School district's CFO announces departure after just months on the job

The Clark County School District’s top financial officer has resigned after less than three months on the job.

Nikki Thorn, who began serving as the chief financial officer in early November, will part ways with the district on Jan. 27, school district officials confirmed this afternoon. She started working for the district in June 2014 and previously served as deputy CFO.

“The Operational Services Unit is working on finding an interim Chief Financial Officer and/or possibly a consultant to assist in the Business and Finance Division,” district officials wrote in a statement. “We wish Ms. Thorn luck and thank her for her service with the Clark County School District.”

Thorn’s future plans remain unclear. She took over the district’s financial operations after her predecessor, Jim McIntosh, accepted a position with the city of Henderson, said Deanna Wright, president of the Clark County School Board of Trustees.

“It was an honor to work on behalf of the wonderful students at the Clark County School District and I leave with great confidence in my team and their ability to continue to carry out the important work of the Business and Finance Division,” Thorn wrote in a statement provided by the district.

The story was first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Thorn has not responded to a voicemail left by The Nevada Independent asking for more information.

Her departure complicates matters for the nation’s fifth-largest school district, which is overhauling its organizational structure by transferring more decision-making power to each school. The newly implemented “school organizational teams” — made up of principals, staff members and parents — have just started working on budgets for the next academic year.

On top of that, the 2017 session of the Nevada Legislature kicks off in two and half weeks.

“It puts us in a difficult position,” Wright said. “We rely so heavily on our CFO all the time but specifically during the legislative session when things are being tossed around and stuff is happening in committees.”

Wright said she hadn’t spoken to Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky yet about Thorn’s departure, but she doesn’t expect the district to find a permanent replacement until after the legislative session. The superintendent interviews and hires the CFO, but the trustees ultimately approve the employment contract, she said.

The school district’s general fund operating budget for the 2016-2017 academic year is $2.291 billion.

Photo by Sam Morris for The Nevada Independent.