He visited in the 5th grade class, read to the students from a new book on Nevada celebrating the state?s Sesquicentennial, and had a question and answer period.
Erquiaga, who was appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval in August of 2013, said part of the job is to visit every school district in the state. He had been at his branch office in Las Vegas last week and thought it would be a good time to come the Lincoln County. However, PVES was his only stop this trip.
He said Gov. Sandoval and members of his staff are also seeking to visit the schools around the state as well during this Sesquicentennial year. Sandoval had hoped to come to Alamo this time, but was visiting troops in Afghanistan instead.
The descendent of Spanish immigrants, Erquiaga was raised in Fallon, and took his degree from UNR. He said he was appointed to the Superintendent?s position ?to help steer the state through the process of many changes currently taking place in the educational system. We have enacted some many laws and reforms under this administration I wanted to help steer the process through its completion.?
Erquiaga has visited all of the counties in the state since being named superintendent, except Esmeralda County. He said they have only 67 students in the whole county, and the high school students are bussed to Tonopah.
He commented on the excellent education students in Lincoln County are receiving. ?The state has a star rating system for parents to indicate how their schools are performing. Pahranagat Elementary has raised itself in the past couple of years from being a two-star school to a five-star school. It means that the children are more proficient, in more particular in reading and mathematics than they had been in previous years. That?s a great credit to the principal and teachers.?
Another message Erquiaga is seeking to make known is ?to understand that our system of education in Nevada is in a real period of change. We have adopted new standards in English and math, new standards are coming in Science and new tests that go with those standards. That has been implemented at your local level. You pick your own textbooks and curriculum, your teachers pick their own lesson plans. But it is a lot of change, and does put more stress on teachers, and we are expecting more from students. I am very hopeful that the system we are building now will make sure that all Nevadans are ready for college and careers when they graduate from our schools, but I also know it is a difficult time and we really need parents support, whether it?s Mom or Dad, or grandparents. We need families to be involved with their kids as we raise the expectations.?
Principal Brian Higbee also presented Erquiaga with a school T-shirt in honor of his visit.