ELKO -- Administrators throughout the Elko County School District attended the administrative council on Aug. 6 prior to the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Nineteen administrative positions changed, including the director for special services and the grants manager at Central Office.
The group included four administrators new to Elko County, with many transferring from other schools in the district. The district also welcomed Liberty Peak Elementary, which added a principal and vice principal to the administrative group.
Here is some information about each administrator:
Adobe Middle School Principal Cody Krenka
Cody Krenka is Adobe Middle School’s new principal this fall. Recently serving as a vice principal at Elko High School, he also coached the track team for 21 years. Coming aboard with a brand new administrative team and five new teachers, Krenka said he is looking forward to working everyone at Adobe. “We have a lot of new people, but we also have a very seasoned and qualified staff that works really hard,” he said. “I’m inheriting a good group of people to work with.”
Adobe Middle School Vice Principal Emily Nielsen
Emily Nielsen is joining Adobe Middle School as one of the two new vice principals this fall. For 16 years, Nielsen taught English, journalism and speech at Elko High School before serving as vice principal at Mountain View Elementary last year. She said she is looking forward to joining Cody Krenka and Lacey Smith as part of the new administrative team and getting to know everyone at the school. “I’m looking forward to working with the great kids and awesome staff,” she said.
Adobe Middle School Vice Principal Lacey Smith
Lacey Smith is joining Adobe Middle School one of the new vice principals for the 2019-2020 school year. As a science teacher, Smith taught at Elko High School, Spring Creek High School and Carlin Combined Schools. She also served as the president of the Elko County Classroom Teachers Association, “passing the torch” to Stacey Zeiszler in June. A 14-year veteran of the Elko County School District, Smith said she is looking forward to beginning the year with a brand new administration team. “I’m excited because we are all brand new at Adobe,” she said.
Carlin Combined School Vice Principal Jesse Sabo
Jesse Sabo is starting as the new vice principal of Carlin Combined Schools. A native of Montana, Sabo lived in Fernley for 25 years and was the Dean of Students at Fernley Elementary School in Lyon County before moving to Elko County this summer. “I love Carlin because the community helps each other out and they’re very generous,” Sabo said. Working at a smaller school is a challenge Sabo said he welcomed. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t grow you,” he said.
ECSD Grants Manager and Family Engagement Coordinator Cassandra Stahlke
Cassandra Stahlke is coming aboard as the new grant manager and family engagement coordinator for the Elko County School District. After working at Great Basin College for six years in retention and as the Nevada Promise Coordinator, she said the new job will give her more insight into elementary and secondary curriculum. “I’m looking forward to learning how pre-kindergarten all the way up to twelfth grade works,” Stahlke said. “Also, working with all the different funding methods district-wide is going to be a challenge coming into this position, but it’s going to be a learning experience.”
ECSD Director of Special Services Keith Walz
Keith Walz joins Central Office as the new director of special services this year after serving as principal of Spring Creek High School for 10 years. A 27-year veteran of the Elko County School District, Walz began his career at West Wendover Elementary as a teacher and vice principal. Moving to the Elko area, he then served as principal of Northside Elementary and vice principal and principal of Spring Creek Middle School. Having a strong background in administration prepared him for this next chapter in his career, he said. "I've served the district in a variety of communities and settings and I hope that background can help make me a resource for our students, parents, staff and administrators."
Elko High School Vice Principal John Foss
John Foss is one of the new vice principals at Elko High School. Having taught in Washoe County and served in the Elko County School District for six years as principal of Mountain View Elementary and vice principal at Spring Creek High School and Spring Creek Middle School, Foss said he is eager to return to a high school atmosphere. “At heart, I’m a high school person,” Foss said. “I’m looking forward to the great culture they have with athletics, the Choraliers and all those things that bring excitement of being in high school.”
Flag View Intermediate Principal Mauro Lobato Jr.
Mauro Lobato Jr. is stepping in as the new vice principal at Flag View Intermediate School. Previously, he taught language arts and driver’s education in the Clark County School District for 10 years and in northern Utah for four years. Now living in Elko since July, Lobato said he already loves Elko. He is also looking forward to “learning how I can make a difference” among the students and staff at Flag View.
Flag View Intermediate Principal Travis Monett
Travis Monett is the new principal of Flag View Elementary this year. For four years, Monett was a vice principal at Adobe Middle School, and previously taught social studies at Spring Creek Middle School. Having served 13 years in the Elko County School District, Monett said this would be his first foray into working with an elementary school curriculum. “I’m looking forward to learning about the daily challenges of running an elementary school and younger kids,” he said.
