Washoe Country School District
Meet the Trustees
The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees is an elected board of seven members. Five members are elected from geographical districts. Two members are elected as at-large. All members serve four-year terms. Please continue reading to "meet your Board of Trustees."
Barbara Clark, President
Barbara Clark has served on the WCSD Board of Trustees for seven years. During her tenure, she has been elected President of the Board three times in 2009, 2013, and 2014. She has been a strong advocate for parent involvement and public K-12 education for more than 20 years and is one of the founders of Nevada's Family Engagement Summit, “Connecting the Dots,” which she currently chairs. Trustee Clark is also Chair of the statewide Advisory Council on Family Engagement; she served as president of the Nevada State Parent Teacher Association (PTA) from 2001-2003, and she was also Nevada PTA's lead lobbyist at the Nevada State Legislature from 1995 to 2005.
Trustee Clark is committed to accountability, transparency, and ensuring WCSD remains open and honest with the public. During her tenure as a Trustee, the school district has made measurable gains in accountability and transparency. Under her leadership as a Trustee, and by working closely with the superintendent, the District has implemented a Strategic Plan, Envision WCSD 2015—Investing In Our Future, which defines the District’s overarching goals and objectives. The Strategic Plan is updated by the Trustees, Superintendent Martinez, and staff as circumstances dictate.
Trustee Clark has been instrumental in increasing family-engagement efforts. In fact, the District’s performance framework now has an enhanced family-engagement component due in large part to her work. She strongly believes there is a direct link between family engagement and academic achievement. Trustee Clark has also provided oversight on the school district’s budget and, with her fellow trustees, has implemented comprehensive board meetings and workshops to address the budget and its reformation.
Finally, Trustee Clark has been actively involved with finding a sustainable source of revenue for critical capital projects in WCSD. She presided over the Board of Trustees during the AB46 legislative process and is currently working with her fellow Trustees, community leaders, and other elected officials to ensure our schools’ capital needs are met.
Trustee Clark has a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and a J.D. from Western State University School of Law, San Diego. She has two grown sons and one grandson and when she is not focusing on education in Washoe County, she is working at the National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection) in downtown Reno.
Barbara L. McLaury, Vice President
Dr. Barbara McLaury’s entire career has been focused on education and creating opportunities for children of Northern Nevada. Before becoming a Trustee, she worked for 34 years in WCSD as a teacher, reading coordinator K-12, principal, and senior director. During that time she served as President of the Nevada Association of School Administrators and the Nevada Elementary School Principals’ Association. Under her leadership as principal, Bernice Matthews Elementary School received the “Title I Distinguished School Award.” During her tenure with the District, Dr. McLaury was recognized as the National Distinguished Principal, State of Nevada, and was presented with the Nevada State Education Association’s Dedicated Educator Award. Dr. McLaury retired from the District in 2008.
As a member of the Board of Trustees, Dr. McLaury’s particular areas of interest are recruitment and retention of effective teachers and administrators, equity and diversity, student achievement, and accountability. As a WCSD Trustee, she has served as Vice-President of the Board (2010) and President of the Board (2011). In 2013, Dr. McLaury was appointed by Governor Sandoval to the English Mastery Council, a committee assembled to build a foundation for high quality English Language Learner (ELL) instruction and to help ensure that such high quality instruction becomes the norm in the state.
Dr. McLaury strongly believes that it is important the Board keeps its focus on what’s best for all students by utilizing best practices in board governance. To this end, she has served as a Board representative to the Executive Committee for the Nevada Association of School Boards (NASB), WCSD’s Student Advisory Board, Title I-Committee of Practitioners, and the WCSD Volunteer Services Community Advisory Board. In 2012, the WCSD Board of Trustees was awarded the Council for Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence, based in large part on the Trustees’ commitment to effective board governance. The accolade is one of the most distinguished a school board can receive.
Dr. McLaury has been a resident of Washoe County since 1961. She attended the University of Nevada, Reno where she earned several degrees in education, including her B.A. Elementary Education (1974), M.Ed. Educational Administration & Higher Education (1977) and Ed.D. Curriculum & Instruction.
Lisa Ruggerio, Clerk
Having dedicated more than 20 years to improving education in Washoe County, Lisa Ruggerio is proud to be entering her second year as WCSD School Board Trustee representing District A. Lisa, who was elected Board Clerk for a second term, is committed to ensuring the District fosters positive relationships with families, community leaders, and local businesses. She has a deep appreciation for District staff, and believes open communication with the public and community engagement efforts are key components of a successful school district.
