On Thursday, Sisolak filled the vacant lieutenant governor’s position by appointing Lisa Cano Burkhead. Burkhead’s a recently retired, bilingual educator and principal for 25 years in the Clark County School District. The Lt. Gov position has been vacant since September, when former Lt. Gov, Kay Marshall resigned to take a a position with the Biden Administration.
A political outsider, Burkhead’s only foray into politics was an unsuccessful run as a Democrat for the Nevada Assembly in 2002. Sisolak said he chose Burkhead because of her experience as an educator.
“We can’t keep doing things the same way and expect different results,” he said. “Lisa has proven that she could turn around schools. Her practices, her innovation, have demonstrated that they work and I’m confident that we can use what she has done at Foothill and Fertitta and move it statewide.”
Against a backdrop of failing schools, public Clark County School District disputes, and lawsuits, Burkhead faces an uphill battle. Burkhead expressed her dedication and advocacy for education and her commitment to run for a full term in 2022, “I think we can get so much work done if I have a full term.”
“My parents instilled in me a deep appreciation for education, and the opportunities that come with a strong education,” said Cano Burkhead, “That’s what led me to dedicate my career to teaching, and now I want to use my life’s experience as a teacher, principal, administrator, and as a parent to be Nevada’s advocate for education in my new role as lieutenant governor.”
The Lieutenant Governor’s statutory responsibilities include chairing the tourism commission and serving on several state boards. The Lt. Gov also serves as president of the state Senate.
When asked by The Nevada Independent how her education background parlays into a role without a statutory responsibility for schools, Cano Burkhead said she thinks there’s a connection.
“I think that having a strong educational foundation really directly impacts our economy and economic development. So I will use that as a guiding light.”
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