Lois Tarkanian was sworn into office as the
Las Vegas City Councilwoman representing Ward 1 Feb. 2, 2005. She was re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2015.
Councilwoman Tarkanian currently serves as Mayor Pro Tem.
Dr. Tarkanian holds a bachelor of arts
in education, a master of arts in speech pathology and a doctorate in leadership and human behavior. Prior to
serving on the City Council, she served for 12 years as a member of the Clark County Board of School Trustees.
As an educator, she has held positions as a classroom teacher, a speech pathologist, principal, central
office administrator and Nevada Community College and California State University instructor. In private practice
she founded Oralingua, the first private day school for deaf children in California, and also initiated
Nevada’s first full inclusion program for deaf children in the demonstration preschool at the Community
College of Southern Nevada. She also held national clinical certification in speech pathology, language, and
audiology and did clinical work with autistic, deaf and aphasic children.
She currently serves as a
board member on a number of different organizations including the Clark County Public Education Foundation, FACT
Family and Child Treatment Center for Abused Children, Oralingua School for the Hearing Impaired, Nevada PEP
– Professionals Empowering Parents, Emerge mentoring emerging women leaders and as chairwoman of the
Advisory Committee for the Teacher Education Academy at Clark High School.
In addition, Dr. Tarkanian
has been honored by such designations as Humanitarian of the Year by Catholic Community Services, Silver Lily Award
as Humanitarian of the Year by March of Dimes, Citizen of the Year by Westcare, Golden Book of Deeds Award by
Kiwanis Club, Nevada Woman Silver Heart Award, Las Vegas African American Award for Distinguished Service,
Citizen of the Year by the Nevada Family and Child Treatment Center and Friends of Education Annual Award by the
Nevada State Education Association. She also has been presented with honorary lifetime memberships in the National
Congress of Parents and Teachers and the Nevada Congress of Parents and Teachers. On May 6, 2006, she was honored
with the “Spirit of Leadership” Award by the Lili Claire Foundation and has been selected to receive
the Lifetime Education Achievement Award from the Public Education Foundation. In August 2006, the Tarkanian Middle
School, named in her honor, was opened by the Clark County School District. On April 10, 2008, she was also honored
by Las Vegas Diversity Development Inc. with the “Ladies of Victory Everlasting (LOVE)” Award. On
March 7, 2009, Lois Tarkanian received the “Florence Lee Jones Humanitarian” Award from the Junior
League of Las Vegas. Most recently, in fall 2012, she received the 2012 Community Partner Award from the Foundation
for Recovery, the Spotlight 2012 Straight from the Heart Award from Helping Hands of Vegas Valley and a Leadership
Award from the American Planning Association Nevada Chapter for applying her considerable community experience
to champion key planning initiatives such as expanding community outreach and improving neighborhoods.
As a city councilwoman, Dr. Tarkanian serves on the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada board,
the Clark County Regional Flood Control District Board, the Southern Nevada Health District Board, the Making
Recycling Work Committee, the Springs Preserve Board of Trustees and the Audit Oversight Committee. She has
also been appointed to the Nevada Commission on Nuclear Projects by former Governor Jim Gibbons. Previously she
chaired the city of Las Vegas Recommending Committee, was the vice chair of the Debt Management Commission and
served on the Southern Nevada Water Authority Board, the Colorado River Commission and the Oversight Panel for
School Facilities. Dr. Tarkanian was married to former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian for 53 years. She has
four children and 11 grandchildren.
Access City Council