Clark County Deputy Superintendent Pedro Martinez speaks at Bonner Elementary School during an unveiling of the district’s new School Performance Framework on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. ( Christopher DeVargas )
By Paul Takahashi, Las Vegas Sun and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Clark County Schools Deputy Superintendent Pedro Martinez has been named a finalist for superintendent of the Washoe County School District.
Martinez, who just finished his first school year in Clark County, is one of five finalists named on Wednesday by the Washoe County School Board. The Reno-area school district has scheduled three public town hall meetings later this month to introduce the finalists to Washoe County residents.
As deputy superintendent of instruction for the fifth-largest school district in the country, Martinez, 42, oversaw classroom instruction and was a key member of Clark County Schools Superintendent Dwight Jones’ “reform”-minded cabinet this year.
“Mr. Martinez would make a fantastic superintendent and reform ally in Washoe County,” said Clark County Schools spokeswoman Amanda Fulkerson in a statement. “We support his endeavors and although we would like to keep him in Clark County, if he is selected to lead in Washoe, we would applaud their choice and enjoy working with him in that capacity.”
Martinez came to Las Vegas from Washoe County, where he served a similar deputy superintendent role. Although Martinez was never a schoolteacher or principal, he has been credited with helping to raise high school graduation rates in Washoe and Clark counties.
Martinez received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his master’s degree from DePaul University in Illinois. Martinez was formerly chief financial officer of Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest school district in the country.
Washoe County School District is the second-largest school district in the state with more than 60,000 students enrolled in 93 schools. Its former superintendent Heath Morrison, who was named the 2012 National Superintendent of the Year, stepped down this year after being named superintendent of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina in April.
In the event Martinez is chosen as the superintendent of Washoe County schools, the Clark County School District would immediately launch a search for a new deputy superintendent, Fulkerson said.