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We Deserve a Better Board's mission is to elevate our voices and advocate for changes that better represent the people closest to the Douglas County schools themselves: the students, the parents, the grandparents, the teachers, and staff. Want more information? Click the Join Us button below.


We are most concerned with the questionable actions and decisions 

of the current majority of the Douglas County School Board Trustees.


David Burns, Katherine Dickerson, Doug Englekirk, and Susan Jansen have indirectly or directly supported or impacted the following items:


  • Terminated the 28 year relationship with legal counsel, Maupin, Cox, and LeGoy, who has extensive experience with education law.

  • Hired Joey Gilbert and Gilbert Law Firm to represent the board and district without considering any other law firms. Many community members registered concerns about Gilbert’s lack of expertise in education law and the potential increase in costs to the district.

  • Approved the charges by Joey Gilbert Law that in six months (August 2023-January 2024) have totaled $242,288.67.  This is higher than any yearly charge by Maupin, Cox, and LeGoy in its last four years serving DCSD. Maupin, Cox, and LeGoy’s average cost over the four years, 2019-2020 through 2022-2023, was $157,142.85 (Source: DCSD budget records).

  • Voted to increase the annual legal counsel budget from $160,000 to $450,000, an increase of over 181%

  • Revised policies to limit or remove the superintendent from important functions for the district, including restricting input on school board meeting agendas.

  • Limited public comment at school board meetings to one-and-a-half minutes at the beginning for agenda items and one-and-a-half minutes at the end for topics not on the agenda.  They have eliminated public comment during consideration of action items, which has always been encouraged with past boards.

  • Failed to prioritize the successes and needs of our students, schools, and staff members.

  • Failed to request a presentation or place on an agenda the 2022-23 student performance results, even though this information has been available since August 2023.

  • Undertook the search for a new superintendent on their own and recommended the hire of Mr. John Ramirez, Jr., who had serious issues in his past work and behavior, as well as the fact that he inaccurately presented information on his application.  Thankfully, students, parents, school district staff, and the community forcefully expressed concerns about this hire, and the board reversed course and did not offer Mr. Ramirez, Jr. a contract.

  • Created a negative and toxic environment resulting in the loss of Keith Lewis, former Superintendent; Joe Girdner, former Director of Human Resources; Tony Magnotta, former Trustee; Mark Rhoads, former Transportation Director; Adam Dedmon, former Director of Human Resources; and Caryn Harper, former Secretary to the Superintendent and School Board.  


We can do better and must do better.  That is why We Deserve a Better Board plans to support four excellent candidates for the open trustee seats for the November 2024 election.



Mailing Address:

We Deserve a Better Board
P.O. Box 7054
Gardnerville, Nevada, 89460

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