When I heard the brand new superintendent of Washoe County Schools was going to fly with the Blue Angels at the Reno Air Races… less than a month after arriving in Reno, I said to myself, "Who is this guy? Is he nuts?"
Zorching around in the back of an F-18 takes guts on any level, but right after moving across the country? What kind of crazy person would do that? I watched the flight, took pictures for an article. And I asked him the usual question. And no, they didn't make him sick.
So I wasn't all that surprised when Morrison was named Superintendent of the Year yesterday for the state of Nevada. Morrison jumped into the job, at a time when our economy was taking a nose dive. He pushed for reforms in the last legislative session, and formulated a new strategic plan to lift student performance and graduations rates. Nevada ranks last in the country for high school graduation rates.
Business owners and community leaders offered to help, knowing that education drives economic development and the future of Washoe County. Those who work with Morrison on the task of elevating education, mention his ability to be firm but diplomatic. Even on the days when he's running from meeting to meeting or from interview to special event, he manages to remain calm. It's not an easy job pleasing so many constituents.
We should be glad to have a superintendent who isn't afraid of the difficult tasks we face in educating our kids. And one who isn't afraid to push the edge of the envelope in in a supersonic fighter with nearly 40-thousand pounds of thrust… at the mercy of pilots who take pride in making you sick.