Part 7: Oliver’s alternate route to licensure

After working intermittently as a substitute teacher from 2014 onward, James Oliver achieved his state teaching license early in 2018 through Nevada’s Alternative Route to Licensure process.

The ARL program was recommended to him by his teaching mentor, the late Thomas N. Pappas, Ph.D. It requires a candidate who already possesses a bachelor’s degree to, within three years, 1) successfully serve as a long-term substitute, and 2) receive at least two positive observations from qualified education professionals.

James Oliver had done that, successfully completing the long-term-substitution requirement at Eva Wolfe Elementary School in June 2017 and garnering multiple positive observations that year and within the next two years.

Claudia Foi, the third-grade Eva Wolfe ES teacher for whom James substituted over most of the 2016-17 school year, provided this To Whom It May Concern account and letter of recommendation following her return from medical leave.

Michelle Stephenson, James’ supervisor during the course of the long-term substitution at Eva Wolfe ES, provided both this positive 5-page observation of James’ teaching, as well as her own To Whom It May Concern letter of recommendation, and account of James’ presence in both classroom and school.

In the 2017-18 school year, James taught at Sister Bailey ES (full name: Sister Robert Joseph Bailey Elementary School). Before a change in administration occurred at the school, he received a positive observation from Assistant Principal Jessica Alanano.

As the year proceeded under the new administration and new, differently structured evaluation procedures, his teaching was the subject of nine different observations — all of which but one were strongly positive. According to Sister Bailey’s chief evaluator, Principal Stephanie Tatman, those evaluations averaged 3.0 and marked Oliver as an effective teacher.

Hired for the 2018-19 school year at Eva Simmons ES, James soon decided to seek a better fit, but — given his brand-new status as a licensed teacher and his commensurately low seniority — ended up at Treem ES.

What ensued is, of course, the subject of this entire report.

In early 2019, CCSD Supt. Jesus Jara transferred Oliver to Will Beckley Elementary. There, also, under district regulations, Oliver received an effective rating.

Later that year, Oliver’s inspiration and educational mentor, Dr. Thomas N. Pappas, passed away. Months before doing so, however, he provided James this final reference.

Part 8: Test pages, real and bogus

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