authority to appoint the new schools chief. In the past the 10-member Board of Education had the authority to select the superintendent.

The board today discussed the qualifications and qualities of all five candidates before voting.

Board Vice President Adriana Fralick said of Cantú: “He knows education. He is eager and excited to work. I think of all of them he probably would work harder to prove himself. I like that about him. He may not have as much experience management-wise as some of the others but I think he had a lot of good points.”

Board member Willia Chaney said McIntosh was energetic in her interview and already has a working knowledge of the problems and challenges facing public education in Nevada.

“And I think that she has a strong vision and she has high expectations,” Chaney said. “And I believe that any person who is going to lead the Department of Education has to have high expectations.”

Board member Craig Wilkinson was one of several board members who spoke very highly of Guthrie, saying he would clearly seek out the opinions of others and get to know all of the stakeholders in the education reform effort.

“He was for the students,” Wilkinson said. “I like that. He wasn’t just education. He was for the students and teachers.”


Audio clips:

Board Vice President Adriana Fralick says Cantú knows education:

022412Fralick :26 of good points.”

Board member Willia Chaney says McIntosh was energetic in her interview and already has a working knowledge of the problems and challenges facing public education in Nevada:

022412Chaney :31 have high expectations.”

Board member Craig Wilkinson says Guthrie will seek out the opinions of others:

022412Wilkinson :21 students and teachers.”