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Nye Superintendent Norton approved for board seat

Nye County School District Superintendent Dale Norton was recently appointed to the board of directors of WestEd, a nonprofit that focuses on improving education and other outcomes, from children to adults.

Norton was approved by the Nevada State Board of Education this fall as a board member for the San Francisco-based WestEd, a nonprofit research, development and service agency. WestEd works nationally and abroad for the improvement of education for children, all the way to adults, according to information on its website.

“I am truly honored to have been considered for this position, and to have been the person selected and moved forward to the board of education by state Superintendent Jhone Ebert,” said Norton in a news release. “I believe I was considered for this position due to the recent work in Nye County School District of bringing academics to the forefront and focusing on student achievement.”

Norton said he was “thankful for the support I have received from those around me in our quest to move forward,” in the release. He included the Nye County School District’s Board of Trustees, “school administrators, certified and licensed staff,” and students within the Nye school district.

Norton was recommended by Ebert for the directorship at WestEd. Ebert was appointed to the role of state superintendent of public instruction in March by Gov. Steve Sisolak.

Norton has been with the school district in Nye for over three decades and is currently serving his eighth year as superintendent.

Prior to being named into his current role, Norton served under former Nye County School District Superintendent Dr. William Roberts as assistant superintendent.

According to minutes from an Aug. 29 meeting of the Nevada State Board of Education, Norton’s term is set to run through the end of May 2022.

“WestEd’s Board of Directors comprises leaders from public and private education, business, and human services communities,” the Nye school district’s release stated. “Their board takes an active role in agency leadership and strategic planning.”

Including Norton, a total of nine people from Nevada currently serve on WestEd’s board, with four from the southern half of the state, according to information on WestEd’s website.

WestEd is a “joint powers agency” and is “authorized by the California Joint Powers Agreement and governed by public entities in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah,” according to the organization’s website. The Nevada State Board of Education is one of the agencies in the agreement, as is the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents.

Since the 1920s, California state law has allowed for what are known as joint power agreements, where public agencies can work together under an agreement.

“Some joint power agreements are cooperative arrangements among existing agencies, while others create new, separate institutions called joint powers agencies,” according to information in a 2007 document from the California State Legislature Senate Local Government Committee’s “Government Working Together, A Citizen’s Guide to Joint Powers Agreements.” The information is part of an address in that document by Gloria Negrete McLeod, then chairwoman of the California Senate Local Government Committee and California state senator.

WestEd’s beginnings go back more than five decades.

“The roots of WestEd go back to 1966, when Congress funded regional laboratories across the country to find practical ways to improve the education of our nation’s children,” WestEd’s website stated. “Charged with ‘bridging the gap between research and practice,’ a number of the original regional educational laboratories grew beyond their initial charge and developed into successful organizations.”

WestEd grew out of two of those regional laboratories: the Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory (SWRL) and the Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development (FWL), according to the organization’s website. These two regional labs merged in 1995 to form WestEd.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com, on Twitter @MeehanLv

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