Liberty Peak Elementary Principal Bobby Steensen
Bobby Steensen is the first principal of Liberty Peak Elementary in Spring Creek. A 16-year veteran of the Elko County School District, Steensen taught at Mountain View Elementary before going to Flag View where he served for 11 years as a teacher, vice principal and principal. He and Michelle LaRocque will be the first administrators for the new school. “It’s a mixed bag,” Steensen said of opening the brand new school. “We accepted the challenge, so we’re excited to have it.”
Liberty Peak Elementary Vice Principal Michelle LaRocque
Michelle LaRocque is coming on board as the first vice principal of Liberty Peak Elementary in Spring Creek. An educator with the Elko County School district for nine years, LaRocque has served as the vice principal at Spring Creek Elementary for the past two years and previously taught third, fifth and sixth grade. She is also looking forward to the challenge of opening the new school this fall. “It’s exciting,” LaRocque said.
Mountain View Elementary Vice Principal Cynthia Etchemendy
Cynthia Etchemendy is entering her 15th year at Elko County School District as the new vice principal at Mountain View Elementary. Before becoming an administrator, she taught fourth and fifth grade at Grammar No. 2 and second and fourth grade at Spring Creek Elementary. As a vice principal, Etchemendy said she is looking forward to supporting the faculty as they educate their students. “[We will] work together to do what is best for the kids,” she said.
Owyhee Combined Schools Principal Justin Streeter
Justin Streeter is taking the helm as the principal of Owyhee Combined Schools this fall. Before joining Owyhee three years ago as an English teacher, Streeter taught for 15 years in Michigan and one year in Alaska. As principal, Streeter said he aims to take Owyhee out of the Victory School program, a state education initiative that funds underperforming schools. “Our big focus this year is improving instructional practices and no longer being a Victory School,” Streeter said. “That’s our goal.”
Spring Creek High School Principal Shaun Taylor
Shaun Taylor joins Spring Creek High School this fall as their new principal. After teaching for 10 years in Washoe County, Taylor joined the Elko County School District three years ago. After serving one year as principal of Wells Combined Schools, Taylor made the move to Spring Creek to replace Keith Walz, who is now the director of special services at Central Office. “I’m excited about the new challenges,” Taylor said. “I’m happy to be a Spartan.”
Spring Creek Middle School Principal Joshua Reddig
Josh Reddig is starting as the principal of Spring Creek Middle School after 16 years with the Washoe County School District where he taught social studies and was a vice principal. He said he has hunted and fished in Elko County and is looking forward to living in the area and getting back to a middle school environment. “I‘m looking forward to the dynamic group of teachers that are at the school and helping them achieve more success,” Reddig said. “They’re a successful group already, but I’m excited to be part of a really good team.”
Spring Creek Middle School Vice Principal Salli McDermott
Salli McDermott is the new vice principal for Spring Creek Middle School this fall. For 18 years, she taught third through sixth grades at Southside Elementary and Spring Creek Elementary. McDermott said she is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces at the middle school, but is eager to work with an older age group. “We want them super prepared for high school and beyond high school, but to have a good educational experience with us,” McDermott said.
Spring Creek Middle School Vice Principal Travis Carr
Travis Carr is embarking on his first year in the Elko County School District as one of the two new vice principals at Spring Creek Middle School this year. Coming from Washoe County School District, Carr said he is looking forward to the new experience. “We’re trying to get our feet under us, that’s for sure,” Carr said of the brand new administrative team at SCMS, adding that he is looking forward to getting to know the faculty and the students. “I am excited to work with a great team of teachers and work with those students and keep developing them as young adults.”
Wells Combined Schools Principal Clayton Anderson
Clayton Anderson arrived in Elko County in July to take over as the new principal of Wells Combined Schools. As a Spanish teacher, data analyst and assistant vice principal in a 6A school in Houston, Texas, Anderson said he was eager to meet his students and become involved in a “tight-knit community.” “I’m looking forward to a personal environment where I can get to know everybody and they can know me and feel comfortable to work with one another for the good of everybody.”
Wells Combined Schools Vice Principal Tyler Peterson
Tyler Peterson is the new vice principal at Wells Combined Schools. For 15 years, he was at West Wendover High School as a coach, PE and weights teacher and worked in administration. At Wells, Peterson said he is eager to start the school year and “get a layout of the land and get an idea of the athletics” program at the school. “I’ve met some of the parents,” he said. “I’m looking forward to meeting the kids and meeting the staff.”