Alumni Spotlight

Michelee Crawford

Regent Michelee “Shelly” Cruz-Crawford is the current principal of C.C. Ronnow Elementary School in the Clark County School District and a proud graduate of the Executive Leadership Academy, Cohort 8. In November 2022, she was elected to serve District 8 on the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents, which represents parts of Clark, Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine counties.

Shelly has lived in Nevada since 1989. She graduated from the College of Southern Nevada High School in 2000 where she earned the Millennium Scholarship. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology (2004) and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction (2010) from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Shelly then obtained her Instructional Leadership and Teaching English as a Second Language endorsements from Sierra Nevada College (now University of Nevada Reno) in 2013. In 2021, after completing the Leadership Institute of Nevada’s Executive Leadership Academy, she earned an Educational Leadership and Management certificate from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. As a lifelong learner, she is currently completing her Education Doctorate in Leadership and Policy from William Howard Taft University with a dissertation focused on the recruitment of diverse educators by removing barriers for routes to licensure.

Shelly is a first generation high school and college graduate, who in addition to serving as a principal and Board Regent, serves as an officer in the Air Force National Guard. Over the past twenty years, she has taught kindergarten through college. All of what she does is grounded in her “Why.” She strives to create opportunities through education advocacy because she believes education is the pathway to societal upward mobility. In 2021, inspired by her Executive Leadership Academy capstone, she wrote Senate Bill (SB) 352, which created $10 million dollars in state educator recruitment funding. She also assisted with the $65 billion 2021 Federal Recovery Broadband Act that ensures that all of our students have access to the internet. She truly believes we all have common goals and strives to work with everyone in the community to identify these goals and work collectively because she believes we are better together!

Shelly recently served on the Nevada Department of Education’s Principal Advisory Committee, serves on the Nevada National Guard’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force, she is the Nevada Association of School Administrators’ board secretary, serves on a local School Organizational Team, and is a member of the Nevada Association of Latino Administrators. She was named the Public Education Foundation’s 24th Annual Education Hero for her education advocacy work. Lastly, she is the first Latino elected to the Board of Regents with a goal to connect high school students to Nevada colleges and trade careers.

Shelly has been married since 2002 to her husband Michael who is a fifth generation ironworker. Together, they have a daughter, Lola, born in 2005 and a son, Gustavo, born in 2007. Lola will be attending the University of Nevada Reno in 2023.

You can find Regent Michelee “Shelly” Cruz-Crawford on Twitter at Michelee “Shelly” Quiroz Cruz-Crawford.