Lisa will tell you that her number one priority as a Trustee is the safety and security of all students and staff. To this end, she is spearheading a safe-schools committee at the District level. She has experience with school safety planning and feels fortunate to be bringing that experience to the Board of Trustees. Trustee Ruggerio also feels that public transparency, particularly with regard to the District’s budget, is critical. Due in large part to Trustee Ruggerio’s work, the District will launch an “open checkbook” on its website in 2014 for public viewing.
Lisa is also a native Nevadan and a product of WCSD. She is the president and owner of LR2 Consulting, a management-consulting firm specializing in community and statewide strategic initiatives. A graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, certified advanced mediator and national safe schools trainer, Lisa is passionately involved in her community.
Her current and past community involvement includes:
Nevada Women’s Fund – Member
Reno Tahoe Airport Authority – Vice Chair
Roseview Homeowners Association – Vice Chair
Ward Three Neighborhood Advisory Board – Vice Chair
Reno Police Graffiti Enforcement Team – Member
Four Steps to the Future Advisory Board – Member
Washoe County School District – Safe and Drug Free Schools – Chair
Washoe County Stand for Children – Founding Member
Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts – Director
Board of Directors – Member
Leadership Reno Sparks – Chair
Business Leadership Council – Chair
Events Council – Chair
Political Action Committee – Member
Education Committee – Member
When asked about the importance of education in Nevada Lisa stated, “I believe that education is the cornerstone of a thriving, dynamic, and prosperous community, which attracts more business and serves to enhance the quality of life for all citizens.”
Estela Gutierrez, Member
Education is a passion for Trustee Estela Gutierrez. As a long-time Sparks resident, she has been involved in education for 22 years. In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees, she works at Truckee Meadows Community College as the dean of student services and is a representative to The National School Boards Association's (NSBA) Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE). She is also the co-founder of the Mariposa Dual Language Academy in Reno.
Trustee Gutierrez was sworn into the Board on Sept. 9, 2008 and served as the Board President in 2010. As a Trustee, she believes that education is the passport to our children’s future and that we must get all children to graduation.
Trustee Gutierrez is also the founder of the first Latino Leadership program, founder of the Latina Professional Development Program for Nevada Hispanic Services, National Hispanic Professional Organization and Latino Lions. Her other community involvement includes: past member of Sparks Citizens Advisory Board, Truckee Meadows Tomorrow, 2005 chair of Accentuate the Positive, Theater Coalition, State ESL Task Force, past member of Girls Scouts Advisory, past member of the Sparks City Charter Committee, Irish Mexican Alliance of Nevada, Leadership Reno Sparks Advisory, Nevada Military Support Alliance, member of the Nevada State Board of Education for Displaced Homemakers, Nevada Parent Teacher Association, Nevada School Board Association and Nevada liaison to the Mexican government.
During her free time, Trustee Gutierrez enjoys walking, hiking, camping, and spending time with family.
Trustee Dave Aiazi is a native Renoite and graduated from Sparks High School.
He has been married to his wife, DeLores, for 39 years, and they have two children (who went through WCSD) and three grandchildren (who are attending WCSD schools). He is also very involved with the arts community in Reno, serving on the boards of Artown and the Black Rock Arts Foundation, a subsidiary of the Burning Man Project.
As a Trustee, Dave is interested in supporting WCSD with regional planning and with helping make structural improvements to the District’s older facilities.
As a trustee, he has taken what he learned on the Reno City Council, which he served on for 16 years, and has applied it to his oversight of the District.
During his time as a Trustee, the Board has made significant changes:
A new District budgeting process has been started that will provide better information as to where taxpayer money is being spent.
Both positions of the District's Attorney and Internal Auditor have been moved under the leadership of the Trustees. As such, there will be greater accountability to the public regarding District legal matters.
A comprehensive look at all School District Policies has begun along with a process for tackling "thorny" issues like school unifroms and the public's right to speak to the Trustees.
A more transparent website is being developed so everyone can see where tayxpayer money is being spent.
More District contracts now require Trustee authority.
