Pat Skorkowsky reflects on time as CCSD superintendent - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Pat Skorkowsky reflects on time as CCSD superintendent

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Thursday wasn’t just the last day of school for kids, it was also the last day for the leader of Clark County Schools. Thursday wasn’t just the last day of school for kids, it was also the last day for the leader of Clark County Schools.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Thursday wasn’t just the last day of school for kids, it was also the last day for the leader of Clark County Schools.

Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky announced plans to retire, last fall. This month, the school board named his replacement.

While students ran out the doors to freedom, it was a much more quiet moment for Skorkowsky.

“It’s an emotional day, it's an emotional day,” he said. After five years as superintendent and 30 all together in the district, he said he is satisfied with the impact he’s made.

“I’m most proud of the graduation rate,” Skorkowsky said. “It's gone from 60 percent to 83 percent. Our magnet schools expanded over 10,000 seats, so that students have a better opportunity for choice in our district.”

But the school district faced a $60 million budget shortfall. Skorkowsky said the new superintendent, Dr. Jesus Jara, and school board must prepare to meet with lawmakers.

“That 2019 legislative session will be pivotal for education,” he said.

Skorkowsky said he wants state leaders to rethink how marijuana money is distributed.

“I think it needs to be about education for students in the county where it was created,” he said. “If you look at other counties across the state, they are not going to have dispensaries. They are not going to be growers. I really question if they should have the benefit of these dollars, since we are the ones dealing with the challenges and issues of it here in Clark County.”

He said all of those conversations need to include parent groups and teachers’ unions. Some of the biggest issues the school board faced this year surrounded funding for educational programs and teacher pay.

Skorkowsky also talked about school safety, following the shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 people dead.

"We've put in new doorways, so there's a single point of entry, and we know who is coming in and out,” he said. “It's not in every school yet, so we need to make that happen. We need, as students have told me, more mental health professionals on our campuses to be able to get to students, recognize the issue before it becomes an issue."

Overall, Skorkowsky said the district has made improvements.

"We did that during extreme times of crisis,” he said. “And we kept pushing the envelope with student achievement and we kept the focus on students. And I hope we're able to continue that long past my time here in the district.”

He had some advice for incoming superintendent, Dr. Jesus Jara. “Get to know your community, get to know the people you work with and make sure you are listening to those concerns.”

Skorkowsky said he and Jara will work together for a couple of weeks. Skorkowsky said he hasn’t decided what he wants to do next.

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