Although he is not hired as yet, Lincoln County Assistant School District Superintendent Steve Hansen has been selected to be the new superintendent after Nykki Holton retires in August 2014.
The selection, from among three candidates, was made by the School District Board of Trustees at their regular meeting Sept. 12.
Holton explained in a later interview, that Hansen was not officially hired as yet, because the district doesn’t have the money to pay both of them at the same time, so he will continue this school year in his position as assistant superintendent and principal at Pioche Elementary.
As the designated new superintendent, Holton said Hansen will begin working more closely with her, “and we can work in tandem for the rest of this year, and the transition will be seamless. He has a lot of knowledge of what makes the district work.”
Hansen, 54, has been the assistant to Holton since she became superintendent in 2008.
She commented, “I believe he knows the district very well, and knows this office well, as we work quite closely on most of the issues. He has a good grasp of both the north and south parts of the county. He was a teacher and principal in Alamo, and has a lot of experience in education.”
Hansen certainly knows it will be a huge challenge, “And a daunting challenge, because of all the requirements of the state department of education as well as maintaining a balanced budget and an effective district in all areas, and most importantly, taking care of and doing what’s right for kids. That’s what I have wanted to do, make the best contribution I could to the kids of Lincoln County,” he said.
Holton said, “Steve will start making a lot of the decisions, and attending more of the state meetings. I will coach, and encourage, and I am hoping that over the course of this year, he will begin to make more and more of those decisions, which will then be his.”
Raised in the Pahranagat Valley himself, a 1977 graduate of Pahranagat Valley High School, he earned a degree in secondary education from UNLV, and he taught science in Las Vegas in 1980-89.
He returned to UNLV and earned an endorsement in elementary education, and in 1990 moved to Alamo and taught fifth grade at Pahranagat Elementary.
In 1992, he became the lead teacher, “both a teacher and principal,” he said, at the elementary school, helped get the new elementary school built in 1994-95. In 1996, he was recruited to be a counselor at Pahranagat Valley High School.
In the meantime, he earned a Master’s degree in 2002 in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., which has a Las Vegas satellite campus.
After signing on at the high school, Hansen earned a second Master’s degree from UNLV in Educational Psychology in 2006, with an emphasis in school counseling. “I had to drive down after school for about four years,” he said.
Larry Lytle retired as principal at PVHS in 2003, and Hansen was chosen as principal.
When Holton became the district superintendent, Hansen accepted her invitation to become the assistant superintendent.
Hansen and his wife, Julie, raised four children, all of whom graduated from Pahranagat Valley High.
In April of this year, the Hansen’s moved from the family farmstead in Hiko to be closer to the district office in Panaca.
Holton is completing 34 years with the Lincoln County School District, the last six years as superintendent. “It was the perfect career for me,” she said.