LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The Clark County School District took a step toward picking its next top leader, but the process will likely continue until the end of 2024.

At previous work sessions and board meetings, CCSD’s board of trustees stated it wanted a new superintendent hired before the upcoming school year.

Yet, trustees acknowledged at a Wednesday work session that won’t happen. It may be closer to November.

“This is not a traditional search, the superintendent role is a very unique role,” CCSD Board President Evelyn Garcia Morales said.

What makes it unique, according to Morales, is how public-facing the job is and the responsibilities they have. For instance, the new superintendent will inherit the nation’s fifth-largest school district with nearly 300,000 students and run a multi-billion dollar organization.

“We are looking for a top high-level executive to run the district and not just have somebody who has an educational background,” Trustee Irene Bustamente Adams said.

Back in February, trustees wanted to appoint Brenda Larsen Mitchell as superintendent. She was former superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara’s second in command. But, the motion failed and trustees are hiring an agency.

“CCSD is not heading in the right direction, you see the numbers yourselves. You see the reports just like the public does, so it’s long overdue for us to pivot,” teacher Kenny Belknap said during public comment.

The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce also had a representative speak at the meeting in support of a nationwide search.

“The chamber encourages the school board to utilize a qualified search firm that has a strong reputation for finding top educational leadership and operational talent, within diverse communities,” Vegas Chamber Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Paul Moradkhan said.

As trustees debated on what to put inside the request-for-proposal (RFP) for hiring a search firm, they agreed that time is of the essence.

“We’re looking at, let’s put out the RFP, let’s do this. But, we don’t have a date on when we want this person to actually start to take over the district,” Trustee Katie Williams said.

Board trustees voted unanimously to bring on a search firm and President Garcia Morales said they hope to have two or three vendors at a meeting in May.

In the proposal, trustees noted that they wanted a new superintendent in place by November 1.

Later in that meeting, the board of trustees also voted to negotiate an employment contract with interim superintendent Brenda Larsen Mitchell.

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