By VERNON ROBISON
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley High School will soon be welcoming a new Dean to its administrative staff. Clark County School District (CCSD) officials told MVHS Principal Hal Mortensen that the position was being restored to the school during a meeting on Thursday, Sept. 28.
The average cost of the Dean position to the school would normally be $117,000 per year. This amount would customarily be deducted from the school’s strategic budget. But Mortensen was told that the position would be provided off-ratio by the district, outside of the school’s budget.
That was the arrangement that the school had with the district before the Spring of this year. It was at that time that Mortensen was informed that the CCSD would be pulling back the off-ratio Dean position, because the school’s enrollment didn’t meet the standard threshhold.
The standard requirements for having a Dean at a high school is an enrollment of 590 students. MVHS is just shy of that at about 560.
But before last Spring, it had always been agreed that the need for the Dean position was not any less for the lack of thirty students. So the district had granted the position.
That policy changed earlier this year. Because the enrollment threshhold was not met, former MVHS Dean Dr. Lisa Louw, who had been functioning in the position since 2015, was surplussed away from the school. She sought and obtained a new position in Las Vegas.
But Mortensen said that the loss had left him in quite a bind. With only two administrators at the school: Mortensen and Assistant Principal Pledger Solomon; the workload became extreme.
“We have just as many sports events to attend; just as many school activities and dances and field trips to go to; as larger schools do,” Mortensen said.
With the position now being restored, Mortensen said that he is looking forward to getting back to being able to focus on his duties of overseeing student achievement at the school.
“It will be good to get back to focusing on what I’m supposed to be doing,” he said.
It is yet unknown exactly who will be filling the position. CCSD central administrators will select the person from a pool of surplussed candidates, Mortensen said.
“I won’t have a say in who it will be,” Mortensen said. “Hopefully we will get someone who can appreciate and understand the community and respect its rural values and lifestyle.”
The selection is expected to be completed within the next few weeks. “They told me that the selection process would be weeks, not months,” Mortensen said.