Some of the boards Dave has served on in the Northern Nevada community include:
Oversight Panel for School Facilities – Member
Regional Planning Governing Board – Chair
Truckee Meadows Water Authority – Vice Chair
Truckee River Flood Management Authority – Member
Debt Management Commission – Member
Regional Transportation Commission – Chair
Sierra Arts Foundation – Member
Howard Rosenberg, Member
As a longtime UNR professor, Trustee Howard Rosenberg has a passion for education. As a Trustee, Professor Rosenberg is interested in the areas of instructional leadership and curriculum. Having taught for more than 47 years, including extensive experience teaching public schools in the East Coast and in Hawaii, Trustee Rosenberg has trained generations of student teachers in art education and has been a professor in the UNR Art Department since 1967.
Trustee Rosenberg also served as a civilian employee of the U.S. Army's Music and Theater Program, adding a film component to the program and traveling with the World Wide Army Command. For more than 25 years, Trustee Rosenberg was a well-known arts and entertainment critic: He contributed written and televised entertainment commentary to both local and national media outlets.
At UNR, he is responsible for Visual Foundations, Survey of Art History, Film Studies, and the Art Education classes. He was elected to the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents in 1996 and again in 2002 before stepping down in 2008.
In his short time as a WCSD Trustee, Rosenberg has worked closely with students as a liaison to the Student Advisory Board, and has helped create effective board policy by serving on the Board Policy Committee.
When it comes to his role as a Trustee, Rosenberg candidly observes, “The most important thing any member of any board can do is listen to its constituents—in this case, it’s our students.”
Trustee Rosenberg’s past accolades include the UNR College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Award For Teaching; the UNR Silver Compass Award for Advisement; and the Channel 4 Jefferson Award. Rosenberg is also a member of the American Film Institute, Art Educators of Nevada Association, and the National Art Education Association.
In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies and finding ways to connect with his undergraduate students at UNR.
District B (click for map)
(Sparks, Including the South half of Sun Valley)
Term Expires 2014
John Mayer began serving as a trustee in January 2011. A lifelong resident of Sparks, John is well known by students and staff in his district. He routinely visits schools in WCSD, and makes a point to visit each school at least once a year. His visits are most welcome as students and teachers love speaking with Mr. Mayer and very much enjoy seeing his big smile. From his first day as a trustee, Mr. Mayer has been highly active and involved with individual school events and activities, staff recognitions, and with processes that ensure the well-being of students. He is also actively involved in community outreach efforts on behalf of the District.
Trustee Mayer is a former teacher, principal, and coach. He retired from WCSD in 2000.
Before his election to the Board of Trustees, Mayer served as a Sparks City Councilman, Ward 1, for more than 17 years. He also represented the City of Sparks on the Regional Transportation Commission and was elected to the Sparks High School Hall of Fame. In addition, he served on the advisory boards for the Sparks Heritage Museum and Disability Resources organization.
As a Trustee, John Mayer is wholeheartedly committed to transparency with the public in all areas of the school district. During his tenure, WCSD received the Nevada Taxpayers Association’s Cashman Good Government Award in recognition of the District’s and Trustees’ efforts to communicate transparency and to engage with the public regarding critical budget challenges. In 2007, the Human Services Network named Trustee Mayer Politician of the Year, and Trustee Mayer was part of the 2012 WCSD Board of Trustees, which was awarded the Council for Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence, one of the highest honors a school board can receive.
Trustee Mayer’s mission is to make it possible for all students to obtain the tools they need to make their dreams come true, and to help them build their futures. He recognizes that teachers provide students with these tools, and so it is critical the Board supports them in every way possible.
He once noted, “Every year it seems our students and staff become brighter and better at what they do and how they do it, and as a trustee, when I’m out in the community experiencing all these highlights, it reminds me why I wanted to be in this business in the first place.”
Term Expires 2014
Maddi Eckert is the 2013-2014 Student Representative to the Board of Trustees and President of the Student Advisory Board (SAB). She is a senior this year at Reno High School and has been a member of the SAB since her freshmen year. Maddi is passionate about helping other students reach their full potential, and she participates in several community service projects to promote student development and leadership.
Maddi has lived in Reno her entire life, and although she does plan to go out of state for college, she would love to one day return to her hometown. Her devotion to her community pushes her to contribute to the improvement of the education system in order to help foster future leaders. More than anything, Maddi hopes to represent her fellow Washoe County students to the best of her ability this school year.To contact the Trustees, please see the information below:
Reno NV, 89520-3425
Phone: (775) 348-0399
Fax: (775) 348-0304