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DCSD Superintendent Keith Lewis (Photo: DCSD)

Exclusive: DCSD Terminates Employment Contract With School Superintendent

The Board of Trustees and Superintendent Keith Lewis have mutually agreed to terminate Lewis’s employment agreement ‘without cause’

By Megan Barth, October 3, 2023 8:17 am

The Globe has learned that the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Trustees and Superintendent Keith Lewis have mutually agreed to terminate Lewis’s employment agreement “without cause.” Superintendent Lewis and his attorney will be present at a special meeting of the board this Friday at 10 am. An interim Superintendent will be announced at the meeting.

In a statement released to the Globe (see below), DCSD Board President Susan Jansen said:

The District and Mr. Lewis have mutually agreed that it is in the best interest of both parties that the District exercise its contractual right to terminate Mr. Lewis‘s employment agreement “without cause,” in accordance with the provisions of his contract.

The District wishes to express its sincerest appreciation for Mr. Lewis and his dedication to Douglas County. Please know that Mr. Lewis and the District came to this agreement in mutual understanding. Both parties found themselves at an impasse, and felt that the best way forward was to separate. The District and Mr. Lewis’s attorney, who will appear before the Board and this community at Friday’s meeting, worked together to come to this agreement.

It is easy to understand why so many individuals would be saddened at the thought of his departure. Indeed, Mr. Lewis spent nearly 3 decades in DCSD, and devoted not only his time and his effort, but his heart and we thank him for his service. The agenda will be posted by 9 am and additional details regarding the mutual separation can be found there.

We look forward to seeing everyone at our meeting.

Douglas County School Board President Susan Jansen (District 2). (Photo: Douglas County School District)

The Globe has extensively covered the continued impasses between the newly-elected conservative majority on the Board of Trustees and Mr. Lewis.

The former board, led by Trustees Robbe Lehmann, Linda Gilkerson, and Carey Kangas, unanimously amended numerous bylaws and created policy that ultimately expanded the power of the unelected Superintendent and essentially stripped the Trustees of their power granted to them by the Nevada legislature.

Additionally, the former board unanimously amended Superintendent Lewis’s initial contract five times in two years. The changes the board approved ultimately extended Lewis’s contract to six years, awarding him a substantial raise.

A report from the Record Courier announced:

A revised contract will give Superintendent Keith Lewis a $15,000 raise to a base salary of $175,000 after Douglas County School Board trustees approved the contract on Wednesday night. A pay comparison showed that Lewis was making $160,043 before, which put him ninth on the list of rural districts in the state.

Back in July, Joey Gilbert’s law firm was hired as General Counsel for DCSD in a 4-3 vote replacing Maupin, Cox & Legoy which had represented the district for over 20 years. In part, the change in legal representation came in response to the ACLU NV threatening to sue the district should they implement a district-wide ordinance to protect female and male sports and private spaces.

The rural district is home to 14 schools, 5,000 students, and is a Republican stronghold.

10.3.2023_District Statement^


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