Learning Leadership from Superintendent Norton

The Trojan Tribune Staff

  Kind, generous, understanding, reliable and hardworking: Mr. Norton, the Superintendent for Nye County schools since 2011, provided insight on what it means to be a good leader.

  From his start as an elementary teacher, to his productive reign as leader of our educational district, Norton has a vast history as a leader, and as such, has brought some valuable changes to the district.

  First and foremost, Norton sought to assist the teachers by raising staff wages by two percent, after the 2008 recession caused these wages to drop in 2009. According to Mr. Norton, in the last six years since he became superintendent, attendance has increased 1% every year. 

Mr. Norton going over the statistics the school district is measured by.

  In addition to his changes, he has also pushed for smaller class sizes to improve student retention, a growing problem in Nye schools.

  Norton has also helped modernize the district by introducing new math and English curriculum, costing a whopping 1.4 and 1.2 million respectively.

  Mr. Norton also explained the changes that will be made for the End of Course exams. The tests were originally high stakes exams, but a few months ago, Norton and 17 of the superintendents in Nevada met and discussed changing the EOCs to medium stakes exams. EOC exams are going to be gradually adapted to affect semester grades. In the 2018-19 school year, the district wants to set the percentage to 10%, 2019-20, 15%, and at 2020-21 will be at 20% of the final grade for the semester.

  He also has a soft spot for sports, due to the football scholarships that eventually led him to where he is now, and as such, Mr. Norton strived to fund and develop sports programs across the county. He has also involved himself in these programs by sacrificing time and effort to coach basketball, golf and football, which have helped him grow as a leader by organizing close groups of people to do their absolute best.

  Norton has been working in the education field for more than 30 years, and in that time he has been a teacher, a principal, and now a superintendent.  As a principal of Rosemary Clarke Middle School, Norton won the first Principal of the Year award, and various other awards.

  To Mr. Norton, this isn’t just a career, just a position or just a pastime–this is what he is wholeheartedly dedicated to, and strives to create fast-growing educational environments within each and every Nye County school.  “In this job, I’m still teaching, and I love it! It’s a great career for me. I don’t know what else I would have done now that I look back,” he said.

  It’s a demanding job to be superintendent of the third largest county in the contiguous U.S., but Mr. Norton does an excellent job, and still makes time to work with students throughout Nye County.