JAG Nevada Story

In October 2014, Governor Brian Sandoval appointed the 26 members of the JAG Nevada Board of Directors and conducted the inaugural meeting. Drawing from some of the brightest minds in the state, the Governor appointed a majority of members drawn from the private sector as well as representatives from K-12 and the public sector. Some of the luminaries include Superintendent of CCSD Schools Pat Skorkowsky, Jeff Davey of GE, Punam Mathur of the Elaine Wynn Foundation and Kirk Clausen of Wells Fargo Bank.

In his State of the State address on January 15, 2015, Governor Brian Sandoval mentioned JAG Nevada as one of his proposed funded strategies to reduce the dropout rate and increase employment rate of youth in Nevada. Over the next biennium, the Governor’s budget proposes to expand JAG Nevada from 23 schools to 50 schools by 2017. This goal can only be accomplished when state government and private enterprise join together to create a diverse funding base for a program that yields 90% plus graduation rates and cuts youth unemployment in half among youth participants. USA Funds, AT&T and NevadaWorks have joined in funding this expanded effort across Nevada, and Bank of America’s support will strengthen the partnership and the outcomes that the program is delivering across Nevada.

Management Team

Led by the executive director, the management team is responsible for carrying out the business of the organization, ensuring that the strategic direction set forth by the board of directors is carried out, and ensuring that the fiscal and programmatic elements of the program are carried out efficiently and effectively.  The executive director is assisted by the director of finance and operations whose main role is to ensure that the organization operated in a fiscally efficient manner that complies with generally accepted accounting principles.

Programmatic oversight of the program in a geographically dispersed state like Nevada necessitated that two offices be established to conduct the business of the nonprofit.  The office where the executive director resides is located at Spring Valley High School in Las Vegas.  The lead JAG Coordinator operates from Las Vegas and is responsible for the programmatic oversight of the JAG program state-wide and also acts as main contact for JAG Specialists in southern Nevada.  A satellite office is located in Sparks Nevada, which houses a program coordinator to support JAG Specialists in schools in northern and western Nevada.

The state of Nevada has been organized into three distinct regions for the purpose of meeting the local needs of the communities JAG Nevada serves.  Region 1 includes western Nevada communities including Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Hawthorne and Fernley.  Region 2 encompasses the largest geographic region and includes West Wendover, White Pine, McDermitt and Panaca.  Region 3 is comprised entirely of schools in the Clark County School District and includes the communities of Henderson, Moapa Valley, Mesquite and Las Vegas.

The role of the JAG Coordinator is to provide oversight, supervision and technical support to the JAG Specialists embedded in each of the high schools served.  This direct programmatic supervision ensures that student recruitment, instruction and service to students embodies the letter and spirit of the JAG program, which is accredited by the national Jobs for America’s Graduates organization.

School Advisory Committee

Each school principal assigns an advisory committee, which will assist the JAG Specialist in the recruitment of students who meet program criteria.  Prior to hiring the JAG Specialist, the principal and members of the advisory committee work in concert with the JAG Nevada management team to recruit, interview and select the JAG Specialist.  By interviewing and hiring the JAG Specialist jointly, the school administration develops a sense of ownership over the JAG Nevada program in their community.