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New principal remains in jail on separate case

The principal of Floyd Elementary has been suspended while a criminal investigation continues into his domestic battery arrest Dec. 30.

However, Von Eric Sheppard continues to be held in Nye County Detention Center on a parole and probation hold out of Colorado. He is scheduled to appear in Pahrump Justice Court this morning, Wednesday, at 8 a.m.

Nye County Sheriff’s Office and Nevada Probation and Parole declined to say what his case in Colorado involved, referring questions to that state. Attempts to reach Colorado authorities Tuesday by deadline was unsuccessful,

Sheppard was arrested in Pahrump on Dec. 30 and charged with domestic battery after Nye County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence on Alfano Avenue regarding an incident.

When deputies made contact with the victim, who has been identified as his fiance, she reportedly explained that an incident had occurred between her and Sheppard two days previously in which he reportedly threw a few papers at her, lunging at her and shoving the papers down her chest.

The victim reportedly said that on Dec. 30 she was in a room in the residence watching television and Sheppard became agitated so the victim got up and moved to another room.

Sheppard allegedly followed the victim, grabbing her by the left arm and demanding the car keys.

When asked if she would be willing to make a statement, the victim agreed. Sheppard was subsequently arrested and transported to the Nye County Detention Center and booked.

Von Sheppard, who played college football at the University of Nebraska, and spent a few months with the Minnesota Vikings before playing two seasons overseas, joined the school district in August after being recruited to Floyd Elementary from a pool of candidates by Superintendent Dale Norton.

Norton declined to comment on the arrest Monday, stating “this is a personnel matter which by its nature is private and confidential. Mr. Sheppard has been removed from his position with the district pending investigation of criminal charges.”

Nye County School District Trustee Robert Mobley said the State of Nevada actually oversees all of the licensing and credentials for both teaching and administrative positions.

“That is through the state,” Mobley said. “If you’re going to get hired by the school district, you have to be able to get licensure here so that’s on the state. If you can’t get licensure we can’t hire you. In fact, that’s one of the questions on the application, which is a public document, on the application it states you can’t get licensure if another question is has your license been suspended.”

An inquiry to the state was not returned by press time Tuesday.

Additionally, Mobley said teachers and administrators must update their licensure on a regular basis.

“Again that’s a state issue because the state does the licensing,” he said. “We can’t just hire people out of the blue, depending on what the position is, you have to hold an administrator’s licensure that’s from the State of Nevada and they have to be updated periodically.”

Sheppard came to Pahrump after six years with the Boulder Valley School District. His last position was assistant superintendent for school leadership, where he oversaw 20 elementary schools.

Prior to his work in Colorado, he was a high school principal in St. Paul, Minnesota from 2001 to 2005.

In an interview with the Times when he was hired, Sheppard said he was credited by his peers for helping to turn around a school plagued with drugs, violence and teacher turnover.

Trustees President Traci Ward said the district follows a strict set of procedures when hiring teachers and administrators once a vacancy is declared by the superintendent.

District officials then form a committee which screens all of the applicants by evaluating materials, reviewing references and checking for appropriate licensure for the position. Other assessments include a writing sample and an evaluation of a videotaped lesson if the applicant is applying for a teaching position.

Additionally, the superintendent may choose to transfer a practicing administrator or go out and advertise for the position.

“We set up a committee of people and go through all of the applications and narrow them down,” she said. “We then set up interviews and select the top candidates. The superintendent makes the final decision.”

Regarding disciplinary actions, any classified employee is required to report to the superintendent or human resources director if he or she has been arrested or convicted of a crime within two business days after an arrest or conviction.

Any felony or gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanors involving drugs, sex crimes, child abuse or spousal abuse must be reported to district officials.

Editor Arnold M. Knightly contributed to this story.

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